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Woman denied access to bathroom due to disability

If you have a disability, you deserve all the same rights as anyone else. What about when it comes to a business’s liability, though? Should you be able to risk an injury that could result in a business being liable? Is that possible if you acknowledge the risk to yourself?

The way premises liability works is that a business owner or homeowner has to inform those who enter the premises about dangers or hazards to their health or remove those hazards. In this case, a business owner told a woman with spina bifida that she could not use a restroom that was downstairs because of the risk of the woman falling. The owner believed that if the woman fell, the facility would be liable for her injuries.

Typically, that’s not how personal injury lawsuits work, and it’s why the woman has filed a human right’s complaint against the bar. Those with disabilities are supposed to have the same access as others to restrooms and facilities; in this case, it was only one person refusing to allow her to go down the stairs, even though she acknowledged the danger to herself, releasing the business of liability.

If you have a case where a business owner didn’t tell you about the risk of going up or down stairs that were damaged or didn’t have railings, wet floors or other concerns, then you may have a liability case. On the other hand, if you acknowledge those hazards and still choose to proceed, that’s when the business may not be able to be held liable, depending on your case’s specifics.

Source: Now Toronto, “Woman with Spina Bifida Filing Human Rights Complaint Against Danforth Bar,” Aaron Broverman, Aug. 31, 2016

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