C.A. Upholds Jury’s Dismissal of Slip and Fall Action

In Kerr v. Loblaws Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal was asked to set aside a jury’s dismissal of a claim for personal injury damages. The plaintiff had slipped on a single grape at a Zehr’s store operated by Loblaws. On appeal, her counsel argued that the trial judge had erred by failing to give the jury specific examples, drawn from the caselaw, of what constitutes “reasonable care”.

The Court of Appeal rejected this submission. It noted that the trial judge had correctly explained to the jury, that the applicable standard of care was one of “reasonableness”, requiring “neither perfection nor unrealistic or impractical precautions against known risks”. Because slip and fall cases are so fact-specific, the trial judge had committed no error in not referring, in his charge, to decided cases as illustrations of the standard of care. It was up to the jury, said the Court, to apply that standard in the particular circumstances of this case.

Nothing earth-shatteringly new, but a useful reminder.

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