Lloyd v. Bush, 2020 ONSC 842

The plaintiff sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident and sued the County of Lennox and Addington and the Town of Greater Napanee (and others) for the subject roadway being in a state of non-repair due to snow. Justice Mew held that the road in question was in a state of non-repair. He was persuaded by the following facts: (a) the accident occurred at a “hot spot” known to be hazardous in winter conditions; (b) a specific concern about the condition of the road had been expressed by a Road Supervisor just 4.5 hours before the accident and he felt the road needed immediate attention; (c) despite the Road Supervisor’s concern, there was not evidence that the issue had been adequately responded to before the accident occurred; (d) it was the evidence of some witnesses that shortly after the accident, conditions were slippery and there was no evidence of winter maintenance operations; (e) a witness testified that on his arrival at the scene less than 30 minutes after the accident he saw no evidence of salt or sand application; and (f) the attending police officer saw no indication that the road had been ploughed, sanded, or salted. Justice Mew apportioned 50% liability to the County and the Town, 33% liability to the defendant truck driver, and found the plaintiff 17% contributorily negligent.

Stamatopoulos v. The Regional Municipality of Durham, 2019 ONSC 603

The plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident which occurred when the driver of the vehicle in which he was a passenger lost control of the vehicle and struck a hydro pole. The plaintiff commenced an action for damages against the relevant municipality for non-repair of the roadway, alleging that the accident was caused or contributed to by a dip in the road. Justice Copeland held that none of the dip in the road, the absence of signage warning of the dip, the location of the hydro pole, the absence of a barrier, nor the steepness of the road’s side slopes constituted a state of non-repair. Therefore the municipality did not breach the applicable standard of care and was not negligent. The claim was dismissed.

Smith v. Safranyos, 2018 ONCA 760

The plaintiff sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident that took place in a four-way intersection in the City of Hamilton. The intersection had one through road and one road with a stop sign. The plaintiff commenced an action against the driver of the other vehicle involved in the collision and the City of Hamilton for non-repair of the roadway. At trial, liability was apportioned 50% to the defendant driver, 25% to the plaintiff, and 25% to the City. With respect to the City’s fault, the trial judge held that the servient road required a painted stop line and that sight lines for vehicles approaching the intersection were not appropriate and did not meet the reasonable repair standard. The plaintiff and the City each appealed the trial judge’s liability findings. The Court of Appeal dismissed the City’s appeal, finding that the trial judge properly applied the four-step test for municipal liability under s. 44 of the Municipal Act set out in Fordham v. Dutton-Dunwich (Municipality); did not err in law in finding that the absence of a stop line constituted non-repair; did not commit a palpable and overriding error in finding that sightlines constituted non-repair; and did not err in her application of the “but for” test for causation. The plaintiff’s appeal was upheld, but a new trial was not ordered.