29 Dec City signs at Barrie parks raising questions about tobogganing
By : Dan Dooley
Published : Dec 29, 2015
Dan Dooley shares his view regarding the Negligence Act and the impact it can have on municipalities prohibiting sledding in their Barrie parks.
Below is an excerpt, please read the full article on the Barrie Examiner website.
Barrie, like Hamilton and all other Ontario municipalities, often carries the brunt of financial compensation in lawsuits pertaining to accidents leading to injuries on public property, said Dan Dooley of Dooley Lucenti Barristers and Solicitors in Barrie.
Lawsuits against municipalities are complicated by the 1% factor of the Negligence Act, Dooley explained.
For example, if there a city is one of three co-defendants in a case when another person is injured, the municipality is often on the hook for the entire cost, he said.
“The Negligence Act exists to protect injured people and it makes all the wrong-doers equally liable to the injured party,” Dooley said.
But even if the municipality is only found 1% responsible, because most cases are settled out of court, lawyers will say to the city ‘we don’t care that you’re only 1% liable, settle now or pay more if this goes to trial’, Dooley said.
“The problem is, if the co-defendants don’t have any insurance or any money, the city is liable for all of the costs, even though they’re probably only 1% liable,” Dooley said.
Dooley said the signage in Barrie’s parks could simply be changed to read ‘Users do so at their own risk’ to mitigate any responsibility on the city’s part.