Two Ontario men attack the “no fault”

News 17 December, 2017
  • Photo archive, Pascal Girard
    When the deadly crash occurred last April on highway 30, Carole Downer was an occupant in the vehicle on the left.

    Antoine Lacroix

    Sunday, December 17, 2017 01:00

    Sunday, December 17, 2017 01:00

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    The daughter and the husband of an Ontario child who died in a face-to-face on the highway 30 are ready to fight up to the supreme Court for the department of Transportation to be held responsible for his death.

    The family of Carol Downer, who died at the age of 56 years old in an accident last April 11 on highway 30, is claiming$ 4 Million from the ministry of Transport of Quebec (MTQ) in punitive damages, according to the lawsuit filed recently that The Newspaper was able to review.

    Photo courtesy

    The car in which took place the mother of this family has been hit near Chateauguay by a car travelling in the opposite direction, killing her almost instantly. Three other people died in the other vehicle. In his report, the coroner John E. Brochu tip of the finger the signage was ” inadequate “.

    “When we were prisoners of the car, I held the hand of my mother until she pushes his last breath. I am privileged to have been able to be there for his last moments, since it has been there for me my whole life, ” says a loud voice, Vanessa Downer.

    Photo courtesy

    Vanessa Downer
    Daughter of the victim


    The 28 year-old has been hospitalized over 51 days, with one hip broken and multiple lacerations. “At the beginning, I wanted to the other driver. In reading the articles on the face-to-face, I understood that it was not his fault. I started to be angry against the department for its negligence, ” she said. The signaling of the sector has been changed in the days following the accident, which, for her, amounts to an admission that there was a problem.

    From his hospital bed, Vanessa is in search of a lawyer who could help him in his cause. During her research, she had understood that the concept of ” no-fault “, which prevents the prosecution, regardless of fault in an automobile accident, would be a major obstacle.

    “After dozens of lawyers contacted, I finally had a firm that wanted to represent me. One engages in a big battle and you know it “, she confesses. For Mrs. Downer, it is unthinkable that you can’t take the MTQ responsible for the death of his mother. She reminds us that the City of

    Photo Pierre-Paul Poulin

    We see a worker that has changed the signaling a few days after the tragedy, following a directive from the ministry of Transport.

    Châteauguay had requested the ministry, in January 2013, to change the signaling.

    “The investigators noted in their report that this site was problematic since the commissioning of the highway 30 “, written to the coroner stating that accidents have occurred over the years.

    The daughter of Carol Downer says it is ready to go to the supreme Court, if necessary. “My mother is worth the fight, he should not be dead in vain. I’m not doing this just for her, I’m doing it for all the world, ” says Vanessa.

    Contacted Thursday afternoon, the MTQ has not been able to provide a response to the lawsuit. The cause should proceed before the courts in 2018.

    “A case that involves the whole population,” said a lawyer

    A revision of the compensation plan without regard to fault, could positively affect the population in the event of a victory, which motivates the lawyers of the family Downer to conduct this prosecution.

    “This is a case which involves the whole population, where we need to act,” says Elliot Aglioni, the quebec cabinet Eidelmann.

    He regrets that, with the system known under the name of “no fault”, ” persons can be found responsible for anything, even in cases of negligence “.

    According to the lawyer, the exceptions in the act should be amended so that prosecutions are possible in severe cases, such as that of the family Downer.

    No chance

    “We do not want to destroy the plan completely, but, in our opinion, the non-liability should be a limit,” says Me Aglioni.

    For his part, the lawyer Marc Bellemare warned that the “prosecution does not present unfortunately no chance of success” because of the case law.

    In march 2017, the supreme Court of Canada has confirmed in two separate judgments that the law prevents the prosecution of all, if an auto accident is in question.

    The victims can only apply to the SAAQ if they want to be compensated.

    For Me, Bellemare, this is another situation that demonstrates that the concept of “no fault” needs to be reviewed.

    “We need to do the housework in the act. You should do a consultation to make amendments. I think of the good of the population and the victims, ” says the lawyer, in anger.