A new lawsuit filed in Winnipeg’s Court of King’s Bench claims an 11-year-old boy lost his left arm and hand in a Fort Gibraltar walkway collapse.
Raised walkway at replica fur trading fort in St. Boniface collapsed during a field trip on May 31. Seventeen people from St. John’s-Ravenscourt were injured and taken to hospital.
Defendants named in the lawsuit include the City of Winnipeg, which owns the site, and the Festival du Voyageur and Gibraltar Dining Corporation, which operate the fort.
The lawsuit, filed Feb. 1, alleges the boy fell about 20 feet to the ground and broke his left arm. The claim says that shortly after the incident, due to damaged nerves, he lost sensation in his fingers, which spread to his entire left hand, wrist and hand, and has yet to fully recover.
“His ability to perform basic tasks such as dressing himself, performing routine hygiene, eating and playing was significantly impaired,” the lawsuit states. “It is not known at this time whether the nerve damage will improve or whether surgery will be required to try to repair the nerve damage.”
According to reports, the boy suffered psychological damage and also withdrew.
The suit asks the defendants to have unspecified general, special, punitive and mental disorder damages “proved at or before trial.”
The lawsuit alleges that the city failed to properly “design, construct or supervise the design and construction of the fortification, particularly the elevated walkway, in a manner that is safe and fit for its intended purpose.”
They also claim the city failed to warn the public of potentially dangerous conditions at the fort and failed to ensure proper inspection protocols, if any, were followed.
No defense was entered and none of the claims were tested in court.
Both the City of Winnipeg and the Festival du Voyageur said they had no comment on the lawsuit at this time.
As early as August 2023, the parents of the second child sued the city and the Festival du Voyageur, claiming that their child was “at risk of permanent disability” due to injuries sustained in the fall.
The city and the Festival denied the allegations in the lawsuit and requested that it be dismissed.