The family of 77-year-old Yuen Yen "Benny" Wong — who has been in intensive care for the past three months after being trampled by a runaway horse — is suing the PNE for damages, both for the massive brain injury he suffered as a result of the incident and to pay for future medical care.
Wong, a retired cook for B.C. Ferries, is now unable to walk and is hooked up to a feeding tube.
On August 22, Wong and his wife Miu Yee Wong were visiting the PNE, as they do every year. The couple was walking near the entrance when a horse came charging towards them very quickly, Miu Yee Wong told the CBC through a translator.
"It jumped up on my husband — the horse kicked, and my husband crashed to the ground," she said.
A witness who captured pictures of the event, John Sharon, said it was horrifying to watch: "I've never seen a man go from vertical to horizontal faster in my life."
It is believed the horse escaped after someone working at the PNE left a gate unlatched. The horse ran out of its stall just after participating in a cattle-penning event, according to PNE spokesperson Laura Ballance. When staff tried to corral the animal, it broke into a gallop.
Wong's lawyer, Robyn Wishart, said his condition will never improve and that he will need care for the rest of his life.
"He suffered a catastrophic brain injury and will likely never be able to care for himself."
The PNE has not filed a response to the civil claim, and says it will not comment on the suit as the case is before the courts.