Indemnification need not be specific

Is an indemnification clause enforceable, even if it is not specific? Yes, says the British Columbia Court of Appeal.

The case centres on an injury that occurred on a school walkway during a Highland Games event at a school rented by the Sons of Scotland club in Delta, B.C. Visitors, participants and volunteers used the school washroom during the games.

The court notes: “Both of the parties contemplated that the participants, volunteers and spectators would make use of the exterior areas leading to the cafeteria” and that this interpretation does not create a “commercial absurdity.”

The court held that: “Even if the term “Facilities” only applied to the interior of the school, the plaintiff was a person addressed in the indemnity clause as someone who was permitted by the Sons of Scotland to use those Facilities, which included using the means of ingress and egress (the exterior walkway leading to the cafeteria entrance).”

Shelton-Johnson v. Delta School District No. 37, 2012 BCCA 439, per Tysoe, J.A. [3982]

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