Action Dismissed for Failing to Provide Municipal Notice

A recent decision dismissed a plaintiff's claim against a municipality for failing to give notice within 10 days, as required by the Municipal Act.

In Seif v. City of Toronto, 2014 ONSC 2983 (S.C.J.), the plaintiff tripped and fell on a sidewalk.  She did not provide notice to the City for four months.  She stated she was unaware of the Municipal Act notice requirement. She was on painkillers for 3 days, was mobile within a week of the accident and was able to focus on a job search in the weeks after the accident.  The Court found that the delay in giving notice was as a result of her indecision as to whether to bring an action.

Justice Morgan dismissed the action.  Even though the notice requirement is "very unfair", it is a specific statutory requirement that can only be changed by the legislative.  The exception to the notice requirement is to accommodate plaintiffs whose delay is as a result of their injuries.  The plaintiff had no reasonable excuse for the failure to comply with the notice requirement.  Whether or not the City was prejudice was not relevant.

This is a useful decision for those dealing with a notice issue.

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