Claims

The City of Westmount’s Legal Services and City Clerk’s Office manage all claims filed against the City of Westmount. An individual who claims to have suffered damages for which the City is liable may file a claim in order to receive compensation for the damages incurred.

IMPORTANT: A notice given by phone or verbally does not constitute an adequate notice as per the Cities and Towns Act. A claim must be notified in writing to the City Clerk.

It is suggested that the claimant notify his or her personal insurance company, if any, of any damage or injury suffered.

In order for the municipality to be required to indemnify the claimant, there must be a fault on the part of the City, as well as a causal link between the fault and the damage or injuries suffered.

The City must receive a written notice within 15 days following the date of the accident. It is the responsibility of claimant to make sure that the City of Westmount has received the claim within the deadline.

The notice of claim must contain the following information:

  • The first and last names of the claimant;
  • The address, phone number, and email address of the claimant;
  • The date and location of the accident;
  • The details of the damages suffered; and
  • The indemnity sought and its value.

The claimant must send to the City all supporting documents, such as photographs, invoices and/or estimates of the repairs, as soon as they become available.

Other than for safety measures, the claimant shall not modify the condition of the damaged properties, until after the visit of a representative.

Trees and branches

In the case of damages caused by a tree or a branch fallen from a City tree, the City will be responsible and will have to pay a compensation if the City was negligent in how it maintained the tree.

The notice of claim must contain the following information:

  • The first and last names of the claimant;
  • The address, phone number, and email address of the claimant;
  • The date and location of the accident;
  • The details of the injuries suffered; and
  • The indemnity sought and its value.

The claimant must send to the City all supporting documents, such as photographs, invoices and/or estimates of the repairs, as soon as they become available.

As per section 116 of the Automobile Insurance Act (CQLR, Chapter A-15), in the case of automobile accident involving a vehicle of the City, the owner of the damaged vehicle must notify his or her automobile insurer, if applicable, and can only exercise a recourse against the latter.

The notice of claim must include all pertinent documents (photographs, invoices and/or estimate, supporting documents. If the documents are not available at the time of the written notice, they can be forwarded at Legal and City Clerk’s Office subsequently by indicating the file number, if any, or the name of the claimant and the object of the claim.

Once the notice is received by the Legal Services and City Clerk’s Office, the claimant will receive an acknowledgement of receipt.

Following an investigation, the City or its representative will inform the claimant in writing of the position of the City concerning the claim.

A claimant who is not satisfied by the decision taken by the City following a claim is entitled to undertake legal proceedings against the City.

In the case of damages to movable or immovable property, the claimant has to file for legal action within six (6) months of the day the right of action accrued.

In the case of bodily injuries or damages, the claimant has to file for legal action for damages within three (3) years of the day of the accident.

It is important to note that pursuant to certain statutory provisions of the Cities and Towns Act (CQLR, Chapter C-19) (hereinafter, CTA) and the Automobile Insurance Act (CQLR, Chapter A-15), the City of Westmount cannot be held responsible for damages suffered, among others, in the situations described below:

Objet Legislative provision Description
Expiry of claim period CTA,
ss 585. (2)
“In case of any claim for damages to property, movable or immovable, a […] notice shall also be given to the clerk of the municipality, within 15 days, failing which the municipality shall not be liable for any damages, any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding.”
Snow or ice CTA,
ss 585. (7)
“Notwithstanding any general law or special Act, no municipality may be held liable for damage resulting from an accident, of which any person is the victim, on the sidewalks, streets, roads, walkways or bikeways, by reason of the snow or ice, unless the claimant establishes that the said accident was caused by the negligence or fault of the said municipality, the court having to take into account the weather conditions.”
Sewer back-up CTA,
ss 585. (8)
“No right of action shall lie against the municipality for damages caused by the back‐flow from a sewer to articles, merchandise or effects kept for any purpose in a cellar or basement, if the claimant has already received compensation from the municipality for similar damages caused at the same place and has not subsequently installed there, 30 cm at least from the floor and at a distance of at least 30 cm from the exterior walls, a support on which such articles, merchandise or effects must be kept.”
Object on roadway CTA,
ss 604.1 para 1
“The municipality is not liable for damage caused by the presence of an object on the roadway or on a walkway or bikeway.”
State of the roadway CTA,
ss 604.1 para 2
“Nor is [the municipality] liable for damage caused by the state of the roadway or bikeway to the tires or suspension system of a vehicle.”
Absence of fence CTA,
ss 604.1
“The municipality is not liable for damage resulting from the absence of a fence between the right of way of a street, road, walkway or bikeway and contiguous land.”
Builder or contractor CTA,
ss 604.3
“The municipality is not liable for damage caused through the fault of a builder or contractor to whom building, rebuilding or maintenance work has been entrusted, for the entire duration of such work.”
Automobile accident Automobile Insurance Act, ss 116 “The recourse of the owner of an automobile by reason of property damage sustained in an automobile accident shall not be exercised except against the insurer with whom he subscribed his automobile liability insurance, to the extent that the direct compensation agreement contemplated in section 173 applies.

However, the owner may, if he is not satisfied with the settlement made in accordance with the agreement, exercise such recourse against the insurer in accordance with the ordinary rules of law to the extent that sections 108 to 114 do not derogate therefrom.”

Official statutes always have precedence on the content of the present section. Quebec laws can be consulted on the website of Légis Québec.

To contact us

By mail or in person:
Legal Services and City Clerk
City of Westmount
4333, Sherbrooke Street West
Westmount, Quebec H3Z 1E2

By phone:
514 989-5582

By email:
legal@westmount.org

By fax:
514 989-5270