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  #1  
Old 21 January 2015, 10:29 PM
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UEL UEL is offline
 
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Baseball Woman who struck boys with SUV, killing one, sues families for 'emotional trauma'

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews...11-090458.html

Quote:
But he can’t forget the fact that the woman who struck them is suing the boys and their families for her own emotional trauma.

The SUV driver, Sharlene Simon, 42, who lived in Innisfil at the time, hired her own lawyer to sue Brandon Majewski’s estate, his parents and the County of Simcoe in the suit as well as Esch and Roberts.

A police report states the couple was heading to their nearby Innisfil home after having a drink at a bar.

Sharlene Simon told police she was driving 90 km/h in an 80 km/h zone and didn’t see the boys.

In a statement of claim filed with the court last April, Simon is claiming $1.35 million in damages due to her psychological suffering, including depression, anxiety, irritability and post-traumatic stress.

She blames the boys for negligence.
We had a thread similar to this earlier. As reported, this is insane.
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  #2  
Old 21 January 2015, 11:15 PM
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Since both sides are still in litigation, I'm a little surprised that the parents agreed to talk about this case. As for why the driver chose to sue, we're only hearing the one side of the story. As hard as it is to read about a young boy losing his life, it is possible that the kids were behaving in a way that endangered them and contributed to the accident. Just the fact they were riding three abreast on a dark country road was inviting a dangerous accident.

The closest I ever came to killing a person was when a bicyclist recklessly sped down a hill and through a stop sign in front of my car. I can still see that young man's face after all these years, and to this day I don't know how I stopped in time. If I had hit him, it probably would have killed him. But it also would have scarred me for the rest of my life. I'd have to wonder how I would have reacted if I was sued for a accident that was not my fault.
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Old 21 January 2015, 11:45 PM
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I don't think there's any doubt that the boys were biking inappropriately for the time and the place (at least in the sense of 3 abreast on a road with an 80km speed limit)* and I can certainly sympathize with how it must feel to be responsible for someone's death - but that said I cannot believe she is suing the families of dead and injured children.

* In the articles I read about this before there was no mention of a bright yellow jacket being worn by one of the boys. The articles definitely made it sound like it would have been almost impossible for a driver to have seen the boys in time to stop. Now I have to wonder.
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Old 22 January 2015, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I don't think there's any doubt that the boys were biking inappropriately for the time and the place (at least in the sense of 3 abreast on a road with an 80km speed limit)* and I can certainly sympathize with how it must feel to be responsible for someone's death - but that said I cannot believe she is suing the families of dead and injured children.

* In the articles I read about this before there was no mention of a bright yellow jacket being worn by one of the boys. The articles definitely made it sound like it would have been almost impossible for a driver to have seen the boys in time to stop. Now I have to wonder.
There should never be a situation where a driver can't stop in time to avoid a basically stationary object in the road. If your line of site distance is less than your stopping distance (including reaction time) then you are driving too fast, regardless of what the posted speed limit is.
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  #5  
Old 22 January 2015, 12:44 AM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Around here many rural roads have 80 km/hr (50 mph) limits and bicyclists are common. It is up to the car drivers to not be splattering the bikers all over the road.
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  #6  
Old 22 January 2015, 01:20 AM
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It's true that car drivers have an obligation to drive defensively, especially on rural back roads. You're probably going to be the biggest thing on the road and the one that can cause the most damage. But bicyclists are also drivers and are subject to the same laws of the road. If anything it's more important for them to be cautious; they don't have tons of steel to protect themselves in the event of an accident.

As was said before; we only know what the parents and boy have told us. We don't really know just what could be seen that night.
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  #7  
Old 22 January 2015, 01:29 AM
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I think the hard part for me to muster any sympathy for this woman is in the targets of her suit.

The estate files a claim against her which her insurance will cover. It is almost a set-piece lawsuit. Her insurance will pay out several hundred thousand dollars.

Now, she is suing the estate of the deceased and the two other boys. If she wins, they lose everything, house, vehicle, savings, pensions etc. Her amounts are far superior to the amounts that her insurance company is being sued for.

If she wants monies for her therapy etc, then she should look to her own insurance company.
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Old 22 January 2015, 01:47 AM
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Huh. I think my post got eaten.

I don't recall hearing before about her saying she thought she'd hit a deer, or that one kid was wearing a bright yellow jacket. If those things are true, it strongly influences my opinion.

There are plenty of ways the boys could have been at fault, but if she didn't even know what she hit, I very much wonder about her being impaired. Even if the bikes were without lights or reflectors (hypothetically--I'm not saying they were) she should have seen what she hit lit by her own headlights, even if it wasn't in time to stop.

Wasn't her husband a police officer?

If the boys were at fault, I would have sympathy for her wanting to get enough money to cover her damages, as in lost wages and treatment for PTSD etc. But not to the tune of $1.35 million or whatever it was.
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  #9  
Old 22 January 2015, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Around here many rural roads have 80 km/hr (50 mph) limits and bicyclists are common. It is up to the car drivers to not be splattering the bikers all over the road.
It's also up to the bikers to make themselves visible. A bike without lights can be next to impossible to see against dark pavement on a dark night; which is why, in New York State at least, it's illegal to ride at night without them (I have no idea what the law is in Innisfil.)

http://www.safeny.ny.gov/bike-ndx.htm

Quote:
Bicycles driven between a half-hour after sunset and a half-hour before sunrise must be equipped with a white front headlight visible in darkness for at least 500 feet, and a red or amber taillight visible for at least 300 feet.
Having said that: maybe these particular bikers did have lights. They apparently according to the story did at least have reflectors -- considerably better than nothing, but not nearly as good as proper lights.
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Old 22 January 2015, 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by erwins View Post
Wasn't her husband a police officer?
Yes, and he was in the car behind her. According to the police report, they were driving home from a bar after having "a drink." According to the family of one boy, she was allowed to leave the scene right after police arrived, and never took a breathalyzer test. They also say her phone records were never looked at to see whether she had been using it before the accident.
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  #11  
Old 22 January 2015, 02:54 AM
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In the post that got eaten, I wondered about impairment by drink, sleepiness, or phone use. Either her eyes were off the road for a significant time, or she was too out of it to know what was happening if she thought she hit a deer. (Again, assuming that is true).

Is it really the case that this has nothing to do with insurance, I wonder? If she's making a large claim for damages, even if she tried to go through her insurance, if she's telling them that the boys were at fault, wouldn't the insurance say, "then go after them"? Or is all auto insurance there not dependent on fault, so that she should get whatever the limits of her policy allow from her own insurance?

The boys, of course, presumably didn't have bike riding insurance, so she can't make a claim against their policies.
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  #12  
Old 22 January 2015, 08:52 AM
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crass-a-chow
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  #13  
Old 22 January 2015, 01:05 PM
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I thought we had a thread like this. I guess my search terms were not great.
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Old 22 January 2015, 02:56 PM
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Re-reading the earlier thread I notice that I was somewhat sympathetic to the woman involved. In part I think it was because the articles that came out at that time didn't seem to have some of the detail that the article in the OP had, but also it was partly because I wondered if she had any idea that her actions would make her so despised. At least in the court of Internet public opinion. How could that help her emotional issues?

Now I really have to wonder what's up with that woman. She has had plenty of time to assess the impact of her actions on the families involved and if that still didn't change her mind you'd have thought knowing how "the world at large" views her might have done the trick. But, no, she (and her husband who also suing ) seem determined to stay the course. Last vestiges of sympathy are pretty much gone here.
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Old 22 January 2015, 11:03 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horse Chestnut View Post
It's true that car drivers have an obligation to drive defensively, especially on rural back roads. You're probably going to be the biggest thing on the road and the one that can cause the most damage. But bicyclists are also drivers and are subject to the same laws of the road. If anything it's more important for them to be cautious; they don't have tons of steel to protect themselves in the event of an accident.
I think the car driver is 100% responsible (barring the biker purposely driving into her). A deer on the road doesn't have lights or even reflectors and is likely to move towards a car. It is the car drivers responsibility to miss a deer, so I would say the same for a bike at night. A bike, on a rural road, and in most places, has the right to be in the middle of the traffic lane, even if they are going much slower than the posted speed limit. I agree they should be lit (or at least have reflectors) but a deer, or a down tree branch, or any number of other things could well be in the middle of a rural road at night; in all cases it is the drivers responsibility to be driving slowly enough that an object can be avoided.

Last edited by jimmy101_again; 22 January 2015 at 11:04 PM. Reason: "A bike, " not "I bike,"
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Old 22 January 2015, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews...11-090458.html

We had a thread similar to this earlier. As reported, this is insane.
Or, as we call it around here. "Only in America".
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Old 22 January 2015, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
Or, as we call it around here. "Only in America".
You mean North America, right?
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Old 22 January 2015, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
It is the car drivers responsibility to miss a deer . . .
May I ask in what sense? If you mean the deer can't be counted on to avoid the car, I agree. But I hope a driver isn't legally responsible for avoiding a deer. Here in Ohio, at least, drivers are taught not to steer to avoid a deer, which limits our ability to avoid them.

ETA: Excuse the hijack.
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Old 22 January 2015, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Simply Madeline View Post
You mean North America, right?
Well, yes, but here, "America" means the USA. Not strictly correct, but standard practice.
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Old 23 January 2015, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
Well, yes, but here, "America" means the USA. Not strictly correct, but standard practice.
The case being discussed is in Canada.
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