(Kozzi)

(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

A young skier practices his skills at Centennial Park last week. The 100 Mile Nordics season starts Thursday, Nov. 26. (Submitted photo)
100 Mile Nordics season set to open Thursday

COVID precautions will be in place.

North District RCMP are urging the public's assistance in locating Prince George resident Amber Wuetz, 25, last seen Oct. 18 in the Canim Mahood Lake area north of 100 Mile House. (Photo submitted)
Prince George woman confirmed dead, foul play not suspected

Police confirm Amber Wuertz was found deceased on Oct. 31

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

Donex back to normal operations after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
Update: Donex Pharmacy back to normal operations

Masks are mandatory for shoppers.

Police are asking to speak with two men who were seen driving this car outside the BMO on Saturday, Nov. 21. (Photo submitted)
100 Mile RCMP investigating after woman reports being harassed outside BMO

Young Indigenous woman reports being verbally harassed by two men outside the bank.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Most Read