Occupiers’ Liability Act sets forth specific legal provisions which govern the responsibility of owners and managers regarding the damages caused by their property. The act is consolidated back in 1990, on the 31st of December. The Occupiers’ Liability Act of Ontario on the other hand governs provides rules which are fully enforceable in the province of Ontario and particularly in the city of Toronto. Nevertheless, it is somewhat hard to get the connection between said liability and personal injury law. Well, the fact is that the Act also regulates one of the most common causes for personal injury cases – slip and fall accidents. The Act sets forth clear rules which define the particular parties in the trial as well as their capabilities within the same.
However, it is important to mention that the law is generally subjected to some interpretation. In the case of the Occupiers’ Liability Act, the first article is giving definitions about the terms which are most commonly used and are open to general interpretation. The idea is to eliminate all kind of speculation and to limit the possible interpretation to what’s stipulated within the Act itself.
The first definition in article 1 is regarding the term “occupier”. An occupier in lieu of the law regards to a person who is in a physical possession of the particular premise. However, it also relates to one who has the responsibility for a control over the premise or the activities that are generally being carried on it. This leaves us two incredible important deductions. The first one relates to the parties which can be subjected to liability under this particular law. Obviously, these are the actual owners and the managers or tenants. If the claim is addressed towards anyone else it is going to be nil and the claimant won’t be able to get the compensation that he sought for. At the same time the law doesn’t differentiate the actual owner and the tenant, which means that they are both equally liable.
The second definition set forth in the same aforementioned article explains the meaning of a “premise”. This is the actual land and structures in which people may enter. It also includes water as well as ships and other vessels, trailers, trains, vehicles and aircraft except while the latter is in operation. With this being said, these are the places in which you can sue for damages if you slip and fall. As you can see the list is incredibly extensive but most importantly it is not limiting. This means that if you slip and fall on a premise not listed in the law you can still file under the previous article.