Edmonton woman badly hurt by runaway bull files $450,000 lawsuit against Northlands

An Edmonton woman badly injured by a runaway bull at the Canadian Finals Rodeo is suing Northlands and the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association for $450,000. 

According to a statement of claim filed Oct. 26 in Court of Queen’s Bench, Carol MacKechnie and her husband were at Rexall Place for the CFR on Nov. 12, 2010, and were sitting in the front row watching the bull-riding event.

“A bull named Rewind being ridden by Tanner Girletz entered the arena. Tanner Girletz was quickly thrown from the bull, after which the bull proceeded to run along the perimeter of the arena surface for some distance,” says the statement of claim.

“The bull reached the area where MacKechnie and her husband were sitting and, suddenly and without warning, jumped over the fence railing in front of them, landing in the stands and crushing MacKechnie.”

According to the lawsuit, MacKechnie, 55, suffered a fractured pelvis, a fractured cheek bone, a fractured orbital bone, extensive cuts and scrapes, neurological injuries, loss of consciousness and extensive internal injuries.

As well, MacKechnie alleges she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and mental anguish.

MacKechnie claims the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and Northlands owed a duty of care to her to ensure she would be reasonably safe while at the rodeo.

The city woman also claims the defendants were negligent for failing to install a fence that was of adequate height to protect spectators from escaped animals.

As well, she alleges the defendants were negligent for failing to harness or corral the bull prior to it jumping the fence and for failing to ensure there was adequate staffing to restrain the bull at that time.

MacKechnie also claims the defendants were negligent for using Rewind at this level of competition when the bull had never been in a major indoor rodeo before.

She also alleges the defendants were negligent for playing very loud rock music before and during the bull’s ride, as well as loud sound effects and flash lighting, which they knew or ought to have known would aggravate and excite the bull.

A statement of defence has not yet been filed.

Statements of claim and statements of defence contain allegations which have not been proven in court.

Source: Edmonton Sun

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