The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently released a decision where it awarded $107,765 to an injured woman, in Grayling v. The Corporation of Haldimand County.
Mrs. Grayling was injured on November 25, 2009 as a result of a trip and fall injury that occurred on a city sidewalk. She stubbed her toe on the sidewalk, tripped and fell and as a result, broke her right upper arm at the rotator cuff.
Mrs. Grayling stated she stubbed her toe due to the difference in height between two slabs of sidewalk. As a result of stubbing her toe, she took four or five steps forward and fell on her right arm onto the grass beside the sidewalk.
According to Justice J. Lofchik, it Is for the plaintiff to demonstrate that a condition of non-repair existed which in turn caused the plaintiff’s injury. Once the plaintiff is able to establish the condition of non-repair, the onus shifts to the Municipality to establish that the condition of non-repair existed despite its attempt to exercise proper care and diligence in the inspection and maintenance of the highway (paragraph 39).
It was also explained that an elevation different between sidewalk slabs is not necessarily a “non-repair” as sidewalk installation is not an exact science and pedestrians should not expect a perfectly flat surface (paragraph 42).
However, previous case law had indicated that the judicial “rule of thumb” as to what height differential establishes a non-repair is between ¾ of an inch to 1 inch.
Justice Lofchik determined that a trip hazard existed. The trip ledge that caused her fall was concluded to be ¾ of an inch to 1 ¼ inches and there was indeed a state of disrepair of the sidewalk.
He found that both sides bore responsibility for the accident. He felt that Mrs. Grayling did not pay enough attention to where she was walking. In his opinion, each party was 50% liable for the accident, meaning each party shared equal responsibility.
The total amount awarded was $215, 530. Mrs. Grayling received $107, 765, after the 50% reduction for what is known as “contributory negligence” (her portion of responsibility).
Mrs. Grayling was awarded compensation for the following:
- Housekeeping up to age 70
- Gardening, window cleaning, curtain washing up to age 70
- Loss of past income
- Loss of future income to age 65
- OHIP subrogation costs
At the law firm of Paciocco & Mellow, we handle various types of personal injury claims including slip and fall or trip and fall claims. We have successfully assisted our clients with slip and fall and trip and fall claims and helped them settle their claims for the best possible settlement.
If you have been injured as the result of a trip and fall accident, it is important that you contact the experienced Windsor personal injury lawyers at Paciocco & Mellow at (519) 915-SORE (7673). We can provide you with a free, no obligation initial consultation.
We will provide you with an overview of your legal rights and help you to understand the legal process.
The law firm of Paciocco & Mellow aims to help provide you with Peace of Mind at a Difficult Time.