Don’t Miss Anyone: Identifying All Defendants

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  • Previously, I wrote about the importance of identifying defendants and limitation periods here.

    In a similar vein, the case of Janssen v William and Markle Jewellers Ltd[1] highlights an important issue for injured people and their lawyers. In this case, the injured person slipped on ice and fell on a sidewalk outside the entrance way to a jewellery store. The injured person sued the jewellery business. The jewellery store was a tenant on the premises, which was owned by a different person. The sidewalk that the injured person slipped and fell on was a municipal sidewalk owned by a municipality. Importantly, the municipality and the owner of the premises were not named as defendants. The injured person sued the jewellery store on the basis that it was an “occupier” of the sidewalk and therefore owed a duty of care to the injured person. Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act, an occupier owes a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that people entering on the premises are reasonably safe while on the premises.

    The jewellery store brought a summary judgment motion to dismiss the injured person’s claim arguing that it was not an “occupier” of the municipal sidewalk and that it did not otherwise owe a duty of care to the injured person.  The jewellery store argued that it did not assume control over the municipal sidewalk so as to deem it an occupier under the Occupiers’ Liability Act. The court agreed and dismissed the injured person’s claim.

    The case highlights the importance of identifying all potential defendants. In many cases, particularly slip and fall cases, there is more than one defendant that may be liable for the plaintiff’s injuries and damages. Failure to identify all proper defendants can lead to delay or the inability to be compensated for injuries. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you make sure that all appropriate steps are taken promptly.

    If you or a loved one have sustained an injury and would like more information about your legal options, we can help. Call the Jasmine Daya & Co. team at (416) 967-9100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.


    [1] 2019 ONSC 425