Insurance, Personal Injury

Injury, damage claims expected following Raptors parade

By Patricia MacInnis, Senior Editor

There will likely be numerous insurance claims in the wake of the Toronto Raptors championship parade — mostly due to a lack of resources and poor crowd control, Oakville insurance lawyer Weston Pollard tells Canadian Underwriter.

To get a better view of the NBA champions, fans scaled light poles, bus shelters and the arches at Nathan Phillips Square, the online news site reports.

“It’s going to be interesting to see,” says Pollard, partner with Edwards Pollard LLP. “It’s going to be case-by-case. If you’re the idiot on the flagpole, the city has a reasonable defence that you assume that risk.”

Overcrowding may have created a situation where people who required medical attention couldn’t be reached in a timely manner, meaning there could be some exposure for the city, he says.

“I don’t think the city took every reasonable step here to protect the people,” Pollard says.

It’s also possible there will be some claims from businesses if their properties were damaged during the melee, he says.

“They’ll go through their own insurance, and then I bet you we see some subrogated claims against the city come in from insurers who have paid out on these claims which we can directly trace back to crowd control issues,” Pollard says.

While there were no reports of anyone hit by a bus in the melee, the risk was present as parade-goers ran alongside and between vehicles, even though police attempted to maintain a perimeter, the article notes.

The test for all claims — whether they’re related to injury or property damage — will be reasonableness, he says.

“It will be handled like any regular lawsuit. If there are multiple ones, then the insurer for the bus company will have to take a hard line with it and say, ‘Your actions were not reasonable that day. If anyone is at fault, it’s not our driver,’” he says. “It’s got to be the city and the organizer. Bring them in as a third party and say, ‘It’s on you, city.’”

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