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Portland, Oregon

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Chrissie Cole
Chrissie Cole
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Girl, 5, Wins Pre-Birth Injury Case

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Blind five-year-old Brooklynn Rewega is the first person in Canada to win an insurance settlement against her Mother for birth injuries.

Brooklynn, who has cerebral palsy, was able to sue her Mother for the settlement after her parents persuaded the Alberta government to pass special legislation. Lisa and Doug Rewega, lobbied for the legislation so they would have the needed money to pay for the special care that Brooklynn will require throughout her life.

On December 31, 2000 Lisa was pregnant and driving to church when she roller her car and was thrown through the windshield. Brooklynn was born four months later after suffering lifelong diabilities.

The settlement agreement, with the Personal Insurance Co. of Canada, was not disclosed.

Alberta’s legislation limits lawsuits to the amount of a mother’s personal liability insurance coverage. Lisa Rewega was considered to be at fault for the crash. The family was unable to sue her and Personal Insurance because of a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision that prevents children from making claims against their mothers for events that happen before birth.

The ruling left an opening for legislation to let a child sue a mother in cases only where the child is injured as a fetus in a car accident — not, for example, where the mother is an addict.Alberta agreed to two pieces of legislation — one applying specifically to Brooklynn’s case, retroactive to the accident, and a broader act for other children but not retroactive.