On Monday, October 18th, partner Jennifer Bezaire took part in the CBC Radio One show Windsor Morning with Tony Doucette.
Jennifer was joined by Krystal Mann, a car accident victim she is representing whose civil trial has been delayed for several years due to COVID-19 and a backlog of cases.
In 2014, Krystal sustained life-altering injuries after a truck hit the side of the vehicle she was riding in. Despite surgery to correct her fractured pelvis and injured tailbone, she can no longer work because of chronic pain from the T-bone collision. She is unable to sit, stand or walk for an extended period of time. The doctors say nothing more can be done to help her pain.
Krystal has relied on government assistance to support herself and her two young children, which only covers about a third of her previous income. She has had to pay out of pocket for her therapy and remortgaged her house to survive. The entire situation for Krystal has been emotionally and financially taxing.
Her civil lawsuit – in which she is seeking $3 million in damages – is not expected to go to trial until 2023. Since the pandemic started, new trials have been put on hold or delayed, causing a backlog. The Ontario court system lacks the resources to move the cases through due to social distancing.
Jennifer has filed a motion for a judge-alone trial, a measure she hopes will help speed up the process. However, the defendants in this case have insisted on a jury trial. Insurance companies often use juries in a bid to try and avoid liability and deprive car accident victims of fair and just compensation.
“It’s time that the Ontario government steps in and removes civil juries,” stated Jennifer on Windsor Morning. “This is a car crash case. It’s a private dispute between two parties. There really is no need for a jury in this case and people like Krystal shouldn’t have to wait out the delay because of the jury.”
As Krystal awaits her day in court, she hopes to get the closure she needs and a positive outcome to regain her independence and support her family.