The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa. Photo: The Canadian Press

The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa. Photo: The Canadian Press

City of Nelson appeals sidewalk injury case to Supreme Court of Canada

Appeal decision was advised by insurers, city says

The City of Nelson is appealing a snowbank injury case to the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) after losing at the B.C. Court of Appeal in January.

Taryn Marchi, then 28, injured her knee trying to step through a snowbank on the 300 block of Baker Street on Jan. 6, 2015. She was sent to Kootenay Lake Hospital and later transferred to Kelowna.

Marchi sued the city, stating it should have left openings in the snowbank to permit safe access between parked cars and the sidewalk, and that this lack of access led to her injury.

She lost at the B.C. Supreme Court level and then appealed to the B.C. Court of Appeal, where the court decided in her favour.

The next and final level of appeal is the SCC, to which the city has appealed.

Nelson’s city manager Kevin Cormack said he could not comment on the case except to say, “We act on the advice of our insurers.”

The SCC screens applications for civil cases and accepts very few. In 2018 the court accepted eight per cent of applications. (There are some categories of criminal cases and appeals by provinces that are automatically accepted and are not included in that statistic.)

A hearing date has not been set.

This is the second time in five years that the City of Nelson will appear before SCC judges, the first being its victory in a “squatters rights” case, Nelson v. Mowatt, in 2017. That case involved a complex issue of land ownership that goes back several decades.


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