CASE LAW - Stempowicz v Dobbs

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThe case of Stempowicz v Dobbs involves a collision at the intersection of Veterans Memorial Parkway and Langford Parkway in Langford. Tienna Stempowicz was travelling northbound on Veterans Memorial Parkway  intending to turn left onto Langford Parkway.

Michael Dobbs was driving southbound on Veterans Memorial Parkway, having turned off of Meaford Avenue about 450 meters away. He intended to pass through the intersection continuing southbound.

The two collided somewhere between the two southbound zones.

This case analyzes the rights of way in terms of a vehicle being an immediate hazard. Justice Morley found that Ms. Stempowicz had the right of way when she began her left turn because Mr. Dobbs was far enough away that he could have slowed to a stop before the intersection.

However, Ms. Stempowicz anticipated the collision and stopped unexpectedly, then closed her eyes and took her foot off of the brake. This made her partially at fault for the collision.

The Justice apportioned liability for the crash at 90% for Mr. Dobbs as he assumed that he could continue at speed without anticipating that Ms. Stempowicz might stop. He was also speeding as he approached the intersection.

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