Reduced inspection on school property reasonable during summer.

January 22, 2013, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

The plaintiff brought a claim for injuries arising from a trip and fall on school property during the summer.  The plaintiff, wearing flip flops at the time, caught her foot in a hole in an asphalt walkway on school grounds and tripped and fell.  The School Board had a system of maintenance and inspection in place at the time of the accident.  The school yard was noted to be quite large.  The hole was about the size of a toe box of a running shoe, located near a sewer grate at the side of the walkway.  The walkway was located close to the back gate of the school yard.  The trip and fall occurred during the summer months.  The maintenance staff testified that during the summer there are 80% fewer people on the school yard and inspection is focused on areas of higher use like the playground equipment.  They do not inspect the grounds to the same degree as during the school year.  The inspection of paved areas focuses more around the building looking for broken windows and glass.  There generally is very little travel along the walkway in the summer.   The court held that the School Board, considering the circumstances, took such care as was reasonable to ensure the safety of persons entering on the premises.  The School Board did not breach its duties under the Occupiers Liability Act. 

Posted under Personal Injury, Fractures, Slip and Fall Injury, Spinal Cord Injury

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