Landowner Liability

Landowners should be familiar with the NS Occupiers' Liability Act. Breach of your duty of care under this Act could result in an injured person collecting 'damages' or compensation from you with no limit as to the amount. All of your assets are liable to pay.

Tests applied to determine whether or not duty of care was breached, include:

  • was the danger an 'unusual danger'?
  • if the danger was unusual, did the landowner know of it, or ought to have known of it?
  • did the landowner use reasonable care to prevent damage?
  • did the entrant use reasonable care for their own safety?

The Occupiers' Liability Act states that a landowner owes a duty to take reasonable care to make sure any person coming on his or her land is reasonably safe [s.4(1)].

This duty applies to [s.4(2)] :

  • the condition of the premises;
  • activities on the premises;
  • conduct of third parties on the premises.

Factors to be taken into consideration include [s.4(3)]:

  • the knowledge that the occupier has or ought to have of the likelihood of persons or property being on the premises;
  • the circumstances of the entry into the premises;
  • the age of the person entering the premises;
  • the ability of the person entering the premises to appreciate the danger;
  • the effort made by the occupier to give warning of the danger concerned or to discourage persons from incurring the risk; and
  • whether the risk is one against which, in all the circumstances of the case, the occupier may reasonably be expected to offer some protection.

You may want to consult a lawyer with regard to specific liability issues and concerns.


Full text of the Occupiers' Liability Act
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