The citizen who won a David vs. Goliath battle against the Ministry of Transport can finally claim victory. Quebec changes its tune and will finally pay the approximately $ 500 due to the Lavalloise.

“I find it frustrating. I had to go through the media and it was after media pressure that they dropped the ball, ”says Brittany Ménard, who is still delighted to finally have her case.

La Presse told Ms. Ménard’s story on March 13. The young woman was driving a year ago near Highway 15 with her car acquired the same day when she hit a pothole, which resulted in a flat tire.

Angry to see her new car damaged, she sent a claim to the Ministry of Transport, which refused to pay. The Department argued that “pavement deterioration is a normal occurrence in winter and can only occur if weather conditions permit.”

Quebec also relied on the famous section 30 of the Roads Act, which provides that it is not responsible “for damage caused by the state of the roadway to the tires or the suspension system of a motor vehicle”.

Brittany Ménard has decided to take her case to small claims. She managed to prove that the pothole had been reported to the Ministry five times in the month before her accident.

On February 14, the Court of Quebec granted him his case. Judge Chantale Massé found that the Ministry of Transport had committed “gross negligence”. She ordered the Department to reimburse Ms. Ménard’s tire repair costs of $449.55 and her legal fees of $108.

Except that the Ministry immediately made a motion to appeal for revocation of the judgment. The MTQ therefore requested a new trial, leaving Ms. Ménard, who represented herself, to fear the stretching of the judicial process.

However, on the day of the publication of the La Presse article, while Ms. Ménard was giving interviews on radio and television, the Ministry announced that it was going to pay.

“The Ministry will not request the revocation of the judgment considering the principle of proportionality, i.e. that the value of the damages does not justify the extension of the procedures”, indicates the spokesman of the Ministry of Transport, Gilles Payer.

“That said, it should be noted that it was in order to meet deadlines and protect its rights that the Ministry had filed an appeal for revocation of judgment,” adds the spokesperson.

Brittany Ménard hopes that her misadventure will encourage other motorists to file pothole claims with the Ministry.

“I find it flat that it took all that to make things happen. Basically, they didn’t show up in court, then they question the judge’s decision. All that for $500. I find it frustrating,” she said.

However, she is delighted to finally receive her due. “I haven’t received the check yet, but it appears to be in the mail!” »