Municipalities Found Liable for Dangerous Road Causing Crash
Our client was a 19 year-old college student who was driving to a movie with her 17 year-old sister and a group of friends. They were driving on a hilly road that had recently been resurfaced and had no painted centre line. As our client was about to crest the steepest hill on the road she encountered the headlights of another car driving in the opposition direction. The headlights looked like they were coming right at her. She steered to the right to avoid a head on collision. She managed to avoid the other car but lost control of her vehicle, left the roadway and struck a culvert. Both our client and her sister suffered high level spinal cord injuries leaving them with complete quadriplegia. We sued the municipalities responsible for maintaining the road and discovered a number of things. We discovered that the road deflected to the right at the top of the steep hill. This was a dangerous roadway feature because it gave the impression to drivers in both directions that oncoming vehicles were in their lane even when they were not. We discovered that the municipalities had identified the need for a centre line on this road many years before the collision but had neglected to paint the road. The case went to trial. The trial Judge found that the municipalities had breached their duty to keep the road in a state of reasonable repair. The municipalities appealed to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court but the appeals were dismissed. Our young client ultimately recovered over $4.7 million to compensate her for her pain and suffering, loss of income and the cost of her future care.