Woman injured in Forest Hill scaffolding collapse to take legal action against city
Rachael D'Amore, CTV Toronto
Published Wednesday, May 4, 2016 1:20PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 4, 2016 7:17PM EDT
A woman who was injured after a scaffolding collapse in Forest Hill last month is now taking legal action against the city.
Hannah Somerset, a 66-year-old personal support worker, retained a lawyer and is reviewing her options to take action against the parties allegedly responsible for the on-site safety of the collapse site, including the City of Toronto, Delsan-AIM Environmental Services Inc., and Crosslinx Transit Solutions Constructors.
The statement, released Wednesday by Toronto lawyer Ryan Murray, alleges that Somerset’s injuries from the collapse have “permanently altered” her life and left her unable to work.
“Hannah’s injuries are the result of somebody else’s negligence and should have never happened,” Murray said in the statement. “She will no longer be able to work in the job she loved and will require months of rehabilitations just to regain partial mobility.”
On April 18, a scaffolding structure collapsed on Eglinton Avenue West just before 2:30 p.m. The site was part of a construction project that was in the process of building a new Crosstown LRT station.
Four people, including a baby, had to be rescued by emergency crews and a total of seven people were taken to hospital with a range of injuries.
Somerset alleges she was on her way to a TTC bus stop when the scaffolding collapsed on her.
"In a split second, I heard something screeching," Somerset told CTV Toronto. "As I looked up, I saw the whole scaffolding coming down and I said 'oh god,' and tried to run."
The statement alleges that Somerset's lower legs were trapped by debris and emergency crews had to “cut or lift” pipes off her legs in order to extricate her from the scene.
“In the collapse, Hannah suffered a head injury and suffered fractures in both of her lower legs and feet. She was diagnosed with a spinal fracture and suffered a large laceration on her left foot,” the statement reads.
The statement does not indicate what kind of damages Somerset is seeking.
“These events are occurring much too often,” Murray said, citing the scaffolding collapse that killed four construction workers in 2009. “It’s time to eliminate events of this type with stricter safety rules and better worksite inspections.”
Since the incident, Somerset said she has not be contacted by anyone from Crosslinx Transit Solutions Contructors.
"I keep going online and I'm looking at all of these pictures. I'm looking at an interview from one of the construction engineer managers and he says their number one concern is the injured but no one has reached out," she told CTV Toronto.
A lawsuit is not expected to proceed until the Ministry of Labour completes its investigation into the incident sometime in the coming months.
With files from Scott Lightfoot.