(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.

Just Posted

Lake Country human rights leader honoured at Vernon school

Alaina Podmorow, 22, was inducted into Mission Hill Elementary’s Hall of Fame

Warriors looking for Teddy, hoping for win

West Kelowna hosts their annual Teddy Bear Toss fundraiser Saturday night

Two Okanagan players join Team Canada for Womens U18 World Championships

Anne Cherkowski and Sarah Paul will join the womens World Juniors team Dec. 26

WATCH: ‘Stubborn’ fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

The building, which lit up in flames around 2 a.m., was an infamous spot to Big White locals

Rockets drop second straight, conclude 6-game road trip Saturday in Moose Jaw

Kelowna fell short against the Regina Pats 4-3 Friday night

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

In Photos: CP Rail Holiday Train lights up the Shuswap

The stop on the train’s Canada-wide journey came with a $5,500 donation to local food bank.

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Kelowna RCMP officer allegedly sexts assault victim

RCMP confirm investigation but hold back details

Legendary primatologist coming to Okanagan

Dame Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, will present in Vernon Tuesday, March 24

Old Christmas card has ties to Summerland agriculture

Card was sent by former director of Summerland Research Station

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

Frosty will have to pay rent to stay on Okanagan sidewalk next Christmas

Vernon Teach and Learn allowed to keep Frosty up, but will need a permit come January 1

Most Read