Dabor et al. v. Southbram Holdings Limited et al. (CV-11-417735)

On June 3rd, 2016, a Toronto jury returned a verdict in favour of the Plaintiffs after three weeks of trial. This action arose from the Plaintiff’s fall from a metal stud located above a drop-down ceiling to the floor ten feet below. The Plaintiff suffered a comminuted calcaneous and continues to suffer with significant pain.

This was a unique case in that the Plaintiff was an independent contractor performing regular work at a warehouse owned and occupied by the Defendant corporations. Neither of the parties had workers’ compensation coverage. It was alleged by the Defendants that the Plaintiff was the author of his own misfortune and as an experienced contractor he should have performed the work more carefully. In addition, they argued that the Plaintiff did not raise any safety concerns with the work he was being asked to perform and that he had in fact completed the same task safely one week before his fall.

The jury found the Defendants 38% responsible for failing to give clear instructions to the Plaintiff, failing to have a safe pathway above the ceiling and failing to provide the necessary equipment for the job. The jury assessed damages at $515,000.00 plus interest and the Plaintiffs beat the Defendants’ formal offer to settle.

This verdict serves as a warning to owners and occupiers of properties that they must ensure they have the right person to do the job and that their premises must be safe for the work intended to be performed.

Michael Smitiuch and Peter Cho were trial counsel for the Plaintiffs.

Megan Johnston
Written by

Ms. Megan Johnston is an Associate Lawyer at Smitiuch Injury Law. After articling with the firm, she was Called to the Bar on June 20, 2014.

Megan attended law school at the University of Windsor, where she successfully obtained her Juris Doctor law degree (J.D.). While in law school, she gained invaluable experience through her work at the local Community Legal Aid Clinic and her study of law abroad for a summer at Monash University in Prato, Italy.

Prior to attending law school, Megan attended the University of Western Ontario, where she received an Honours Bachelor of Arts, Major in Sociology and Minor in Psychology.

In her spare time, she has volunteered with the Lawyers Feed the Hungry program in both Toronto and Windsor, and the Essex County Diversion Program, a youth diversion program.