7.5: Application for judgment by way of summary trial

Case Summary

This Action concerned three principal parties: (1) Denhoed, the Plaintiff, who initiated the Action against Constable Kanyo, The City of Lethbridge, and Lethbridge Police Service (“LPS”) following a collision on a highway; (2) Constable Kanyo, representing LPS and The City of Lethbridge, who responded to an initial collision and whose police cruiser was involved in a secondary collision with a vehicle driven by Griffiths, and; (3) Griffiths, whose subsequent collision with Kanyo’s cruiser ignited the central issue of negligence and standard of care.

The dispute chiefly scrutinized a) whether Constable Kanyo's handling of the scene met the requisite standard of care, specifically focusing on the parking of his cruiser and the use of emergency lights, and b) if Griffiths' collision with the cruiser was a result of negligence.

The Court found that Kanyo followed the traffic stop protocol by positioning his cruiser with activated emergency lights to secure the scene, in line with sections 43, 63(4) and 67 of the Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation, Alta Reg 304/2002. The Court found that the arrangement successfully diverted traffic away from the scene for 25 minutes until the collision with Griffiths transpired.

The Summary Trial Order allowed rebuttal Affidavits under Rule 7.5(3)(a). Denhoed didn’t provide rebuttal expert evidence but submitted a response Affidavit sharing her road experiences to counter the Defendant’s expert evidence, suggesting other factors may have influenced Griffith's view during the incident. The Court found the speculative evidence on what Griffiths observed or the factors affecting his reaction to be unhelpful in determining liability.

The Court affirmed that Kanyo's actions aligned with the standard of care expected from a reasonable officer under similar circumstances. It found Griffiths solely liable for the subsequent collision under the Traffic Safety Act, RSA 2000, c T-6 for careless driving. The Action against Kanyo, The City, and LPS was dismissed.

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