Sandra Zisckind discusses Holiday Liability - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Sandra Zisckind discusses Holiday Liability

Sandra Zisckind, Diamond and Diamond Personal Injury Lawyers, gives some entertaining tips and teaches us all about the realities of holiday liability, on Z103.5.

When hosting a party, are you responsible if a guest drinks and drives?

Now the supreme court of Canada has stated, unequivocally, that if you host a part at your house and you invite people over, you are not responsible if they drink and drive but that hasn’t been decided in the context of the employer and employee relationship as of yet. This does not apply to business owners including taverns. If a tavern over serves and you get in an accident, the tavern is responsible.

What if I have someone over to my house for Christmas dinner, they go into the kitchen and decide to slice off a piece of turkey and cut themselves, am I responsible?

No, you are only responsible if you provide something negligent. For example, you invite me over to your house, the railing on the stairway is down, I slip and fall on your stairs because there is no railing, now you are responsible.

Am I responsible if there is a snowstorm and somebody comes over and slips, falls and happens to injure himself or herself?

Yes, if you didn’t salt your driveway, absolutely. If you invite someone onto your premises, you provide them a undertaking or guarantee that it will be at least safe. If you don’t salt, in light of a snowstorm, you haven’t made it safe and caused a hazard.

This also applies to postal workers and other workers who enter your premises on a consistent basis. Always keep salt in the garage for safety. If someone slips and falls you are responsible.

What if my dog bites someone at Christmas?

You are responsible. Anything your dog does, it’s called Strict Liability, 100% you are at fault and very few things that can remove you from liability.

If I have someone over at my place, no room in driveway, park on street, car gets clipped, who’s responsible?

They are not responsible; the person who dinged the car is responsible.

If they took off, your car insurance would cover everything in that situation (and any additional damage to the property). You would not be liable for parking your car on the street.

If you are hosting a party, encourage everyone to find an alternative to driving home.  As an employer, provide taxi chits or other means to make sure everyone arrives safely at home.

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