In Simmons v. Yeager Property Inc., the Plaintiff was injured when tripping over a difference in height between a concrete landing and a patio deck. The Defendant had a sign which read, “watch your step please”, however the words “watch step” were faded, and were difficult to read. Although the Plaintiff was mostly liable for the accident, the Court did find the Defendant to be 25% liable for allowing some of the words on the sign to fade. The British Columbia Court of Appeal would eventually overturn this ruling. Please click here for the judgment.
 In my opinion, the presence of white paint demarcating the patio step was not a sufficient warning, as the patio step was quite different in nature from the both the front and back stairs, and it was also sloping along its edge so that its height varied from two to four inches. In addition, with a patio table and chairs in front of it, the entire painted edge may not have been visible to customers approaching from the back stairs as the plaintiff did. As the defendants must have considered, it was necessary to specifically alert customers to the presence of this step with warning signs. Here, the warning sign that was most visible to the plaintiff was ineffective due to wear and tear.
 The plaintiff says that the measures taken by the defendants after this incident, which were easily done and inexpensive, show that the previous measures were insufficient to make the premises reasonably safe. As with evidence of prior safe use, evidence of what is done after the fact is also a factor to consider in assessing whether the area at the time of the incident was reasonably safe. After the fact conduct is not an admission of negligence, but it may establish that measures were taken which converted an unsafe area into a reasonably safe one, and it may also establish the ease or difficulty with which a risk may have been avoided: see Cahoon at para. 21; O’Leary v Rupert, 2010 BCSC 240 at paras. 47-48.
 In re-painting the edges of all stairs and the patio step in yellow paint, and replacing the red, black and white warning signs with yellow and black signs, the defendants enhanced the safety of the premises. However, other than replacing the faded warning sign, I do not consider that these changes show the previous measures to have been insufficient to alert customers to the change in level at the patio step.
 I find that the ineffective warning sign is evidence of a prima facie breach of the Occupiers Liability Act. In these circumstances, the defendants may refute the breach by leading evidence that they had put into place a reasonable system of inspection and maintenance that was being followed at the time of the accident: Newsham at para. 131, citing Atkins v. Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. (1998), 61 BCLR (3d) 183; and Davis v Kin’s Farm Market (Lynn Valley), 2010 BCSC 677.