Municipal Statutory Immunity

Posted by Johannes Schenk on March 5th, 2009 — Posted in Municipal Law

This non-placement of traffic signage was recently examined by the Alberta Court of Appeal in, Southland Transportation Ltd. v. Calgary (City), 2008 ABCA 321. The case considers section 533 of the Municipal Government Act that provides that the City is not liable for damage resulting from the absence of a traffic control device.

The lower Court dismissed the plaintiff’s case on a summary trial hearing on the basis that that it was obvious that the plaintiff’s case would fail in the face of section 533 protection. The Court of Appeal held that it was not obvious that the case would fail and that the application of section 533 was a matter for the trial Court to determine in a trial of the matter. The case has a useful summary of the law regarding traffic sign placement issues, policy decision protection and the relation between statutory protection and common law duties imposed on the municipality.

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