QUEEN’S PARK – Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller is trying to get support for a Private Members Bill he has introduced.

Called the Occupiers’ Liability Amendment Act, the bill shortens the amount of time a person can make a claim in a slip and fall lawsuit from two years to just ten days.

It matches the time-frame currently in place for municipally managed property.

Miller said in a statement that the bill will ensure fairness and equality for all occupiers of land.

“This proposed legislation comes primarily as a result of conversations I have had with business owners and other residents who have approached me with concerns about frivolous lawsuits and excessive insurance premiums,” said Miller. “This includes small businesses like the snow removal company Wes Finch & Sons in Bracebridge, who talked about just how expensive and hard it is to get insurance.”

 Currently, businesses are exposed to a lawsuit for up to two years after a slip and fall incident due to snow and ice, without even knowing that someone had been injured on their property.

 He said it costs businesses a lot to defend themselves in such cases because finding witnesses or getting video evidence is tough after that much time passing.

 Reducing the statute of limitations to ten days for slip and fall cases will make it easier for businesses in Ontario to defend themselves and it will reduce the backlog of cases in the courts.

 A co-MPP of Miller, Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie-Springwater-Ore-Medonte agrees the time is right for the bill.

 “This bill has really touched on something that deals with things that I’ve run into as a lawyer,” said Downey. “I endorse this 100%. I think it’s a prudent thing to do. It actually is a benefit to people who are plaintiffs and it’s a benefit to people who will be defendants—and let the courts sort it out.”