(Kozzi)

Judge finds B.C. couple not liable after man slips, injures back on cleared sidewalk

The couple had cleared and salted the sidewalk in front of their home

A Burnaby couple is not liable for the injuries a man suffered when he fell on an icy sidewalk in front of their house, a B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled.

According to court documents released Friday, Darwin Der was walking on the sloped sidewalk in front of the Burnaby home of Ang Zhao and Quianqiu Huang on Dec. 21, 2017.

He claimed the sidewalk appeared to have been cleared, but he slipped, fell backwards and hit his head. The then-75-year-old suffered a spinal injury and required surgery to fuse several vertebrae together.

Der’s claim sought damages from the City of Burnaby and blamed Zhao and Huang for not properly clearing the sidewalk.

The couple purchased the home in September 2017 and happened to move in on the same day as the fall.

Zhao claimed he had salted the sidewalk between Nov. 4 and Dec. 21, but did not recall on which days.

He said he went to the house after a heavy snowfall on Dec. 19 to clear the ice and snow, as per city bylaws, and used a shovel and spade.

Huang claimed she salted the sidewalk at about 8 a.m. on on Dec. 21 because it was moving day and the couple was worried the movers might fall.

When Zhao went to the home later that day, he claimed he saw salt on the sidewalk and believed it to be otherwise clean.

In her Nov. 22 judgment, Justice Heather MacNaughton found Der’s arguments to be “logically flawed.” She said he was essentially stating that homeowners did not have a duty of care to clear the sidewalk, but that they were liable if they cleared the sidewalk poorly.

“It is circular reasoning,” MacNaughton said.

She said Der failed to explain why Zhao and Huang should have been worried that their cleaning the sidewalk could have made it more, not less dangerous, as a result of the weather, the sidewalk structure or slope, and that ice could have formed after the fact.

ALSO READ: Former Canucks player suing financial advisors for negligence

ALSO READ: Aquilini companies deny negligence in U.S. vineyard fire that killed two kids


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Sunflower Highway, art initiative to connect Fraser Valley, Thompson-Nicola and Okanagan

Sunflowers made out of reclaimed materials will be installed on public art trails

Residents warned to stay away from flooded Cache Creek park

Water might look shallow, but is several feet deep in places

Ashcroft receives grants to get new hot tub and lift station

‘The hot tub is a major benefit for many residents’

Cache Creek gets funding for improvements on Old Cariboo Road

Work will help to mitigate damage from water and debris flows during flooding

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

RCMP confirm homicide investigation underway near Quesnel

Police releasing few details four days after homicide occurred Monday, July 6

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

Police issued the alert for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que.

Most Read