REGINA — A hearing into whether the Saskatchewan government should be struck from a lawsuit involving families of victims in the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash has been adjourned.
Sixteen people were killed and 13 others were injured when a semi-truck blew through a stop sign and into the path of a bus carrying the junior hockey team in April 2018.
Since the crash, several lawsuits have been filed, including one by families of four players and a former assistant coach who died.
Lawyers for the government were in court Wednesday regarding that suit to argue legal action should be barred because of the province’s no-fault insurance.
“The Coles Notes version is the government’s applied to strike the claim because they are of the view that the legislation allows them to be absolved,” said Kevin Mellor, a lawyer who represents the families.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs say the move is an insult to the families. The lawyers argue the province should accept responsibility for chronic inaction at the rural intersection where the crash happened in April 2018.
Lawyers working on another lawsuit — a proposed class action — say any decision could have an impact on their case and they want the government’s application dealt with as part of their certification process.
A judge adjourned the hearing until January.
The inexperienced trucker, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, was sentenced to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving.
Among several lawsuits filed after the crash is one by the families of four players and an assistant coach who died. The families are suing Sidhu, the Calgary-based company that employed him, the bus company and the Saskatchewan government.
In its court notice, the government asks to be struck from the lawsuit because the province has no-fault insurance. That means a person receives comprehensive benefits no matter who’s responsible for a collision, but the right to sue for pain and suffering is limited.