Sudbury

Greater Sudbury appeals $12M lawsuit win for woman injured in car crash

The City of Greater Sudbury is appealing a court decision that would see it pay $12 million to a woman injured in a car crash 15 years ago.

Case dates back to head-on crash on MR35 in 2000

A car crash on this stretch of Municipal Road 35 between Sudbury and Azilda in the year 2000 sparked a $12 million lawsuit against the city. (Erik White/CBC )

The City of Greater Sudbury is appealing a court decision that would see it pay $12 million to a woman injured in a car crash 15 years ago.

That's how much Judge Robbie Gordon awarded last month to Lisa Marie Belanger, who was severely injured in a head-on crash on Nov. 22, 2000.

Gordon ruled that the municipality, which at the time was the Region of Sudbury, did not properly plow and salt the road, which caused Belanger's car to cross the centre line and hit a school bus.

He found that the region "failed to meet its maintenance quality standards ... without maintenance activity for over three hours."

But in court, the city argued that Belanger was "grossly negligent" in how she was driving that day on what is now called Municipal Road 35, between Sudbury and Azilda, based on the fact that no other drivers lost control.

In his ruling, Gordon wrote that he had "some difficulty arriving at that conclusion." And, given the time that has passed from the day of the accident, not every witness had a "vivid memory" of what happened.

When Belanger's Mazda crossed the centre line and hit the bus, the 20-year-old was severely injured and, according to Gordon's ruling, "her life and the lives of those closest to her changed forever."​

Belanger's lawyer Claude Lacroix said he wasn't surprised by the appeal, but had no further comment, as this 15 year old case is still before the courts.

There is no word on when the appeal will be heard. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now