Cana­dian sen­a­tor su­ing for slip, fall in cafe­te­ria

Man­ning, wife seek $250,000 from House

Calgary Herald - - FRONT PAGE - BRIAN PLATT

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.

Fabian Man­ning

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