Summary judgment blocked!
The case involves a commercial building with a common parking lot and multiple commercial tenants. One of the tenants is a daycare centre.
The Plaintiff dropped off her infant child at the daycare centre. As she was returning to her car, she claims to have slipped on ice in the parking lot and suffered injury. She sued the property owner, the daycare centre, and our client, the winter maintenance contractor.
The daycare filed a motion for summary judgment, seeking to be let out of the action. They argued that they were not responsible for the parking lot because it was not part of their lease and the landlord had contracted to maintain it. The daycare also argued that it owed no duty to the children or parents once they were off the rented daycare premises (i.e., in the parking lot).
We argued that the daycare owed a duty to the children and parents, because it shared in the control and maintenance of the parking lot, at least in the area where the Plaintiff claims to have fallen.
The court sided with us. The court found that the daycare could not just walk away from liability because—even if the parking lot was not part of the daycare’s lease—there were too many indications that the daycare was still exercising control, and thus was an “occupier” and responsible for the safety of the parking lot.
The complete decision can be found as follows: Citation: Peekaboo v. Arcovit [Court File No.: VC-14-120111].