A woman who said she was thrown from her motorized scooter and severely injured after driving through an unmarked construction zone on Victoria Avenue is suing the City of Brandon and Manitoba Hydro.
In a statement of claim filed in Brandon Court of Queen’s Bench in April, Wendy Bishop stated the City of Brandon and Manitoba Hydro breached their duty of care by failing to ensure the sidewalk was reasonably safe for public use, as well as warn the public of potential safety hazards while construction was taking place.
On May 2, 2016, Bishop, who suffers chronic limited mobility and uses a motorized scooter to get around, was travelling west in the 3700 block of Victoria Avenue along a sidewalk where Manitoba Hydro was performing construction work when she drove into a large, unmarked hole and was thrown from her scooter, the statement read.
Bishop suffered serious injuries to her left ankle and leg, including a broken tibia and ankle, bruising and swelling. Her ankle required surgery, the statement said, and recovery demanded extensive physiotherapy and medication.
"The plaintiff suffered special damages such as cost of treatment, medication and transportation to and from medical appointments," the statement said.
"(She) had to hire help for assistance with matters she could no longer do on her own as a result of her pre-existing disability and of the injury, including house cleaning and driving. The injuries she sustained have caused pain and suffering, which affect her ability to enjoy a normal life and active lifestyle."
When contacted by The Brandon Sun, Bishop’s lawyer said she didn’t wish to comment further on the incident.
According to the statement, the sidewalk was open for public use while construction was ongoing and there were no caution or warning signs present, nor were there any flag persons or workers on scene at the time of the accident.
"The area was dug up and rough, with large horizontal panels strewn about," the statement read.
As the owner of the roadway, Bishop stated in her claim that the City of Brandon was responsible for ensuring it was reasonably safe for public use in all circumstances.
As an independent contractor hired by the City of Brandon, Manitoba Hydro also had a responsibility to warn the public of potential safety hazards and dangerous situations created by the utility construction work, the statement said.
Both defendants were "severely negligent" in failing to provide signage or notice there was a large hole dug in the ground on the sidewalk, failing to ensure the hole was repaired in a timely manner, and by abandoning the work site before it was fully and properly made safe for public access, the statement said.
"(The defendants) failed to take into account that the path was open to disabled users of motorized scooters and accordingly had to be especially clear of holes, bumps, obstacles and similar hazards," the statement said.
A spokesperson for the City of Brandon said that as the matter in question is before the courts, it cannot offer any comment at this time.
Manitoba Hydro also declined to comment.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
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