Rick Fryer releases information on $200,000 settlement with Town

By Joel Charron

All Rick Fryer wants is to have his name out of the media.

After being denied as a delegation to appear before council and being threatened to be arrested for trespassing, the former town councilor and mayoral candidate held a press conference outside town hall to reveal the details of his highly publicized lawsuit.

“I want the public to know about my personal injury and how it was resolved,” said Fryer, who was joined by his wife and children. “I have nothing to hide.”

Fryer said he is responding to comments by Mayor Wayne Hurst during a June 11 council when Hurst made specific mentions of Fryer’s personal injury claim and directly referred to him.

“I filed the necessary form to appear as a delegation in front of town council to address the issue,” said Fryer. “I was willing to give town council all the information it wanted and I was willing to answer questions. I was informed that I would not be accepted on the agenda.”

Fryer was also notified that if he held a press conference in town hall lobby it would be considered trespassing.

Fryer’s injury occurred on October 20, 2006, while walking on a town sidewalk along Sandwich Street.  Fryer said the sidewalk was covered in leaves and he tripped on a hole in the sidewalk that was hidden by the leaves.

As a result of the fall, Fryer tore his anterior talofibular ligament in his ankle.

From 2007 to 2010 Fryer underwent six surgeries, the last being in August 2010 to remove hardware from his ankle.

 

With his family by his side, Rick Fryer reads a statement regarding his lawsuit with the town during a press conference behind town hall. Fryer said he called the press conference after he said Mayor Wayne Hurst made remarks about him and his lawsuit at the June 11 council meeting.

“Today I have a permanent injury,” said Fryer. I can’t compete in bike races like I used to, but I have returned to work and life is as normal as it can be.”

Fryer filed a lawsuit against the Aecon Utilities, Union Gas Limited as well as the town of Amherstburg.

After four years of litigation, Fryer said the town’s insurance company paid him $200,000.

“After I paid my legal expenses and injury-related expenses, I was left with about $86,000,” said Fryer. “Contrary to what you might have heard, not a penny of this compensation came from taxpayers.”

The settlement was reached November 18, 2010 and according to legal documents provided by Fryer “the settlement with the town constituted 36 per cent of the damage quantification and cost discussed at the mediation and agreed to by the lawyer representing the town’s insurance company.”

Fryer did not provide the infomation regarding  joint settlement between Aecon Utilities, and Union Gas Limited however Fryer was very quick to provide the amount reached, which was $300,000, however after legal and injury-realted expenses Fryer was awarded $105,000.

“People like to think I have all this money, believe me, I don’t,” he said. “I will show you my bank account. I had to pay everything back.”

Fryer said if people would like to relate insurance rate to his claim, he said he “would love for them to show me the facts.”

“Since the mayor has been in position, he has had quite a few lawsuits and insurance claims,” stated Fryer. “Mine is very, very small in that pile.”

Fryer said during the past few years his name has been “dragged through the mud” and feels he has been treated unfairly.

“If this was any other resident in Amherstburg, they would have had the same media coverage,” he said.

When asked if he felt  he was being targeted Fryer replied

“Targeted would be understatement.”

Fryer declined to comment on his political future, stating “two years is a long ways away.”

Fryer added that he would still like to go before council to answer any question they have and plans to apply to be a delegate again.

Fryer did have a solution as to how this situation could have been avoided.

“All of this could have been avoided if the sidewalk had simply been

fixed,” he said.“Unfortunately, the hole in the sidewalk had been left there for over three years.”

When asked to comment on Fryer’s statement, Mayor Wayne Hurst replied,

“This doesn’t merit a response.”

Hurst added that the information regarding the settlement is “out there” and the town is moving forward.

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