13 May Ikea not liable for washroom slip and fall…
Reasons for judgment were recently issued in Dudas v. Ikea Ltd., where the plaintiff was injured after slipping and falling in an Ikea washroom. While the plaintiff was using the washroom, an Ikea employee came in to perform her hourly cleaning services. When the plaintiff left the stall, she took a few steps, slipped and fell.
The court held that Ikea and its maintenance contractor were not at fault. Crucial to this finding was the plaintiff’s lack of certainty with respect to what it was that she actually slipped on. Although the plaintiff thought that it was water, this was merely an assumption. The court noted that it could not resort to speculation when determining the cause of the plaintiff’s fall. Furthermore, the court found that the defendants had implemented and followed a reasonable system of maintenance.
This case serves as a reminder that the onus is on the plaintiff to prove the claim. Included in this requirement is the necessity of identifying and proving the hazard that caused the fall. If one cannot satisfy the court that a hazard was present, on a balance of probabilities, then the claim will typically be denied.