On the 7th and 8th of February, 2018 Derek Nicholson attended on behalf of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association to address the Appeal in the Schnarr and Woodhouse cases. These cases involved accidents at ski areas where there were waivers of liability even for negligence of the ski hill or the renter of ski rental equipment contained in the Agreements between the ski hill and the consumer in question. The Appeal deals with important issues as to the rights of landowners and the rights of consumers. Two pieces of legislation were being interpreted including s.3 of the Occupiers Liability Act of Ontario and the Consumer Protection Act. S.7 and 9 of the Consumer Protection Act create a deemed warranty in favour of the consumer that the services purchased would be of reasonable quality. By contrast S.3 of the Occupiers Liability Act provides a statutory standard of care for occupiers and the ability to have an entrant onto the land execute an exclusion clause protecting the occupier from even their own negligence in maintaining a land. It is impossible to know how the Court of Appeal with respond to the Appeal. However there was a great deal of questions by the Panel of three Judges that suggested they were considering overturning the original decision which treated the waivers as being void ab initio i.e. not in existence as a result of s.7 and 9 of the Consumer Protection Act.
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