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New notice requirement coming for winter slip and fall claims.

As a result of amendment to Ontario's Occupiers' Liability Act, anyone injured from slipping and falling on ice or snow in Ontario on private property must provide written notice to a defendant within 60 days of the fall, or risk losing any right to sue.

The amendment, made through Bill 118, received royal assent on December 8, 2020, but it will only come into effect on a date that will be proclaimed. That hasn't happened yet, but could come any day.

The notice must contain the date, time, and location of the fall, and has to be served personally or by registered mail on either the occupier (e.g. owner, tenant, building manager) of the property, or the snow and ice removal contractor.

Where the notice is insufficient or is not delivered within 60 days, a claim will not be barred so long as a judge finds there is a reasonable excuse for failing to meet the requirements and the defendants are not prejudiced in their defence.

The new notice period applies to private property. Slip or trip and falls on municipal property such as sidewalks are already subject to a 10 day notice requirement imposed by s. 44(1) of Ontario's Municipal Act.

Given the many potential barriers confronting an injured claimant, getting legal advice promptly is vital.

MZS Lawyers are experienced injury and accident lawyers who routinely represent injured slip and fall claimants.

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