In Hennes v. City of Brampton, 2014 ONSC 1116 (S.C.J.), the plaintiff slipped and fell on an icy sidewalk. He did not give notice until 18 months after the fall, contrary to s. 44(10) which provides for a 10 day notice period. The plaintiff admitted he knew the City owned and maintained the sidewalk and that ice caused his fall. He claimed he had a reasonable excuse for failing to give notice as he did not know how serious his injuries were until months after the fall.
The Court did not accept that the plaintiff had a reasonable excuse; he did not seek advice about his rights or obligations for over a year after a claim was apparent. In addition, the plaintiff bore the onus to show the Municipality was not prejudiced by the failure to give notice, and he failed to do so. The plaintiff did not take timely photographs, and had not disclosed the contact information or a summary of a potential witness. The action was dismissed.
Hennes is a good example of how the new summary judgment rule can be used to dispose of a claim at an early stage.