On January 12, 2008 one of the most horrific vehicular accidents in New Brunswick since 1989 claimed the lives of seven high school students and one teacher. This accident received attention from the whole country due to its severe tragic nature. Apparently it wasn’t tragic enough to stop a giant corporation, Loblaws, from attempting to seek damages from the driver of the van that collided with the tractor trailer that was owned by the grocery giant.
According to an article in the Globe and Mail by Anna Mehler Paperny, Loblaws went looking for $40,000 in damages from Wayne Lord the driver of the van that was carrying the school’s basketball team. Included in this total were the costs of the cleanup of the accident scene.
As if the trauma of losing his wife and seven of his students in this horrendous accident wasn’t enough to bear, a giant corporation, who according to their third quarter financial report in 2009 made an astounding $9.5 billion, had to step in and add more trauma to the mix by trying to shake this man down for money.
The damage to the truck that the van collided with compared to what the company makes is petty change. For Loblaws to seek $40,000 from a man who has been through the worst nightmare one couldn’t even begin to imagine is unbelievably heartless.
The company’s statement of claim alleged that Mr. Lord was changing lanes when he shouldn’t have been and that he allegedly did not take any reasonable action to try and avoid a collision.
Fortunately people voiced their concerns to the company over this outrageous lawsuit and it seemed to make the company realize that what they were doing was ill advised. In my opinion why did it even have to come to that to make them realize that this was not a good thing to do? If the president of this company, Mr. Allan Leighton, had taken the time to examine the specifics of this incident and the gravity of what they were proposing before they publicly went after Mr. Lord, he should have seen on his own that this is a heartless thing to do.
According to the article in the Globe and Mail no one from Loblaws commented on who it was from the company that made the decision to file a statement of claim. It would appear that the company may be trying to protect this person’s identity because they know that this was a demonstration of poor judgement and that the person would most likely face public scrutiny for even attempting to suggest this lawsuit.
Even though the company has retracted its statement of claim, the damage to its reputation has been done and this will most likely effect how the public will view this company. I know it has for me.
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