Province sues Revelstoke for negligence over cracked sidewalk

The Province of B.C. is suing the City of Revelstoke after a person was seriously injured in a fall on a city sidewalk.

The Province of B.C. is suing the City of Revelstoke after a person was seriously injured in a fall on a city sidewalk.

The Provincial goverment’s case is outlined in a notice of claim filed at the Vernon Supreme Court on July 17 by the Province’s lawyer, Peter R. Lawless.

On August 10, 2006, Carleen Olga Tirling was walking on the sidewalk along Mackenzie Avenue between Third Street and Fourth Street.

According the the claim, Tirling’s shoe became wedged between cracks in the sidewalk, causing her to fall. She suffered “significant personal injuries, damages and loss.” These injuries included a fractured right ankle, left foot, chronic ankle pain, anxiety and sleeplessness.

The Province is suing Revelstoke for the cost of her past and future medical treatments, paid for by the province under the Medicare Protection Act. They are also seeking costs for the legal action. The exact dollar figure is not stated in the claim.

The Province says the City of Revelstoke was negligent because the sidewalk was not safe for pedestrian traffic and the city didn’t take appropriate steps to remedy the situation. The city should have fixed the crack, or at least posted warning signs or barricades, the Province claims.

The Province also claims that the City of Revelstoke failed to adequately ensure its employees knew of their responsibility to keep the sidewalks safe.

The statement of claim is a first step in a process; the city or its insurers must now respond to the claim.

When contacted on July 26, City of Revelstoke chief administrative officer Tim Palmer said it was the first he had heard of the lawsuit. Palmer said the city would likely be covered by their policy through the Municipal Insurance Association, and didn’t likely face exposure because of the lawsuit.

Palmer said legal claims against municipalities arising from trip-and-fall complaints are not that uncommon. However, claims by the province against municipalities are an increasing trend he’s noted over the past few years, Palmer said.