Canadian senator suing for slip, fall in cafeteria
Manning, wife seek $250,000 from House
A Conservative senator and his wife are suing the House of Commons, the public works department and the Canadian government after the senator slipped on a spill in the Centre Block cafeteria.
The lawsuit says Sen. Fabian Manning slipped on clear liquid “on or about” the evening of June 9, 2015, which caused him to hit his head so hard on the marbletiled floor that he lost consciousness and was taken by ambulance to the Ottawa Hospital.
Afterward, according to the lawsuit, the 53-year-old Newfoundland senator suffered from post-concussion syndrome and soft-tissue injuries to his neck, back, left shoulder and left hip. It claims he’s had impaired cognitive functions, chronic headaches and disturbed sleep, and was prescribed “various medicines and assistive devices.” The suit seeks $250,000, plus damages.
Neither Manning nor his lawyer responded to phone calls or emails on Friday and over the weekend. (The Senate was not sitting on Friday.)
The fall apparently didn’t keep Manning from his Senate duties at the time, as Hansard shows he was active in the chamber throughout June 2015, including on the day after his reported slip, when he tabled a report and cast two votes. He’s cast Senate votes regularly over the past two years, and chairs the standing committee on fisheries and oceans.
The statement of claim, filed June 9 ( just inside the two-year statute of limitations), targets the House of Commons, Public Works and Government Services Canada, and the Attorney General of Canada as the Crown’s representative.
It says the House of Commons and the public works department are the “owner and occupier” of Centre Block, and therefore “responsible for the general condition, safety, maintenance, and control of this area.” It raises numerous scenarios of alleged negligence.
The lawsuit does not mention the Senate as an occupant of Centre Block, but it’s the House of Commons that operates the cafeteria and dining room.
The document says Manning suffered injuries that have “caused and will continue to cause a reduced capacity to perform the essential tasks of his work as a member of the Senate or any other occupation he is reasonably suited for.”
Manning is suing for $200,000, plus an unspecified amount of special damages for loss of incomeearning capacity, loss of household and handyman capacity, and costs of care.
His wife, Sandra Manning, is suing for $50,000 due to the “impact that Fabian Manning’s injuries have had on her relationship with him, including the loss of companionship.” She’s also suing for unspecified special damages for the cost of caring for him.
Manning served as a municipal councillor and as an MHA in the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature before coming to Ottawa as a Conservative MP in 2006.
He was appointed to the Senate in 2009, but resigned his seat to run as an MP in the 2011 election. He lost, and was then reappointed to the Senate.
This is not the first health scare Manning’s had since coming to Ottawa. Shortly after his reappointment in May 2011, he was delayed taking his seat after his car hit a moose near his rural Newfoundland home.
The vehicle had extensive damage, though Manning’s niece told the National Post at the time the senator had suffered only minor cuts. The moose did not survive.