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Civil Liability Issue

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Aria_1, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. Aria_1

    Aria_1 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Hello,
    Looking for some advice about a stressful situation I seemed to have gotten myself into.

    Last year my landlord asked me to clean the snow and ice outside the building during the winter. There was no contract written up or anything because I don't do this for a living. He provided a shovel and some salt and all I had to do was use them when it snowed.
    Early on a Saturday it had just started to snow and I was woken up by yelling outside. I went downstairs and found the elderly lady from my building clutching her dog in her arms lying down on the floor and it was obvious she had broken her ankle. I helped her get into her apartment and then the ambulance was called etc.
    A year later the landlord’s insurance company is calling me with questions and now I’m wondering if I can somehow be held responsible for all this. The elderly woman was holding her dog in her arms when she fell and the insurance company seemed interested in this fact. I put salt down and the walkway was shovelled the day before, but I hadn’t gone out yet that day because it had only begun to snow and there was only a layer of powder so far. It’s terrifying to think that I could get stuck paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars for the rest of my life.

    I’m not asking for legal advice, but I’m curious to know if anyone here thinks that I can be held responsible even though no contract was written up. I also should mention that I haven’t been accused of anything yet; this is just my imagination running wild.
     
  2. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,905

    Check with that guy from Iowa, he seemed to think he was responsible for the tenant's life and needed to charge 7x the going rate despite what the property owner wanted.

    I know nothing, maybe less than nothing, but I would think that unless you were compensated for it, at worst it would fall under the property owner's insurance.

    They were probably interested in the dog because if the dog had 4 legs, she should have let the stupid thing walk on it's own.
     
  3. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,594

    The ins co is going to say she was distracted by the dog thus she wasn't paying attention to we're she was walking, she was distracted.

    Jmo
    Your in a different country than I am.


    She didn't want to get salt on her dogs paws...
     
  4. Aria_1

    Aria_1 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I was compensated for it because I do a few things including taking the recycling bins to the curb. Also would like to clarify that it is the property owners insurance who are currently handling the situation.
     
  5. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,905

    Still, you aren't a company providing the service right? More like a handyman or janitor, which, in the US, would kick it back to the prop owner.

    They're probably trying to get as much info as possible to deny her claim.
     
  6. Aria_1

    Aria_1 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Yup, this makes the most sense. I may contact a lawyer for a one time consultation just to get some peace of mind.
     
  7. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,594

    N/A
    I can't work a iPad
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  8. gc3

    gc3 Senior Member
    Messages: 713

    I'm confused about the part you said you don't do this for a living but you told your landlord that you would remove all the snow and ice for the winter season and being compensated for doing it.
     
  9. Aria_1

    Aria_1 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I'm shoveling 3 steps and a short walkway.
    It takes 10 minutes if not less to do this.
    He approached me and offered to pay me 100$ for me to do this, which isn,t much, but its ok because I do it mostly for the excercise it gives me(I work on a computer all day).
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  10. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,550

  11. gc3

    gc3 Senior Member
    Messages: 713

    What about the drive? Who's doing that snow and ice removal
     
  12. Aria_1

    Aria_1 Junior Member
    Messages: 8


    interesting, but I don't think this applies to me under the definition of duty given. I'm browsing around on canlii.org right now for information.

    They would also have to prove that I was somehow negligent, which is impossible to prove since no images were taken and also since it had only begun to snow. I wasn't planning on going out for at least a few hours since it had only begun to snow.
     
  13. Aria_1

    Aria_1 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    The landlord hires a contractor to do the parking lot and drive.
     
  14. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,905

    Who cares?

    He's asking about the steps and sidewalk.
     
  15. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,178

    You are an employee for the landlord, it's his liability. Don't sweat it.
     
  16. gc3

    gc3 Senior Member
    Messages: 713

    Cause why didn't the landlord just have the contractor doing the drive do it. This cheap landlord found this tenant to do it for cheaper and now look at the possible issue he's in. The landlord asking you to do it should have been a red flag right there.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  17. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,866

    I would say it comes down to your contract,& since you don't have one it will be hard to prove you failed to doyour duty since we don't know what your duty is exactly since it's not stated in your contract. It will be easier to get $ out of building insurance then you so I'd imagine the ladies lawyer will hit building up, then possibly building insurance go after you, but again they cant prove you did wrong.
     
  18. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,178

    Also check your tenants package if you have one.for liability wording.
     
  19. Aria_1

    Aria_1 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I will check the tenant contract, but I'm pretty sure there is nothing in there.

    I'm worried now that I may have said too much to the building insurance today when they called. I admitted to them over the phone that I sometimes clean the snow and ice. The insurance company guy might want to meet with me if things escalate, so I want to be prepared for this. I'm 100% that I did my job correctly since no snow removal contractor will ever go to a building if less than a centimeter has fallen. I'll keep everyone posted on what the lawyer tells me, since I'm willing to pay a bit to have peace of mind.

    appreciate the answers
     
  20. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,178

    By "tenants package" I was referring to your tenants insurance that covers your belongings not you landlord/tenant agreement.