Judge Robbie Gordon awarded $12 million to Lisa Marie Belanger after she was involved in a head-on crash back on November 22, 2000.
It was decided that on that day, the Region of Sudbury (now City of Greater Sudbury) failed to properly plow and salt the road. This played a major role in the incident that saw Belanger’s car cross the centre line and collide with a school bus.
As mentioned HERE by CBC News Gordon declared that Sudbury “failed to meet its maintenance quality standards … without maintenance activity for over three hours.”
Sudbury, however, argued that the woman was “grossly negligent” in how she handled herself on Municipal Road 35. They pointed out that no other drivers lost control during the weather that saw a few centimetres of snow hit the ground on day that saw temperatures drop to -16C. Many motorists reported difficulty with braking, as several centimetres of snow had built up on that stretch of road, indicating that had been neglected by maintenance crews.
A civil engineer argued that what likely happened on 35 was that the road salt that had been previously laid down melted and then refroze due to the cold temperatures, thus turning the route into a skating rink.
Do you think Gordon deserves this payout? Is it possible for an accident on the road to not be the fault of the motorists involved?