Article, Staff | |

City of Revelstoke v. Gelowitz 2023 BCCA 139: A Cautionary Tale for Local Governments on the Duty to Warn Public Facility Users of Hazards

The British Columbia Court of Appeal has affirmed the lower court decision in which the City of Revelstoke (the “City”) was held liable for injuries sustained by the plaintiff after the plaintiff dove into a lake and into shallow water.

Although the plaintiff made his dive from private lands owned by a third party those lands were accessed by the plaintiff as part of a swim that began from the Williamson Lake Park and Campground, a pay-for-use park owned by the City. The plaintiff had been camping on the City-owned lands with friends and family and had entered the lake without seeing the “no diving” signs that had been posted elsewhere. The decision is notable because the City was held liable for not warning of the danger of diving from lands that were not owned by the City. This liability arose because the City invited members of the public into its lakefront park, had been made aware of the dangers posed to individuals diving into the lake area, and was aware that park users were routinely accessing other lands surrounding the lake where this danger was present.

The City was found to have failed to warn the plaintiff of the danger of diving into the lake by failing to have adequate warning signs placed in the vicinity of the lake warning of the dangers posed by diving into the water.


Read Full Article

Up Next:

See all articles & Publications