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Supreme Court dismisses appeal by City of Hamilton in 2007 car crash decision

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal by the City of Hamilton for it's part in a 2007 two vehicle crash.
The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal by the City of Hamilton for it's part in a 2007 two vehicle crash. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The City of Hamilton will have to pay a third of damages as the result of a serious two-car collision on Stoney Creek Mountain in 2007 that left four children injured.

The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday dismissed an appeal by the city to remove itself from liability after plaintiffs made claims that the lack of upkeep at an intersection was a cause of the accident.

The city’s appeal was based on a claim that the judge in the initial trial committed errors of law and errors of mixed fact and law when it came to the definition of “non-repair.”

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The crash occurred overnight on June 16, 2007, at Upper Centennial Parkway and Green Mountain Road. The driver, Dawn Safranyos had four children in the vehicle when she failed to yield the right of way while entering the parkway and was “T-boned” at highway speed, according to court documents.

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Nieces Madeline and Laura Smith, as well as Safranyos’ own daughters, sued her; the driver of the other vehicle in the crash, Daryl McHugh; and the City of Hamilton.

Lawyers representing the four injured occupants in Safranyos’ vehicle argued a painted stop line at the intersection had been removed and a guardrail made it hard to see.

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The trial judge found each of the defendants liable, apportioning liability at 50 percent to Safranyos and 25 percent each to McHugh and the City of Hamilton.

An appeal would later dismiss claims and cross-claims against McHugh that he could have “reacted more quickly” and avoided the collision, leaving just Safranyos and the city liable.

The amount of a payout from the initial trial has yet to be determined.

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