Montreal woman wants to sue city after breaking ankle on icy sidewalk
With her ankle broken in three places, Nadya Mirarchi is planning legal action against the city, contending it didn't salt the sidewalks properly.
The Montreal woman is waiting to undergo surgery after falling on an icy sidewalk in Riviere-des-Prairies, and in the meantime her foot and leg are being held together by a brace.
“Even the hospital said, ‘This is a special case. You really broke it everywhere. Basically you have a floating foot.' I broke it in three places all around. He said basically you have your ligaments and your skin holding your foot,” said Mirarchi.
The nasty fall was caught on a neighbour's front-door camera and her husband snapped pictures when the ambulance arrived, showing how much ice had built up on the street at the bottom of their driveway.
“When we called the ambulance they couldn't get inside my house because there was still ice outside. So they had to salt in front of my driveway,” she said.
The borough of Riviere-des-Prairies told CTV News that three sidewalk salting operations took place last week, and the city only called for full-scale snow removal over the weekend.
The man responsible for that decision is Jean-Francois Parenteau, the executive committee member for services to citizens. He tweeted an apology it hadn't started earlier, but added that sidewalk abrasives are put on hold once the street clearing begins.
The fluctuation in temperature is a challenge, he said.
“When we have a warm time and then a cold time, specifically, we have a problem with that,” he said.
Mirarchi doesn't buy the explanation.
“It's all about the city not doing their job,” she said.
“Something has to be done, it's ridiculous. All over Montreal, people falling, people getting hurt,” added her husband, Juliano Lafratta. “I'll sell my house if I have to. I’ll go all the way. I’ll make sure they get what's coming.”
Lawyer Jaimie Benizri pointed out there have been many successful cases similar to this one against the city.
“It really comes down to how much damage has the person suffered and we've seen payouts go as high as $132,000,” said Benizri.
That $132,000 payout came two years ago following a Superior Court decision against the city of Montreal.
Gertrude Forstinger fell and broke her wrist, and her lawyer successfully argued that despite varying weather the city had failed to take appropriate measures.
Almost a full week after the storm, ice in front of Mirarchi's home is still there, despite her and her neighbours calling the borough multiple times. Neighbours have taken ice removal into their own hands.
“It could have been prevented if the streets and the sidewalks were better,” said neighbour Stephanie Passucci.
Mirarchi will receive a second surgery after her swelling subsides, when doctors can install plates and screws into her leg.
“I'm going to get better but the frustration is greater than the pain right now,” she said.
I received a text from Nadya with an update: surgery can't be done yet because of massive blisters that have formed on her ankle. She says if they rupture it could lead to bone infection, then amputation. Her doctors say she needs to wait until they go down. @CTVMontreal— Kelly Greig (@KellyGreig) January 30, 2018