The victim of An accident testified in court about the sequelae she suffered. “I look more like an elderly parent than a husband,” said James Clendenning, the judgment notes.
The accident in question occurred on a trail belonging to the Club de motoneigistes de Rouyn-Noranda. (File photo)
Serious after-effects offset by a few million dollars: the Superior Court of Quebec condemns the Club de motoneigistes M.R.C. Rouyn-Noranda to pay more than $3.2 million in moral damages and lost earnings to James Clendenning, a resident of Ontario.
This is what is stated in a decision of the Superior Court of Quebec rendered on May 3. Mr. Clendenning was involved in a snowmobile accident in January 2017 on the Trans‑Québec 93, a trail maintained by the Club de motoneigistes de Rouyn-Noranda.
James Clendenning and his wife had not responded to our interview requests at the time of this writing. The 59-year-old man, however, testified in court about the after-effects of his accident, which to date has serious and permanent brain damage.
More importantly, Mr. Clendenning's family dynamics have changed for the worse. Because of his sometimes erratic or unusual behavior as a result of his head trauma as well as his lost ability to give sound advice, his children no longer wish to be guided by him. His relationship with his wife has also changed a lot, mentions in English the decision of Superior Court Judge Patrick Buchholz.
“During his testimony, six years after the crash, Mr. Clendenning comes across as a broken man in court. He no longer feels like he is supporting his family or being a good husband or father. »
— Excerpt from the decision rendered by the Superior Court
James Clendenning hit a tree stump between Duparquet and Amos. He and his lawyers were able to show that this stump was located on the trail and that the accident was thus caused by the negligence of the organization.
The Club of snowmobilers tried to deny liability and argue that the tree stump did not encroach on the trail, but the Superior Court rejected his arguments.
An inspector from the Sûreté du Québec concluded in her police report and declared during her testimony that the stump in question was, according to her, indeed located at the right end of the trail. She had also contacted the president of the Snowmobile Club at the time to ask him to remove the stump, because she considered it dangerous, according to the judgment.
Since the accident, James Clendenning has suffered severe brain damage. In addition to moral damages, he notably obtained compensation to cover his future medical expenses. The total amounts to $3.2 million, without taking into account additional indemnities.
His spouse and their five children respectively obtained $85,000. and $150,000 in moral damages. His spouse also obtained compensation of $239,133 for the care and assistance she provided to her husband from April 2017 to November 2022.
The President from the Club de motoneigistes Rouyn-Noranda, Daniel Audy, declined our interview request. The Fédération des clubs de motoneigistes du Québec had also not responded to our interview request at the time of this writing.