Through a series of questions asked by Gary Santucci and Brian Bonham of finance chief Roberto Rossini, subsequent to their delegation at GIC, it became clear that a biking accident at the waterfront, involved more than a $127,000.00 settlement.
It was learned that the city was named as co-defendants in the claim, and that the Hamilton Waterfront Trust did not have sufficient liability insurance to handle the claim. It remains unclear if the Hamilton Waterfront Trust had any liability insurance at all.
It also became clear that the costs to the taxpayer of this lawsuit settlement did not only include the settlement amount itself, but also included several years of fees for legal representation from an outside law firm that the city hired to represent them and presumably the Hamilton Waterfront Trust. The legal fee costs have not yet been released, which raises an issue onto itself, as the Hamilton taxpapers footed the bill. As one of our reader's pointed out, the taxpayer should be entitled to know how much was paid.
The other reasonable question that falls out of this, is whether the Hamilton Waterfront Trust has now taken measures to ensure this does not happen again, which, if left unchecked, would result in potential future claims being laid at the feet of taxpayers. With trolley rides, skating rinks and a host of other offerings that drives people to the waterfront, one would think that insurance or measures to handle claims, would be in place.
The Hamiltonian has asked the following question of HWT Executive Director Werner Plessl, and has copied the question to Clrs. Tom Jackson and Jason Farr who are the council board members of the Hamilton Waterfront Trust.
We will post the reply as soon as it is received.
We are writing to you with respect to the Hamilton Waterfront Trust’s insurance coverage. Recently, with reference to a bike accident that resulted in a claim that has since been settled, Roberto Rossini wrote “The Waterfront Trust did not have liability insurance in place for this incident. As a result, the City had to pay the claim as a co-defendant named in the law suit and then recover the funds from the HWT. “
Can you advise as to whether the Hamilton Waterfront Trust has since purchased adequate insurance,and if so, when the insurance protection took effect? Can you also assure Hamiltonians that there are measures in place to ensure that any service operating out of the HWT, is properly insured, whether the Trust provides the service directly, or allows the service to be provided.
Thank-you Mr. Plessel. We look forward to your reply and appreciate your reference that information pertaining to the HWT is readily available and need only be requested.