Court Finds Bus Driver Liable for Our Client’s Injuries

Posted on by Mussio Goodman

Mussio Goodman was Successful in Supreme Court of British Columbia for Liability of Bus Driver

We are pleased to announce that the Supreme Court of British Columbia has found the defendant bus driver liable for our client’s broken ankle and shoulder.

In this case, our client was attempting to catch a bus which was stopped at s bus stop. He ran towards the bus, approaching from its front and waving his hand in an attempt to get the bus driver’s attention.

The bus driver admitted to having seen our client running towards the bus; nevertheless, the bus driver closed the bus door and pulled away from the stop just as our client was within reach of the vehicle. The moving bus collided with our client’s hand as he waved from the curb, causing him to fall under the wheels of the bus.

The bus driver argued that he had a strict policy to close the doors and pull way from the stop even if the pedestrian is one foot away from the vehicle.

Accordingly, while attributing some fault on the pedestrian for running towards a moving vehicle,  the Court also found that the bus driver, Mr. Cooper, was careless in departing given the proximity of the would-be passenger:

[66]         The analysis then turns to whether Mr. Cooper failed to meet the standard of care of what would be expected of a reasonably prudent bus driver in the circumstances. This questions turns on whether it was reasonable for Mr. Cooper, in compliance with what he understood company policy to be, to simply close the doors of the bus and accelerate away from the bus stop notwithstanding Mr. Heyman’s approach.

 [68]         …Mr. Cooper’s conduct is not to be measured against a general policy, but rather must be considered in light of the circumstances that presented at the time. As noted by Madam Justice Rowles in Wang, the question is whether there was a real risk of harm that could reasonably be avoided.

[69]         In my view, Mr. Heyman approaching the bus in an awkward run waving his arms in the air with a view to getting the driver’s attention and hopefully having the bus stop so he could board, presented a real risk of harm. I note in particular the fact, as pointed out by counsel for the defendants, that the road on which the bus was situated was quite narrow, in fact not much wider than the bus itself. That put the bus in close proximity to pedestrians on the adjacent sidewalk and heightened the need for vigilance on Mr. Cooper’s part. Again, that is particularly so given the manner in which Mr. Heyman was approaching…

It should be noted that every case is different, and that past performance is no guarantee of future results.

It should also be noted that very few injury claims require a resolution in a courtroom; in the vast majority of cases, we are able to negotiate a fair settlement with ICBC on behalf of our clients. However, in the event ICBC refuses to make a reasonable offer, we are always prepared to take the case to trial.