When sued for negligence and Occupier’s Liability Act claims public bodies enjoy a defense that private citizens and businesses do not, namely the policy defense. Actions taken pursuant to a good faith policy decision can shield a public body from liability in circumstances where a private defendant would be held liable. Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Victoria Registry, discussing and applying this principle.
In today’s case (Lowe v. Sidney (Town of)) the Plaintiff slipped and fell on black ice on a parking lot owned by the Defendant. The Plaintiff argued the Defendant was negligent in failing to inspect and address this ice before the incident. The Court disagreed and dismissed the claim. In doing so Mr. Justice G.C. Weatherill made the following comments in applying the policy defence: