Construction Company found Primarily at fault for causing Car Crash

Tien Sher didn’t follow any of the recommended guidelines in the Traffic Manual for work on Roadways produced by the Ministry of Transportation when it obstructed a permanent stop sign by blue construction fence and placed a temporary stop sign into the angular part of the fence, and as a result, on Friday, Mr. Justice Skolrood, found it primarily responsible for a 2008 motor vehicle accident.

Mrs. Channa's westbound view as she proceeded on 107A.  The permanent stop sign is located well within the fence.

Mrs. Channa’s westbound view as she proceeded on 107A. The permanent stop sign is located well within the fence. The temporary sign was not visible to motorists.

Jiwa Law Corporation represented the primary plaintiff in the case, Mrs. Channa. On November 21, 2008, Mrs. Channa did not see any stop signs as she proceeded into the intersection at 107A and East Whalley Ring Road. As a result, she was involved in a serious collision with another motorist. Mrs. Channa was trapped in her vehicle after impact and had to be extricated by the Jaws of Life.  The most serious of her injuries was a pelvic fracture and has not been able to work  since the collision.

Mr. Justice Skolrood held:

[110]     In the case at bar, I find that Tien Sher bears primary responsibility for the accident. It is clear from the evidence that the temporary stop sign, which again was in fact a flag person’s paddle, was placed on the construction fence at a point where the line of the fence had already started to curve to the right or to the north. As such, it was not visible to vehicles travelling west on 107A Avenue until just before those vehicles actually enter the intersection with Ring Road.

[111]     Further, the size and placement of the temporary stop sign was wholly inadequate. As noted, it was much smaller than a normal or permanent stop sign. Moreover, its placement on the fence at an awkward downward pointing angle would not necessarily signal to drivers that it was intended to function as a regular stop sign and to control west bound traffic on 107A Avenue.

[112]     It is particularly telling that Mr. Pereira and Mr. Mossey, employees of the City, both identified the temporary stop sign as a safety hazard.

[113]     Tien Sher’s failure to ensure proper placement and size of the temporary stop sign was compounded by its failure to provide drivers with advance warning of the sign. Such advance warning would have been a reasonable and prudent measure in the circumstances, given that the temporary sign was located well away from where the permanent stop sign was situated and, again, was obscured to drivers.

[114]     In the circumstances, I find that Tien Sher’s conduct created an objectively unreasonable risk of harm to drivers of vehicles proceeding west on 107A Avenue towards the intersection…..I find further that Tien Sher’s negligence caused the accident in that but for its conduct, the accident would not have occurred…..In this regard, I accept Ms. Channa’s evidence that had she seen a stop sign, she would have stopped before entering the intersection.
……

[124]     I have already found that Tien Sher bears primary responsibility for the accident. It’s failure to comply with the minimum standards set out in the Manual, due in large measure to the fact that its designated safety officer did not even know of the Manual’s existence, its failure to erect adequate, or any, warning signs, and its wholly inadequate placement and sizing of the temporary stop sign demonstrates a disregard for the safety of drivers using 107A Avenue and constitutes conduct that is significantly more blameworthy than that of Ms. Channa.

The entirety of the decision can be read here.

Read the article in The Province here.

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