Gelowitz v. Revelstoke (City), 2022 BCSC 46
Stephen Gibson and Alex Sayn-Wittgenstein successfully represented firefighter Aaron Gelowitz who suffered catastrophic injuries when he struck his head on a submerged tree stump after diving from shore into Williamson Lake. Mr. Gelowitz fractured his C6 vertebra and suffered an associated spinal cord injury. The claim alleged that the City of Revelstoke was partially liable for Mr. Gelowitz’s injuries. Among other things, Mr. Gibson and Mr. Sayn-Wittgenstein argued that the city failed to appropriately place and properly maintain signage warning against diving and advising of underwater hazards at the site where the accident occurred. Further, they argued that the city owed a duty of care to park users to warn of hazards associated with the use of park facilities, including hazards associated with water activities in the lake. After weighing the evidence, the court held that the city was negligent in failing to take reasonable steps to protect Mr. Gelowitz’s safety and should have done more. Justice Horsman found the city 35% liable for the injuries. The case is being appealed by the City with a hearing set for the fall of 2022.
Read the case: Gelowitz v. Revelstoke (City), 2022 BCSC 46
Media coverage of the case can be viewed at the links below.
Global News: Revelstoke 35% to blame after firefighter injured in lake dive, court finds
Surrey Now-Leader: Revelstoke found partly responsible in dive that left Surrey firefighter injured: lawsuit
Revelstoke Review: Man suing city, resort after diving incident resulting in serious injury
Infotel: Judge finds Revelstoke partly at blame after tourist seriously injured diving into lake
Canadian Underwriter: The case for tracking your risk advice