Bill would reduce Statue of Limitations on Slip and Fall Lawsuits on private property from two years to ten days
QUEEN’S PARK, ONTARIO: Norman Miller, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka, spoke on his Private Members Bill: The Occupiers’ Liability Amendment Act. The Legislation, if passed, would reduce the statute of limitations on slip and fall lawsuits on private property from two years to ten days, with the exception of extreme cases. This is the time currently allowed for lawsuits to be issued on municipally managed property. By establishing the same time-frame for private and public property, this bill will ensure fairness and equality for all occupiers of land.
Businesses can face lawsuits two years after a slip and fall incident due to snow and ice that has occurred without even having ever been informed that someone slipped and fell on their property. It costs a lot for the businesses to defend themselves after this much time because it is difficult to find witnesses who will remember what happened on a date two years earlier.
“This proposed legislation comes primarily as the result of conversations I have had with business owners and other residents who have approached me with concerns about frivolous lawsuits and excessive insurance premiums” said Miller. “This includes small businesses like the snow removal company Wes Finch & Sons in Bracebridge, who talked about just how expensive and hard it is to get insurance”.
By reducing the statute of limitations on slip and fall lawsuits to ten days, it will be easier for businesses in Ontario to defend themselves in cases of slip and fall incidents. It will also reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits, thereby decreasing insurance costs and court backlog.
“This bill has really touched on something that deals with things that I’ve run into as a lawyer” Said Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie-Springwater-Ore-Medonte. “I endorse this 100%. I think it’s a prudent thing to do. It actually is a benefit to people who are plaintiffs and it’s a benefit to people who will be defendants—and let the courts sort it out”.