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Smith v. Safranyos – Motor Vehicle Accident

April 2020

A horrendous two car collision occurred in the City of Hamilton. A vehicle operated by Ms. Dawn Safranyos, carrying four children, failed to yield the right of way and was “T-boned” at highway speed by an approaching vehicle. Mr. McHugh had consumed alcohol and was exceeding the 70 kilometre per hour speed limit by at least 15 kilometres per hour. The occupants in Ms. Safranyos’s vehicle were all seriously injured.

Lawsuits were brought on behalf of the injured children and their family members against Ms. Safranyos, Mr. McHugh, and the City of Hamilton (“Hamilton”). The basis for the claims against Ms. Safranyos and Mr. McHugh related to their alleged negligent manner of driving that played a role in causing the collision.

The trial judge found Safranyos 50-percent liable. The other 50 percent of liability was apportioned equally to the city and to the driver of the other vehicle.

On appeal Mr. McHugh’s appeal was granted but the City of Hamilton’s appeal was dismissed so that the occupants of Ms. Safranyos’ vehicle were entitled to all of their damages. The Supreme Court of Canada did not grant the City of Hamilton’s leave to hear its further appeal.


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Kimberly A. Jossul, B.Sc. (Hons), LL.B.

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