In a quirk of insurance law

A man who was left paraplegic after a crash in a Canadian mountain bike race has been forced to sue his parents in a quirk of local Insurance Law.

Landon McGauley initially sued the Sun Peaks resort for a crash he suffered in its Yeah Bro! Bike Race in July 2010. He was airlifted to hospital but suffered spinal cord injuries that left him without the use of his legs.

He claims that he lost control of his bike as the race was run in unsafe conditions with a poorly constructed race track. However Sun Peaks has filed what’s known as a Third Party Claim against McGauley’s parents.

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A third party claim allows a defendant to implicate someone else they believe was at fault in a civil case. If he wins, McGauley will still receive the full compensation but his parents may be forced to pay some of it.

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Robyn Wishart, McGauley’s lawyer, believed to best protect her client, his parents should be added to the claim. She told The Province: ““It’s not our intention to prove his parents are negligent, it’s our intention to disprove that.”

In a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, McGauley says his parents, Robert and Pam McGauley of Quesnel, consented to his participation and provided him with protective equipment and cycling gear.

McGauley is now a sit-down skiier. In an online biography he said: “In one minute I went from an average 15 year old boy completely content and carefree to a torn, beat up kid lying in the dirt completely terrified and uncertain of the future. Throughout this whole experience I really learned the importance of working hard and setting goals without it I wouldn’t be who I am today.”

No response has yet been filed to the lawsuit, which contains allegations that have not been tested in court.