Family of Winnipeg teacher who died on field trip sues school division
Darcee Gosselin, 40, died on a field trip in May 2016
The family of a Winnipeg teacher who died from heat stroke on a school field trip last year is suing the school division that employed her.
On May 5, 2016, she was chaperoning a day trip with Grade 11 and 12 students when she collapsed and died in the Spirit Sands area of Spruce Woods Provincial Park, about 140 kilometres west of Winnipeg.
Record high temperatures were measured across southern Manitoba that day. Less than 30 kilometres away, in Carberry, the temperature reached 33.3 C.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
In a statement of claim filed on Aug. 10, Gosselin's family alleges her employer, the St. James-Assiniboia School Division, failed to train her on safe work procedures and didn't develop an adequate safety plan for the trip.
The family is claiming more than $40,000 in special and general damages, split between her parents and other family members.
Donald Ernst, one of the lawyers representing the Gosselin family, said "this is a difficult time for the entire family." Ernst stressed that Darcee's death has impacted many people.
St.James-Assiniboia School Division said in an email the event was tragic but declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The division has not filed its statement of defence.
Duty of care
According to the statement of claim, Gosselin was in good health before she died.
The document states the school division owed Gosselin a duty of care and had the responsibility to educate her on the hazards of heat stress, review weather conditions and cancel the trip if necessary.
"Darcee died during the field trip from hyperthermia (heat stroke) caused by the above wrongful acts, neglect and/or default for which the [division] is responsible," the statement of claim reads.
Last month, Gosselin's parents told CBC News their daughter should not have been in the desert-like area that day.
"We were in shock, we thought 'No, this can't be happening,'" Vicki Gosselin, Darcee Gosselin's mother, told CBC at the time.
With files from Holly Caruk