Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for February 13, 2014

Woman files suit after fall

A Dawson City woman is suing the owners of the Real Canadian Superstore in Whitehorse after she slipped on a patch of ice in front of the building last year.

By Christopher Reynolds on February 13, 2014 at 3:52 pm

A Dawson City woman is suing the owners of the Real Canadian Superstore in Whitehorse after she slipped on a patch of ice in front of the building last year.

Judit Botosne-Graf claims negligence on the part of Loblaws Inc., which owns the supermarket chain, in a lawsuit filed last week in Yukon Supreme Court.

She suffered a fractured right ankle and “associated musculoskeletal injuries,” the suit states.

“As a result of her injuries, the plaintiff ... continues to incur loss of function and quality of life,” including her ability to “perform normal social, domestic and recreational activities,” court documents say.

When asked by the Star how she’s faring four months after the accident, Botosne-Graf said: “Not OK.”

She was walking along the sidewalk parallel to the building on store property on Oct. 23, 2013, when she slipped and fell on the scrap of ice and “sustained severe injuries, loss and damages.”

The plaintiff argued in her statement of claim that the grocery store failed to “maintain safe conditions for persons entering upon the premises”; allowed “the hazard to remain in a hazardous ... location where it posed a hazard; and failed “to provide any adequate warning to the hazard ... posed by the hazard.”

The lawsuit refers to the slippery patch as “the Hazard.”

Botosne-Graf is claiming compensation for the cost of insured medical care and treatment, special damages for loss of income — past and future — and general damages.

This is not the first time a “hazard” at Superstore has cost its publicly traded, Toronto-based parent company.

In December 2012, a Pelly Crossing woman who fell inside the supermarket won $26,000 in damages from Loblaws.

The 61-year-old tripped on a dolly near the customer service desk, fracturing her right knee in the 2006 incident.

Yukon Supreme Court Justice Leigh Gower said the Superstore breached its duty of care to protect customers from “reasonably foreseeable” hazards.

The damages doled out and legal costs incurred represent a drop in the ocean of income by Loblaws annually, with net earnings of $650 million nationwide in 2012.

Willard Phelps, a former territorial politician, also took a nasty fall on a slippery Superstore floor several years ago and launched legal action.

CommentsAdd a comment


Feb 13, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Judit:  You live in Yukon.  Walker beware.  We get snow, sleet, ice, rain, and flooding here and YOU have to take care of yourself and not expect every business or other organization in town to pave your way around.  Can’t take the ice?  Then stay out of the freezer.

sign of the times

Feb 13, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Gone are the days of personal accountability for anything. While I dislike Superstore as much as the next guy, I am saddened at the lack of responsibility taken by people today. We’ve become like the United States where we can sue for anything we feel we have been wronged by. Spill a cup of what you know is hot coffee on yourself? Sue. Drop a container of hot soup out of a microwave on yourself? Sue. Trip over something? Sue. Slip off the curb or your neighbor’s sidewalk? Sue. And we and the courts allow it.

I am so sorry for this individual’s pain and continued discomfort - I am sure that is not easy to live with. However, what happened to walking safely particularly when icy conditions are obvious, wearing proper footware, and exercising YOUR OWN “duty of care to protect YOURSELF from “reasonably foreseeable” hazards?

June Jackson

Feb 13, 2014 at 6:57 pm

While I am sorry anyone got hurt.. ice and snow is part of living in the north..I see people every day in runners or flats, no hats, just jackets.

I realize that sometime, no matter how much care you take, a slip and fall might be inevitable..lucky it was in a place where money is to be had..


Feb 13, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Looking for a handout.
Its the Yukon, most of everyone expects lots of ice and snow in the winter months.


Feb 14, 2014 at 3:37 pm

I guess there is no ice in Dawson?? Or maybe slipping in Dawson doesn’t have the same pay out. Have to come down to the big smoke in Whitehorse for that.

Yes and No

Feb 14, 2014 at 5:08 pm

I agree with all of the previous posters who feel that this is an issue that should fall under ‘Personal Responsiblity’ and I don’t think that a person should be able to sue over a slip and fall in icy conditions, in a place where snow and ice are very commonplace.

HOWEVER… Superstore is unreasonably negligent in that they let the jerks who feel they are too important to park in parking spaces, idle their vehicles in the fire lane. It is clearly marked ‘No Parking’ and yet taxis, personal vehicles, and large delivery trucks park here routinely. Almost always, they block the ramp to the side of the main doors, to allow for carts and wheelchairs to get down to the parking lot level. This is a HUGE hazard that I think Superstore should be more vigilant with and I think it’s only a matter of time before someone walks out between those ignorant parkers and get smacked by another crappy driver doing 35km/h in the one lane left for traffic.


Feb 14, 2014 at 5:15 pm

The same thing happened in Watson Lake. A lady went to the annual fireworks display on Halloween night. Halloween is in late October right….... we had snow, melt, freeze, melt, rain, freeze I think you get the idea. She sued and won because the gravel parking lot wasn’t graveled or salted. However it had been plowed.
We live in the land of unpredictable weather. People that don’t like it should leave. For us real northerners we know what to expect…the unexpected.


Feb 15, 2014 at 5:56 am

You don’t need to win lotto max when a frivilous law suit will do.Typical Yukon hand out syndrome.Try that that in the USSR & see where it gets you.A trip to the gulag for starters.

Bev Baker

Feb 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm

There is a law that businesses are to keep the front of their business free of ice.  IT IS THE LAW and a penalty is assigned to those who do not heed that law.  It is the same law that says home owners are to clear the public walk way in front of our homes.  So to all you nay sayers it is the law.  While the pedestrian must do their due diligence in care in watching for hazard the retail outlets must do their due diligence as well.  Sorry folks, that law is all over the country and it should not matter if you live in the Yukon or not or if their is snow or not.  IT is the LAW.

no handouts here. It's part of living in the Nort

Feb 17, 2014 at 10:02 am

I fell this weekend at a store.  Am I going to sue?  No, we live in a place where falling is a common thing due to weather conditions.

Am I going to be annoyed that stores keep putting in that flooring that if you have the slightest amount of water on it, its as bad as ice (and no footwear can protect you from falling on it), yes…Yes, now that I have fallen for my first time in years and have a giant bruise!! 

I’m also going to be annoyed at the person who didn’t clean off their boots when they walked in the doorway and left a pile of melted snow at the other end of the store and caused me to fall and feel embarassed! By the Valentines crap that I was trying to avoid all day Friday.  It could be partly karma.

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