Motor Vehicle Case Study: Chloe


In the early hours of a winter day, Chloe’s husband Scott was pronounced dead in a tragic snowmobile accident after spending several hours drinking at the local pub in Renfrew.  At the time of the accident, the couple was happily married with three sons. The family lived comfortably off Scott’s career as machinery sales associate.

On the day of the accident, the family had just eaten dinner, which Scott prepared. The parents shared a bottle of wine. After all the kids went to bed, Scott took his snowmobile for a drive on the trails surrounding their house. At some point after leaving home, Scott stopped at his old childhood friend and neighbour’s house. The two decided to snowmobile to the local pub to play pool and have some drinks. At around 3am, Chloe was worried that her husband was not home yet, so she contacted the police.  Early the next morning, his body was found dead on the snowmobile trail.

An autopsy determined that Scott was severely intoxicated at the time of the accident and that alcohol was a contributing factor to the death. Chloe and her kids suffered significant psychological trauma following Scott’s death. Chloe continues to receive weekly grief counselling and is diagnosed with high levels of depression and anxiety.  Being the sole caretaker and financial supporter of her children is overwhelming for Chloe. She is now responsible for all aspects of her young kids’ lives. This is a stark contrast to the life their family lived while Scott was alive. Chloe also struggles to return to work because of the emotional trauma.

Our firm started an accident benefits claim and a lawsuit against the owner of the pub who overserved Scott. The owner failed to meet the obligation of her liquor license not to overserve. After reviewing Scott’s bar tab, it was obvious that a large amount of alcohol was sold without proper assessment of his level of intoxication. The pub owner would also have been aware that Scott was snowmobiling home because of his outfit and helmet.  The family deserved compensation based on their loss of services that Scott performed, and for the pain, suffering and loss of companionship they underwent. The case settled at mediation as both parties agreed on a fair amount. Chloe and the kids were happy to receive both an accident benefits and a lawsuit settlement as compensation for the loss of Scott.

About the Author: Brenda Hollingsworth

Brenda Hollingsworth co-founded Ottawa’s Auger Hollingsworth in 2005 with her husband Richard Auger. Together, their mission was to create a personal injury law firm for Eastern Ontario that is unrivalled in the province for customer service and legal expertise. Brenda was named an Ottawa Business Journal Forty Under 40 award recipient and took home the Women’s Business Network’s Businesswoman of the Year award in the Professional category. She was also recognized as one of Ottawa Life Magazine’s “Top 50 People in the Capital.” She is often quoted as an expert and has appeared in media outlets such as CTV, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Sun Media, CBC, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, CFRA and many legal publications.

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