No more waivering on waivers
The Ontario Court of Appeal recently considered the balancing of interests between occupiers and users of recreational facilities. The Consumer Protection Act precludes suppliers from obtaining waivers in a “consumer agreement” from its obligation to provide a warranty that the subject of the transaction is of “reasonably acceptable quality.”
Two actions were joined for the purposes of the appeal as they dealt with a common issue. Both Schnarr and Woodhouse suffered injuries at ski resorts after purchasing a ski ticket from the respective resorts. Both claimants had signed the waiver of liability and both sued for damages. The Appeal came from the motion court decisions in both instances. In the motions court, in the Schnarr matter, the motion’s judge held that the Blue Mountain waiver partially offended insofar as it purported to waive liability in contract, and was void and severed from the consumer contract. In the Woodhouse matter, the motion’s judge held that the Snow Valley waiver was void in both in tort and contract.
This paper examines this decision and its impacts.