Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act R.S.O. 1990, c. O.2, the occupier of a property in Ontario has a duty of care to keep people reasonably safe from harm when they enter the property. If the occupier does not take reasonable steps to keep visitors safe, they can be liable for injuries that occur on their property.

Knowing who may be rightfully thought of as the owner or occupier of a property, can aid injured victims in identifying the appropriate person or entity to take legal action against for fair compensation for their injuries. Pursuant to section 1 of the Occupiers’ Liability Act, an occupier is defined as:

  1. a person who is in physical possession of premises, or
  2. a person who has responsibility for and control over the condition of premises or the activities there carried on, or control over persons allowed to enter the premises, despite the fact that there is more than one occupier of the same premises.

Therefore, this means that an occupier can be any of the following:

  • the owner or landlord of the premises;
  • a residential or commercial tenant, including a corporation;
  • snow and ice removal company;
  • a salon;
  • cleaning staff; and/or
  • an employee of the landlord or tenant who is hired for the purpose of maintaining the premises.

Case law, such as Nandlal v. Toronto Transit Commission, 2014 ONSC 4760 clarifies the extent that the law requires an occupier to go in meeting its duty of care. However, it is important to note that the outcome of ones’ case is predicated on the facts of each individual case. According to The Court of Appeal decision of Tondat v. Hudson’s Bay Corporation, 2018 ONCA 302, “Every occupiers’ liability case needs to be determined on its own facts.” This approach indicates that the court evaluates cases on a case-by-case basis, but their decisions are influenced by case law.

If you believe that you may have a claim for occupiers’ liability, do not hesitate to contact Arkadiusz J. Empel at Empel Law, by dialing 416-479-8531 (ext. 101).

Po Polsku (In Polish)

Arkadiusz J. Empel urodził się w Polsce, w Katowicach. Jest biegły w języku polskim i gotowy pomóc kliętkom w sprawach lokalnych oraz zagranicznych. Aby zasięgnąć pomoc oraz porade w języku polskim, prosze zadzwonić pod number 416.479.8531 (ext. 101).