University of Regina appeals decision by jury in swimming accident
Published Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:31PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 11, 2018 6:35PM CST
The University of Regina is appealing a verdict that found the institution liable after a teen was paralyzed diving into a pool at the facility.
The incident happened in 2005 when 16-year-old Miranda Biletski was a member of the Regina Piranha Swim Club. Biletski dove into the pool and hit the bottom. She was left a quadriplegic after the accident.
A jury ruled in October of 2017 that the university was liable for Biletski’s injury and they were to pay her $9.1 million in damages plus another $1.5 million for tax gross-up, pre-judgement interest and a claim by the Saskatchewan Minister of Health.
According to a court document, the University of Regina is basing their appeal on having a judge decide who is liable for Biletski’s accident rather than a jury.
The council for the university said the pool's diving blocks are within the requirements set by Swimming Canada of having a depth of 1.22 metres. The university claims that Biletski's coaches at the Regina Piranhas Swim Club are at fault because the coaches had instructed Biletski to try a new drill.
"On the day of the accident, the assistance coaches introduced a new drill to the senior swimmers,” the appeal document said. “This drill was intended to encourage them to dive as far out as possible by marking their distance against a measuring tape installed along the side of the pool lane.”
The university’s council claims the coaches have a duty to design activities appropriate for swimmers.
Biletski and the Regina Piranhas Swim Club’s lawyers say the judgement made by the jury should be upheld.
"Miranda alleged that, notwithstanding the rules, the depth of the water in the pool was insufficient to allow safe entry into the water from the starting block," the document said.