The family of a woman who was killed when her car was crushed by a Mississauga fire truck is suing the firefighter who was driving the emergency vehicle and the City of Mississauga for negligence.
Jarrett Johns, 38, was found not guilty of running a red light in the March 6, 2011 death of Kimberley Schulz, 42, of Mississauga. The fire truck was responding to an emergency when it struck Schulz’s car near the Heartland Town Centre.
The acquittal didn’t stop Schulz’s husband, Robert Schulz, and other family members from filing suit in Ontario Superior Court.
The $2.5 million civil claim seeks damages and alleges that the fatal crash was caused by Johns’ “negligence, breach of duty and his bad faith.”
The Schulz family claims Johns was driving too fast, failed to keep a proper lookout and “was an incompetent driver on the occasion in question,” among other claims.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Johns and the City have filed a statement of defence, alleging it was Schulz’s own negligence that caused the crash. Johns and the City are expected to argue that they cannot be found negligent under Section 74 of the Fire Prevention and Protection Act, which states civil action cannot proceed against a firefighter “for any act done in good faith in the execution or intended execution of his or her power or duty or for any alleged neglect or default in the execution in good faith of his or her power or duty.”
Last week, Justice Paul Perell struck down an attempt by Johns and the City to have the action dismissed.
In her lengthy ruling in May 2012 in dealing with the Highway Traffic Act charge laid by Peel Regional Police against Johns, Justice of the Peace Hilda Weiss said she was left with reasonable doubt due to the “conflicting” testimony and other aspects of the evidence from the 19 witnesses who testified.