Former Humboldt Broncos player Derek Patter, seriously injured two years ago when a semi collided with the team bus, is suing the truck driver and his then-company, the Regina-Leader Post reports.
Joining Patter in the lawsuit — filed Friday at Regina Court of Queen’s Bench — are his parents Roy and Laurel and the province of Alberta, the latter seeking compensation for Patter’s health services in the amount of $250,000.
According to the statement of claim, Patter suffered numerous injuries that included a concussion with resulting amnesia; a subdural hematoma; fractures to his nose, teeth and leg; pain and loss of range of motion to various parts of his body; scarring from lacerations, abrasions and surgery; joint dysfunction; chronic pain and impaired strength and capacity, as well as limitation of endurance; and severe psychological injury and trauma.
The statement of claim names Calgary truck driver Jaskirat Singh Sidhu and Alberta-based Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd., which owned the truck.
The lawsuit claims negligence on the part of Sidhu for failing to stop despite traffic controls in place; failing to yield the right of way; entering the intersection while unsafe; driving without due care and attention; operating the semi when it wasn’t equipped with proper or adequate brakes; failing to keep a proper lookout; driving while his windshield and field of vision were impaired; failing to take evasive action to avoid the crash; driving while distracted “by the operation of an electronic device or other unlawful distraction”; and operating the semi in violation of federal and provincial regulations.
In relation to the company, the claim alleges failure to equip the semi with proper or adequate brakes and windshield; failure to maintain the semi in a “proper or satisfactory manner”; failure to properly supervise, educate or train Sidhu; and permitting Sidhu to drive in contravention of federal and provincial regulations.
While Sidhu has already been convicted and sentenced, allegations laid out in the statement of claim need to be proven in civil court.
Sidhu pleaded guilty in January 2019 to 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. He was sentenced the following March to eight years in prison.
In the wake of the tragedy, the Canadian Trucking Alliance established a Truck Safety Working Group made up of leading trucking industry representatives from coast-to-coast as well as Transport Canada to promote CTA’s 10-point action plan, which provides policy makers some direction on how government and industry can work together on improving truck safety compliance. The Alliance Canadian Trucking Alliance called for a national motor carrier entry standard that companies must meet before being allowed to put a truck on the road.
In February Transport Minister Garneau and the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety delivered announced to enhance highway safety by completing a national pre-licence training standard for tractor-trailer drivers by first quarter 2020.