Judge awards man $517K for crash

VANCOUVER – A Surrey man has been awarded more than half a million dollars in compensation for injuries and drug addiction brought on by a head-on traffic crash on the Pattullo Bridge when he was 12 years old.

Justice Deborah Kloegman awarded Mitchell Fabretti $517,346.68 for physical and psychological injuries, as well as drug addiction he’s endured as a result of the crash.

Kloegman found the defendants – Satvir Singh Gill, Aman Jit Singh, the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority doing business as TransLink, and the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Highways – liable.

ICBC was a third party in the action, at B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

The crash happened on the evening of Jan. 12, 2005.

Mitchell Fabretti was asleep on the right rear passenger seat beside his 10-year-old sister Amanda, who was also asleep. Their father Terry and mother Jocelyn were in the front seat, with Terry driving the 2001 Mazda Tribute.

The defendants’ 1995 Mustang veered into their lane, hitting them head-on.

“There was nothing Mr. Fabretti could do to avoid it,” Kloegman noted. The Mustang’s passenger and driver were killed and all the Fabrettis were injured.

ICBC’s lawyer argued that Fabretti’s drug addiction and “overuse” of pot was not causally connected to the crash but Fabretti, now 21, claimed his drug addiction was brought on by “an unhappy psychological state and chronic pain” resulting from the crash.

The judge found, however, that the crash caused his chronic pain and he suffered some psychological injury from its “fallout.” She also found his drug addiction “was more likely than not” caused by the crash.

Some of the award was to cover lost income and the cost of future care. The court heard Fabretti had planned to work on the oil rigs at Fort McMurray, where he would have earned $85,000 annually.

tzytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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