CBC News recently reported that eight lawsuits have been filed concerning allegations that people have been injured and even died after having received insufficient or negligent wheelchair service at Toronto Pearson airport, Canada's busiest. Many of the injured passengers were elderly and all involved falls.
According to the article, the situations either involved prearranged wheelchair service or spontaneous requests for wheelchair assistance. The claims included these alleged scenarios:
- Two plaintiffs not receiving wheelchair assistance and falling when trying to walk unassisted
- A passenger falling after her and her spouse had ordered two wheelchairs and only received one
- A passenger walking and falling after having asked for a wheelchair and being told there were none available
- A passenger being told that he had to walk through a security scanner, but having no wheelchair available when he got through
- A passenger falling when she stood up from a wheelchair that had not has its wheels locked
- A passenger falling trying to walk after having been left unattended in a wheelchair
- A passenger falling after having been bumped by another person after she stood up to get her luggage, having been told by the attendant that she had to get her own bags, after which the attendant took the wheelchair
The damages requested range from $800,000 to $2.25 million.
A variety of defendants are named in the lawsuits, including the Greater Toronto Airports Authority or GTAA and service companies with which the GTAA contracted as well as several involved airlines. The article described several defences asserted by the defendants in the suits such as denial of negligence or allegations that the plaintiffs were to blame for their own injuries or had not followed instructions. Some of the defendants also cross-claimed against each other.
Anyone injured at a Toronto airport, while using any other kind of local transport or engaging in any kind of tourist activity in the area should speak with a local Toronto lawyer to understand what kind of legal remedies may be available under applicable laws, including possible claims in negligence, premises liability or wrongful death.