Appeal Court ‘Vindicates Aviva’ in Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit

 Friday, May 7, 2021

 Canadian Underwriter

Commercial liability clients do not have to settle personal injury lawsuits even if the defendants are perceived as having deep pockets, a recent Court of Appeal for Ontario ruling suggests.

‘A litigant, or its insurer, even if wealthy, is not obliged to pay a settlement just because it has been sued; it is entitled to have the claim determined by the court,’ Justice Benjamin Zarnett wrote for the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Przyk v. Hamilton Retirement Group Ltd. (The Court at Rushdale), released Apr. 28.

The case began in 2015, when Anna Przyk was injured after slipping and falling on a sidewalk near an entrance to The Court at Rushdale, a retirement home.

Przyk filed a personal injury lawsuit in Ontario against The Court at Rushdale and lost. A jury found the retirement home was not liable.

The Court at Rushdale was insured by Aviva, which sought costs on a partial indemnity basis.