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Alberta couple sues government after tree falls on tent

A Calgary couple has filed a lawsuit against the federal government for injuries they suffered after a tree fell on their tent in Jasper National Park. The female plaintiff seeks $75,000, and the male plaintiff seeks $40,000. They are also requesting $1,000 for medical expenses and $105 for their tent. The government has asked for the complaint to be dismissed.

According to the complaint, the couple and their infant son set up camp in an assigned lot at Whistlers Campground, which is located within the national park, in July 2012. At approximately 1 a.m., the lawsuit alleges that a government-owned tree crashed down on their tent while they were inside.

The female plaintiff suffered a broken arm and broken ribs in the accident. The male plaintiff suffered cuts, bruises and a concussion. The pair alleges that their injuries came about due to the government's failure to maintain the campsite in a reasonably safe manner. The Attorney General of Canada is named as the suit's defendant.

The federal government issued a statement that denies all responsibility in December. It contends that stormy weather and high winds were the cause of the accident, and park employees took all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of campers. It stated that the plaintiffs were responsible for their own injuries because they set up camp too close to the tree. The government also suggests that they disregarded Environmental Canada thunderstorm warnings for the area.

When an individual suffers an injury due to the negligence of a property owner, civil litigation may be necessary to receive compensation. Someone in a similar situation may wish to speak with a lawyer about their legal options. A lawyer could assess the strength and weaknesses of a victim's case and provide counsel on the best course of action.

Source: Edmonton Journal, "Federal government sued after tree falls on family camping in Jasper," Ryan Cormier, Jan. 16, 2015

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