Question from Curly, Can We Be Sued If Someone Falls on a Set of Stairs That Are Not to Code in Canada?
Answer from AI:
In Canada, property owners have a legal obligation to ensure that their premises are reasonably safe for visitors. This includes making sure that any stairs on the property meet the building codes and standards set out by the local jurisdiction. If someone falls and is injured on a set of stairs that are not up to code, the property owner could potentially be held liable and sued for damages.
Understanding Occupiers’ Liability
In Canada, the Occupiers’ Liability Act governs the responsibility of property owners (or “occupiers”) to ensure the safety of individuals on their premises. According to this Act, an occupier has a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that persons entering on the premises, and the property brought on the premises by those persons are reasonably safe while on the premises.
What Does “Not to Code” Mean?
When we say a set of stairs is “not to code,” it means the stairs do not meet the standards and regulations set out in the local building code. This could be due to a variety of factors, such as improper height or depth of steps, lack of handrails, or poor lighting.
Potential Liability for Injuries
If someone is injured on a set of stairs that are not to code, and it can be proven that the property owner was aware of this (or should have been aware), the property owner could potentially be held liable for the injured party’s medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Steps to Take to Avoid Liability
To avoid potential liability, property owners should:
- Regularly inspect their property for any potential hazards, including stairs that may not be up to code.
- Make any necessary repairs or modifications to bring the stairs up to code.
- Post warning signs near any potential hazards that cannot be immediately fixed.
When to Seek Legal Advice
If you are a property owner and someone has been injured on your property, it is strongly recommended that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and responsibilities, and can guide you through the legal process.
Please note that this information is intended to provide a general overview of the law and does not constitute legal advice. For advice tailored to your specific circumstances, please consult with a legal professional.
For more information on the Occupiers’ Liability Act, you can visit the Government of Ontario’s website.