March 28, 2018

Beard Winter LLP is successful in validating waivers at the Ontario Court of Appeal

Beard Winter LLP is successful in validating waivers at the Ontario Court of Appeal

Written by: John A. Olah

TORONTO (CANADA), March 28, 2018 – Today, the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision in two separate Superior Court rulings – Schnarr v. Blue Mountain Resorts Ltd. and Woodhouse v. Snow Valley.

Beard Winter LLP litigators John Olah and Robert Betts were co-counsel for Blue Mountain Resorts.

In allowing Blue Mountain’s appeal, the Court held that sections 7 and 9 of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) undermined the purpose of section 3 of the Occupiers’ Liability Act.  As the Court noted “[t]he statutes are irreconcilable and conflict”.  In order to resolve this conflict, the Court of Appeal applied the more specific provisions of the Occupiers’ Liability Act over the general provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.  The result of the decision is that sections 7 and 9 of the CPA cannot be used to strike down an otherwise valid liability waiver.

“We are delighted with the outcome on behalf of our client Blue Mountain Resorts. This is a victory for the operators of sports and recreation businesses in Ontario and is precedent-setting,” said Beard Winter LLP litigation partners John Olah and Robert Betts.

Beard Winter LLP has years of experience in defending personal injury litigation on behalf of recreational facilities, sports associations, equipment manufacturers, municipalities and conservation authorities. The firm has acted on some of the leading cases in Ontario in the context of recreational liability including successfully defeating claims based on liability waivers both at trial and on summary judgment.

Do you have questions about this topic? Email Robert Betts at or call him at 416-306-1763 or email John Olah at or call him at 416-306-1818.

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