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Taylor v. Allard

Taylor v. Allard
2009 OJ NO 1062 (Sup Ct.)
2010 ONCA 596 (ON CA)

Lorne Taylor suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his shoulder and arm when he fell into a 10’ wide and 3’ deep bonfire pit in the backyard of a rental property. No police or ambulance was called to the scene. The property owners concealed the bonfire pit and amassed statements from every guest that the incident happened at someone else’s property. They later sold their property, which was bulldozed for the Highway 404 extension.

We secured permits from the provincial government and conducted a forensic excavation, locating the concealed bonfire pit. We proceeded to trial against the tenant who threw the party and the landlord who built the pit. Justice Marchand found liability against the tenant but not against the landlord, who made the pit but attempted to contract out of any responsibility for it.

We proceeded to the Court of Appeal, which reversed the trial decision and found liability against the landlord. The Court of Appeal established that a landlord could not contract out of his/her duty to keep the property safe.

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