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Slip and Fall into a 6 Foot Trench > City Construction Work

Slip and fall or trip and fall injuries are common.  Slip and fall injuries usually take place on ice and snow or other slippery surfaces, such as freshly waxed floors within buildings.  Trip and falls usually take place over uneven surfaces, including construction zones or repair and maintenance situations.

In the Singer v. City of Hamilton (2007 Ontario Superior Court of Justice) a slip and fall involving a 78 year old woman, whereby she fell into a 6 foot trench, recently was heard by the Ontario Court of Appeal (here) and the appeal was dismissed.

The City of Hamilton had dug this trench to fix and install electrical cabling.  The plaintiff worked closed to the construction site and passed by the area.  There was a dispute as to whether the construction area was properly signed (i.e. warnings) and whether it was blocked off for pedestrian traffic.

The plaintiff suffered a significant broken leg injury.  She was also depressed after the accident (having lost her husband just prior to the accident) and unsuccessfully attempted suicide after this subject accident.

The plaintiff won after a 15 day Trial and the appeal and cross-appeal were just recently heard and dismissed.
Gregory Chang
Toronto Insurance Litigation Lawyer