Newfoundlanders seek compensation from the province over moose collisions
Published Saturday, October 5, 2013 10:41PM EDT
A group of plaintiffs in Newfoundland have taken the province to court over roaming moose, saying the government has done nothing to prevent road collisions with the large animals.
Moose have been responsible for a number of collisions, injuries and deaths in the province, where a motorist is more likely to hit a wandering moose than another vehicle.
The Newfoundland government isn’t fighting the lawsuit, but rather how many victims should be compensated.
The lawsuit involves up to 100 people who have been injured in moose accidents over a period of 10 years.
However, the government wants to limit the time frame to two years.
If the province gets the reduced time, 80 per cent of plaintiffs would be excluded from the lawsuit.
“It’s a tactic to try and eliminate people like myself,” said Ben Bellow, who was paralyzed from the chest down after hitting a moose in Cornerbrook in 2003.
Like many plaintiffs, Bellow said his life was ruined after the accident – both he and his wife lost their jobs.
“Those bills keep on racking up and keep on piling up year after year,” he told CTV News.
A new survey shows two-thirds of Newfoundlanders want the government to pay up, indicating public support is on the plaintiffs’ side.
“The substantive merits of the claims represent a real threat to government that they’re going to lose the trial,” said Ches Crosbie, a lawyer for the group.
There are ways of preventing moose from wandering onto the roads. In New Brunswick, fences have been built along the highways to protect drivers.
With a report from CTV’s Atlantic Bureau Chief Todd Battis