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RECORD AWARD STILL NOT PAID

Wendy Crawford, a former model who was paralyzed from the neck down in a 1984 automobile accident was awarded #3,900,000 in damages in March of 1989 by the Supreme Court of Ontario. The award, against the driver of the car that Ms. Crawford was riding in and the driver of the car that rear ended them, is believed to be the largest personal injury liability award in Canada.

Ms. Crawford was riding in a Lada, being driven by her boyfriend, when it was rear ended by a Camaro at 3:30 a.m. on July 5, 1984. The Camaro driver had been consuming alcohol in a tavern earlier that evening.

The impact of the crash shortened the car by 1.2 metres and propelled a heavy piece of luggage into Ms. Crawford's neck, cruising her vertebrae and severing her spinal cord.

Expert evidence was provided at trial by Paul Walters, of Walters Consulting Corporation. Barry Raftery, of the Accident Reconstruction Unit, assisted Mr. Walters in performing measurements, calculations and analysis of findings prior to the court appearance. Mr. Walters' testimony left no doubt that Wendy Crawford's injury was caused by the luggage and not deformation of the Lada.

In the decision, liability was apportioned; 25% against the driver of the Lada and 75% against the driver of the Camaro. To date, only $1,100,000 has been paid; $700,000 by the Tavern in an out of court settlement and $400,00 by the insurers of the Camaro.

The liability split is being appealed.

 
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Walters Forensic Engineering | 277 Wellington Street West, Suite 800 | Toronto, ON M5V 3H2
Information contact: engineering@waltersforensic.com