No reason to question veracity of records made in ordinary course of business

Civil Practice and Procedure – Summary judgment – Requirement to show no triable issue

Plaintiff claimed damages for injuries following slip and fall on sidewalk owned by defendant city in front of defendant numbered company's property, which had contracted snow removal and salting to defendant landscaper. Aware of icy conditions, plaintiff fell at about 7:30 a.m. on what she called ice-covered sidewalk, but landscaper's records indicated in addition to its trucks working on site, representative attended numbered company's property from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. performing handwork, using five bags of salt, and noting that conditions were “ice”, “slippery”, and “melting”. On consent, claims against defendants other than city were dismissed pursuant to their summary judgment motion. City brought motion for summary judgment dismissing plaintiff's remaining claim. Motion granted. Claim dismissed. It was proportionate, more expeditious and less expensive to deal with plaintiff's claim by way of summary judgment. Most evidence was undisputed. Additional evidence about weather conditions leading up to incident would not be of significance and as such did not make weather genuine issue requiring trial. While plaintiff submitted landscaper's business records regarding work done on numbered company's property were not under oath and therefore should be given little weight, plaintiff did not cross-examine landscaper in response to its summary judgment motion as to accuracy of its business records. There was no reason to question veracity of records which appeared to have been made in ordinary course of business. City was entitled to rely on documents and plaintiff must do more than simply speculate they might not be accurate for there to be genuine issue requiring trial. Evidence did not specifically indicate that incident area was cleared and salted, but plaintiff did not avail herself of opportunity to cross-examine landscaper. Additional evidence about landscaper's services in incident area was not essential and did not give rise to genuine issue requiring trial.

Vargas v. Hamilton (City) (2020), 2020 CarswellOnt 913, 2020 ONSC 38, R.B. Reid J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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