A trial this September will determine whether Langley City, BC Hydro, or a pedestrian are responsible for an accident that a Surrey woman says left her with a broken elbow and a wrenched spine.
The original incident was a fall that took place on Oct. 4, 2017, on 206th Street near Fraser Highway in downtown Langley City.
According to court documents, Nancy Kobza was walking on the east side of the block when she fell on or near a metal anchor rod protruding from an unpaved area of the sidewalk.
In 2018, she sued Langley City for damages, including for loss of income, loss of future income and earning capacity, loss of housekeeping capacity, and future care costs.
According to her statement of claim, Kobza suffered a fractured left elbow, an injury to her left arm, and musculo-ligamentous injuries to her spine.
The City responded by saying that it was not responsible – but noted that at the time, BC Hydro had cut open a portion of the sidewalk in 206th Street.
“At the time, the City was not aware that BC Hydro was completing work in the incident area, nor did the City approve the work and/or supervise the work,” the City’s legal response said. Under B.C. law, Hydro doesn’t have to seek local permits for working on its power lines and facilities.
In 2019, Kobza added BC Hydro to the lawsuit.
BC Hydro’s response said that it was not responsible, putting the blame either on Kobza or on the City for potentially “failing to properly design, construct, inspect, repair, or maintain the sidewalk” or for failing to keep the area generally safe.
A third party was added to the lawsuit in late 2019 – a contractor who was working on the site that day for BC Hydro. Hydro added RS Line Construction to the lawsuit that November.
“At all times, the anchor and its removal was the responsibility of the third party,” BC Hydro’s legal claim said.
RS Line filed a notice denying any responsibility.
None of the claims has been tested or proven in court.
Almost four years after the original fall, the matter is set to go to trial in two months, on Sept. 20 in the Vancouver Law Courts.
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