A judge this week rejected a bid by the Corporation of Delta to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the family of Alexa Middelaer, the four-year-old Ladner girl killed by an impaired driver more than four years ago.
The family alleges that Delta, one of a number of defendants in the civil suit, was negligent by failing to do enough to reduce the speed of vehicles on 64th Street, where the crash took place.
The lawsuit alleges speed bumps on the road were placed too close to one another and were a contributing or causal factor to the crash.
A lawyer for Delta told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Peter Leask there is no evidence of a link between the speed bumps and the fatal crash.
Lanny Robinson, arguing the matter was suitable for a summary trial, where no witnesses are called, noted there had been only one crash in four years along the road - the one that claimed Alexa's life - and that 500,000 vehicles travel along the route every year.
"This is a one-in-two-million event," he told the judge.
However, without hearing from a lawyer representing the family, the judge said the only course of action to resolve the matter was through a full trial.
"The only way this court can reach a just result in the case is through a proper, full trial," he said.
There are a number of related lawsuits pending and the trial is not expected to start for another 18 months.
On May 17, 2008, Alexa Middelaer and her aunt Daphne Johanson were feeding a horse by the side of the road while the little girl's grandparents waited in a nearby car. A car, driven by Carol Berner, traveling northbound on 64th Street struck the parked vehicle and veered into the field. Alexa suffered fatal injuries and died later in hospital. Johanson was seriously injured.
Berner was convicted of impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm. She was sentenced to 30 months in jail but is currently out on bail pending the appeal of her conviction.
The family has also named Berner in the civil suit, along with the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and Johanson, who is also a plaintiff in the case.
A lawyer for the aunt is also expected to seek to have the claims against her dismissed.
With files from the Province
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