Woman injured in Fort Gibraltar walkway collapse suing City of Winnipeg, Festival du Voyageur

A woman injured when an elevated walkway collapsed during a field trip at Fort Gibraltar last year, has filed a joint lawsuit against the City of Winnipeg and Festival du Voyageur.

The statement of claim was filed in the Court of King’s Bench on behalf of Angelina Constantine.

This is the third lawsuit that’s been filed in the wake of the May 31. 2023 incident, when seventeen people from St. John’s-Ravenscourt School were injured and taken to the hospital. The two separate lawsuits were filed by parents whose children were injured in the walkway collapse.

According to court documents, the city is the registered owner of the property, and the festival leases and operates the site.

The lawsuit, which was filed Mar. 28., states Constantine was led up and across the elevated walkway by a tour guide, believed to be an employee of the festival.

“While traversing…in a safe and prudent manner, the walkway suddenly collapsed, causing the plaintiff to fall approximately 20 feet to the ground thereby suffering personal injury,” the claim reads.

The lawsuit notes the plaintiff incurred numerous and permanent injuries, including a fracture to her thoracic spine, injuries to her neck and right foot, and psychological injuries.

Court documents claim the incident, and Constantine’s resulting injuries were “caused solely by the breach of duty and/or negligence of the defendants.”

The suit alleges the city failed to properly design, and supervise, the construction of the Fort, including the elevated walkway, and ensure it was “reasonably safe and fit for its intended purpose.”

The lawsuit also claims the city failed to ensure the property was subject to timely inspections.

According to suit, both the city and the festival caused, or permitted, the property to “become, or remain, in a dangerous unsafe and/or hazardous condition thereby creating a danger or trap to the plaintiff.” It states both parties failed to take reasonable steps to remove, or address, potentially unsafe conditions, and give “the plaintiff adequate, or any warning of any potentially unsafe conditions.”

Court documents allege both defendants failed to have an adequate system of inspection, repair, and maintenance in place at the property, among other allegations.

Constantine claims, as result of the incident, she as suffered past and future loss of income, pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life, and incurred medical expenses.

She is now seeking unspecified punitive, aggravated, and exemplary damages against the defendants, “on the basis that they were aware or out to have been aware of the hazardous, defective and/or unsafe condition of the property…but failed or refused to take reasonable steps to remedy same.”

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

No statements of defence have been filed.

Representatives for the City of Winnipeg and Festival du Voyageur declined comment.

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