- Case Summary
Johnson v. Lewin
2018 ONSC 850
Stanley Johnson, a water softener installer, slipped and fell on ice that had accumulated on the lower portion of a driveway – the apron – on a residential street in Newmarket. Mr. Johnson’s prior lawyer mistakenly released the Town from the action, unaware that the apron was within the road allowance and Newmarket’s responsibility.
To prove the case against the lawyer, we had to prove the case against the municipality as well, which included distinguishing a Court of Appeal decision that found a Town had no obligation to clear the apron of driveways. The defendant’s lawyer made a “zero” offer.
Through the evidence of homeowners and a climatologist, we established that the ice had persisted for at least five days. We exposed that Newmarket had received complaints about the state of its sidewalks and made empty promises to residents that it would take action, all the while having a policy of not clearing sidewalks.
The court determined that Newmarket was responsible for the apron and owed Mr. Johnson a duty of care, and by extension, that the predecessor lawyer was negligent for releasing the Town. No fault was found against Mr. Johnson, and he was awarded full compensation for his injuries.