What An Occupier Is, And What The Occupier’s Responsibility Is In A Personal Injury Case.

An occupier of a space may be the lessee of the space or it may just be someone who is occupying a space temporarily.

For instance, when a store puts merchandise out on the sidewalk for display, the store becomes much more responsible for the sidewalk than they otherwise would be. Even though there is a city by-law which says that property owners are supposed to keep sidewalks clean in front of their premises, doing so does not create liability. Liability belongs, really, under the common law and not by statute with regard to occupiers. Also, the Occupiers Act assists in clarifying matters in some cases.

But all the facts must be taken into account. For instance, if there is a storm with sudden freezing which happens within a few hours and you have fallen on a city sidewalk, you probably will not succeed in claiming that the city is liable, because the city would have thousands of kilometres of sidewalk to take care of and the Municipal Act specifically states that it is up to the claimant to prove that gross negligence occurred on the part of the city.

In a personal injury case, whether or not the occupier is liable depends on negligence and whether somebody is either, by reason of their lease, responsible for an area or by reason of their use of a space, responsible for an area for those who are travelling on it or using it.


If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with Personal injury law issues in the Toronto, Ontario Region, contact Tkatch & Associates

This article is taken from a May 26, 2008 interview with Murray Tkatch, LL.B., Personal Injury Lawyer with Toronto Personal Injury Lawyer in Toronto, a Personal Injury Law Firm.

Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.