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02 May 2019

Summary Judgment motion dismissed after evidence left unanswered questions

by Catherine McLatchie
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Garrity v The City of Saint John 2019 NBQB 27

On July 6, 2016, the Plaintiff, Patricia Garrity, was driving her vehicle in an easterly direction on Duke Street in Saint John, New Brunswick when she approached an intersection with Sydney Street. Ms. Garrity did not make any attempts to stop her vehicle at this intersection and was struck by a driver of another vehicle who was traveling in a northerly direction on Sydney Street.

Ms. Garrity commenced an action against the City of Saint John, arguing that while they had installed a stop sign at that intersection, that over the course of many years, the defendant failed to trim a tree at this intersection and that it had overgrown and completely obscured the stop sign. Ms. Garrity alleged that this had caused her to be unable to see the stop sign, and was the cause of her motor vehicle accident and injuries.

Ms. Garrity requested summary judgment be granted against the Defendant.  The Defendant argued that there were triable issues that would require a trial. 

Justice Clendening dismissed Ms. Garrity’s motion, finding that there were several triable issues that required a trial.  Justice Clendening noted that there was inconsistencies in the evidence presented to the court, including on the vehicle involved and particulars of the collision between Ms. Garrity and the other driver. 

Justice Clendening also noted that it was unclear whether there were stop lines at the intersection, and there was also further evidence that would need to be presented as to whether the City owed a duty of care and whether they had breached it.  Trial would also be required to assess any contributory negligence of the Plaintiff.

Justice Clendening dismissed Ms. Garrity’s Motion and awarded costs of $2,500.00 payable to the defendant.

You can read Garrity v The City of Saint John 2019 NBQB 27 in its entirety here.

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