Volume 95, Issue 59
Thursday, January 17, 2002
Injured soph to sue USC
Court battle may be imminent
By Erin Conway-Smith
A Western student injured in a Shinerama Day accident intends to take legal action against the University Students' Council and Western for their roles in planning and organizing the Orientation Week event.
According to a letter sent to the USC in December by lawyer Terry Wilson of Toronto-based law firm Falconeri Strype received by USC general manager Mark Sellars in early January fourth-year political science student and off-campus soph Andrea Lazare intends to take legal action against the USC.
A similar letter was also received by Peter Mercer, Western's VP-administration and general counsel for the university.
As previously reported by The Gazette, a vehicle lost control and struck three students at the Fanshawe Road and Adelaide Street intersection on Sept. 8 while the students were soliciting donations for cystic fibrosis as part of O-week activities.
Lazare, who is currently residing at home in Mississauga, suffered a broken pelvis and injuries to her leg and head as a result of the accident. The two other students suffered minor injuries.
The driver, a 17-year-old female from Kincardine, Ontario was charged with careless driving. Police said Western students were not breaking any London city bylaws during the incident.
Jeff Lazare, Andrea's father, said his daughter did not wish to comment on the accident.
"The corporate university's position is clear because Shinerama is a USC event, the university proper wouldn't have any responsibility for it," Mercer said.
The Canadian Universities Reciprocal Insurance Exchange has been notified of Western's position, Mercer said. Any further correspondence from Lazare's lawyers will take place through CURIE.
Similarly, USC president Mike Lawless said the suit has been turned over to the USC's insurance company.
"As we see it, this is not something we consider to be a major threat to the USC. We have insurance for this very reason," Lawless said. "At this point, it's in the hands of the legal experts."
Following the September accident, the USC decided to take Shinerama fundraising off the streets and out of high traffic areas in order to prevent future accidents.
Other parties named in the suit cannot yet be identified because not everyone has responded to the letters, Wilson said, noting the suit is still in its "preliminary stages" and he cannot provide any additional information.
Copyright © The Gazette 2001