SNOWY SIDEWALK A Supreme Court decision has ruled that the municipality of Summerland has an obligation to inspect and clear its sidewalks. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

Okanagan woman sues city for sidewalk fall and wins

Supreme Court rules in favour of woman who fell on slippery sidewalk in 2015

The B.C. Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a Summerland woman who slipped and fell on a slippery sidewalk in Summerland.

The incident occurred shortly before noon on Dec. 29, 2015 when Muriel Winona Scheck fell on a sidewalk adjoining the seniors facility where she lives. She was using a four-wheeled walker at the time.

The lawsuit named the Parkdale Place Housing Society and the municipality of Summerland. The case against Parkdale Place was dismissed, but not the case against the municipality of Summerland.

In his decision, issued on Jan. 18, Supreme Court justice Robert Johnston said the municipality had an obligation to inspect its sidewalks for snow and ice in winter.

The municipality’s Winter Road and Sidewalk Maintenance policy, revised in 2014, stated that roads and sidewalks shall be inspected daily during the winter months, but this policy had not been followed at the time of the accident, Johnston said in his decision.

The decision also orders the municipality to pay damages to Scheck, but these damages have not yet been determined.

Linda Tynan, Summerland’s chief administrative officer, said claims such as this one are handled through the Municipal Insurance Association.

While there are attempts to sue municipalities because of slipping on ice or tripping on sidewalks, these cases seldom go to trial, she said.

It is not known whether the Municipal Insurance Association will appeal the court decision.

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