GREER ET AL V. KURTZ ET AL

On March 2, 2003, Donald Greer’s life tragically changed forever when he was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident on an icy highway near Hamilton.  Mr. Greer was catastrophically brain-injured in the collision.

Summary

On March 3, 2003, a flash freeze caused Highway 5 to become icy near Waterdown, Ontario. Donald was travelling on Highway 5 with his dog, on the way to his job as a security guard when he suddenly lost control. The vehicle swerved but Donald was able to regain control for a stretch. When Donald lost control for a second time, he was not so lucky. His vehicle slid into the path of another vehicle. Donald’s truck was broadsided by the oncoming car at his driver’s door in the middle of the highway. Donald suffered catastrophic brain injuries and will never be able to work again.

The City of Hamilton and IMOS who were jointly responsible to clear the roadway were both sued, as was the oncoming driver, for failing to slow. The case against the City of Hamilton and IMOS settled before trial with those defendants paying jointly the sum of $3,500,000.00*.

Donald’s case against the oncoming vehicle went to trial. Donald was successful. The owner and operator of the other vehicle were found to be partially responsible. This resulted in Donald recovering a further $1,300,000.00*. Together with the settlement of his no-fault benefits in the amount of $1,800,000.00*, inclusive of past benefits, Donald recovered $6,600,000.00*. With these monies, Donald has been able to afford proper treatment and care. Donald has since married a woman he met following the accident and is now a proud father.

While Donald’s injuries will continue to affect him for his whole life, he has learned how to enjoy a meaningful life as a husband and father.

Judgement

Appeal Decision

“The trial judge simply held that Mr. Kurtz should have slowed his vehicle more than he did and that his failure to do so meant that the speed of impact was greater than it otherwise would have been.” [para.10]

“Finally, the trial judge’s impugned negligence finding is not related to avoidance of the accident.  As we have said, it is directed to Mr. Kurtz’s failure to slow his vehicle adequately, the result of which was to make the force of the collision greater than it otherwise would have been.  This is negligence.” [para.11]

*Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results and the amount recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.

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