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The collapsed platform at Fort Gibraltar, in Winnipeg.
Gavin Boutroy (View profile)
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In a court document, the City of Winnipeg denies any responsibility for injuries suffered by a young person during a school outing. A walkway at Fort Gibraltar collapsed last May, injuring 18 people.
The incident occurred on May 31, 2023. Seventeen children and an adult were taken to hospital after the structure collapsed. The parents of one of the injured children are suing the City of Winnipeg and Festival du Voyageur as its litigation guardians.
The lawsuit claims the child suffered serious physical injuries and is at risk of permanent disability.
The City of Winnipeg , which owns Whittier Park where Fort Gibraltar is located, is asking the court to dismiss the boy's parents' lawsuit with costs. The City has no knowledge of the victim's alleged injuries and therefore expressly denies them, the document states.
The defense was prepared by lawyer Neil Searles of the firm Zuber & Company LLP in Toronto. City spokesperson Kalen Qually says he cannot comment on this specific case, but notes that it is relatively common for legal departments to hire outside lawyers.
For example, a case might require specialized or technical expertise, or a level of resources that exceeds the capacity of the internal department, he says.
There are also cases where the City does not choose its external lawyer, when a case requires the involvement of a third-party insurer. In these cases, the insurer would choose the external lawyer, he continues.
No act or omission on the part of the City of Winnipeg was the cause of the plaintiff's legally compensable loss or damage, the defense states. If the plaintiff has suffered losses or damages, these are the result of the actions of other parties or are the result of the negligence of the plaintiff himself.
Furthermore, the defense states, if the plaintiff suffered the damages or injuries alleged in the motion, such damages or injuries are excessive, too indirect and not recoverable at law.
Additionally, the City of Winnipeg asserts that to the extent the applicant was entitled to benefits under insurance, it is relieved of the amount of benefits available.
She also claims that she was not responsible for the condition of the property, the activities carried out on the property and the people who were authorized to enter the property.
The City also denies that it was an occupant within the meaning of the Occupiers’ Liability Act. It denies that its employees or agents were negligent or breached a duty of care owed to the plaintiff.
The City of Winnipeg contends, elsewhere, that she did not know, and should not have known, that the bridge was not safe.
She also denies that the last time the footbridge was repaired was in 2004 and that its last inspection was in 2006.
In June, the carrier word from the City of Winnipeg David Driedger said municipal records indicate the wooden building was last inspected in 2006.
According to the City, permits were issued for repairs including the replacement of rotten beams and posts in 2004.
The Festival du Voyageur, which manages Fort Gibraltar, filed its defense in mid-November. He also claims not to be responsible for the injuries suffered by the child.
The Festival announced the demolition of the fort during its annual general meeting this fall . The organization ensures that the winter festival will still take place next February, before launching consultations for the redevelopment of the site.
Gavin Boutroy (View profile)