Judge denies mediation request in moose class action suit

Andrew
Andrew Robinson
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A Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court justice has denied an application to force those at the centre of a class action lawsuit on moose-vehicle accidents to enter mediation.

Lawyer Ches Crosbie speaks to reporters at Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John's on Friday.

Justice Valerie Marshall said Friday it was made clear that issues pertaining to the case would not get settled through mediation, as lawyers representing the province would need to make concessions they have not shown a willingness to make.

St. John’s lawyer Ches Crosbie is attempting to hold government responsible for injuries to people involved in collisions with moose on its highways. He said mediation would allow both parties to explore issues relevant to the case with a third party present to help provide clarity.

But government lawyer Peter Ralph argued that mediation would not make efficient use of resources being applied to the case.

After court concluded, Crosbie told reporters he hopes Premier Tom Marshall, who was sworn into the position this morning, will find a way to deal with his class action suit prior to trial. He said the trial will include embarrassing revelations concerning government.

Crosbie added he is uncertain whether former premier Kathy Dunderdale, who was subpoenaed last year and announced her resignation Wednesday, will be forced to testify in the case. That will depend on disclosure from the province he is still waiting to receive.

The two-week trial is scheduled to begin on April 1.

For more on this story, read Saturday's edition of The Telegram or check back at thetelegram.com.

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  • Virginia Waters
    January 25, 2014 - 09:00

    I thought Mr. Crosbie was inappropriately, unproductively and unnecessarily threatening in his media comments yesterday. He seems to have been warning Premier Marshall that, if he allows the trial to proceed, things will come out that government would not want to come out. With that threat, Marshall has little alternative now but to proceed to trial. Anything else would be an admission that it has something to hide. Undoubtedly Marshall understands by now how secretiveness and a lack of transparency have damaged this government and the Tory party. Then there is the underlying question of how much taxpayers should be on the hook for known, common, inevitable hazards of highway travel. Should government, at taxpayer's expense, be responsible for providing a moose-free highway or, failing which, be obligated to compensate anyone who sustains injuries in moose encounters? How far do we go down that road, and what does it mean for personal responsibility? Perhaps government should do more to thin moose populations and/or warn of the dangers. But must it enclose the highway from St. John's to Port au Basques, and all the trunk lines in between? I don't claim to have all the answers to these questions, or a fool-proof solution to the problem, but I don't think it is as simple as saying "I was injured - here's my claim".

  • James
    January 24, 2014 - 18:30

    You are the one making a fool of yourself with you high and mighty ways.