Slip and Fall Claim Dismissed Due To Lack of Proof of Hazard

As previously discussed, slipping and falling in and of itself does no lead to a successful lawsuit for damages.  There needs to be evidence of negligence or a breach of the Occupier’s Liability Act for such a claim to succeed.  Absent proof of a hazard causative of the fall claims fail at trial.  Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Victoria Registry, demonstrating this.
In this week’s case  (Fulber v. Browns Social House Ltd.) the Plaintiff was a customer at the Defendant’s restaurant.  She was “wearing high-heeled shoes with a stiletto heel four and a half inches high“.  As she was walking in the restaurant she slipped and fell on the hard wood floor.   .  She did not notice anything on her shoes or her clothes “and did not feel any dampness on her bare skin“.  The Court noted that although the Plaintiff deposed “that she slipped on something” she could not identify the hazard she fell on her belief was based on inferences which she has drawn “essentially on the fact that she fell”.  The Court noted that this was not sufficient to prove wrongdoing by the Defendant and dismissed the claim.  In doing so Madam Justice Gray provided the following reasons:
[48]         The evidence does not establish that there was any hazard on the floor that caused Ms. Fulber to fall, whether it was a liquid or another foreign substance. Neither does the evidence give rise to a reasonable inference that there was liquid or another foreign substance on the place that Ms. Fulber fell.
[49]         While the place that she fell was relatively close to the bar, it was a matter of feet from the serving area. It is highly unlikely that a drink would slosh all the way from the serving area to that area on the floor. While it may be possible that there have been times that some liquid has fallen in the place where Ms. Fulber fell, on all the evidence I must conclude that there was not a hazard in the place where Ms. Fulber fell.
[50]         As a result, I must allow Rumpel’s application. I find that Ms. Fulber has failed to establish that Rumpel is liable for the injuries from the fall and I must dismiss her claim.
[51]         Rumpel is entitled to its costs.

bc injury law, Fulber v. Browns Social House Ltd., Madam Justice Gray

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ERIK
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Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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