Occupier's & Premises Liability

A variety of injuries may occur on somebody else's property, including slip-and-falls, animal attacks such as dog bites, and other accidents. Many clients have questions as to who can be held responsible for their injuries and what "occupier's liability" has to do with their accident.

In Ontario, the occupier of every property has a duty to maintain the property, which may include buildings and outdoor areas, in a safe condition for people who come onto it.

The term "occupier" can refer to many people. It can refer to anyone in physical possession of the land or anyone who can control who is allowed to enter the property. These can include:

  • Owners, including landlords
  • Tenants
  • Security companies
  • Cleaning crews
  • Snow removal crews
  • Coaches and members of sports and community organizations using the property

Disputes Over Liability

Sometimes the case can become a dispute between the party that owns the property (for example, a landlord) and the party that caused the injury (for example, a cleaning company hired by the landlord). The case may end up focusing on whether the landlord or company acted reasonably to ensure that cleaning was carried out properly by employees, and on determining who should be held liable for the failure to put up warning signs for wet or slippery floors.

The case may also focus attention on what kind of property is involved. For example, the standard of duty for safety may be very different depending on whether the property is a private residence or a group home for disabled adults. Bars are expected to pay attention to safety issues of crowding and intoxication. Improper snow and ice removal on an empty plot of private land will be judged very differently from the same issue on the front steps of a popular community centre.

There will also be questions about whether the occupiers knew or should have known that their actions would result in injury and whether you did your part in keeping yourself safe. Our lawyers will closely examine the issues involved and work diligently to protect your rights.

Contact Rochon Genova LLP

If you have been hurt on somebody else's property, contact our premises liability lawyers. Call Rochon Genova at 416-548-9874 or send us an email to set up a free consultation. We serve clients in the Greater Toronto Area and throughout Ontario.