16 Jul Bus Passenger Contributorily Negligent

In Isaacs v. Coast Mountain Bus Company, 2014 BCSC 2212, the Plaintiff was an 82 year old woman who injured herself exiting the bus. The bus had come to a stop some distance away from the curb. The Plaintiff stated that the bus was about 12 to 14 inches away and that she needed to jump to the sidewalk. After jumping, she fell. She did not ask for assistance prior to exiting the bus. 

The bus driver testified that he stopped six inches from the curb in accordance with Translink policy, which required that drivers should stop six to ten inches from the curb. He testified that after leaving the bus the Plaintiff landed on both feet, took a step and then fell as her knees buckled. 

At trial, the Judge stated that, based on Translink’s policy, if a driver stopped more than ten inches from the curb, there would be a prima facie case of negligence.  It would then be for the Defendant to establish that the Plaintiff’s injuries occurred without negligence on their part or were due to a cause for which the Defendant was not responsible. 

The Judge accepted the Plaintiff’s evidence regarding how she had fallen. However, the Plaintiff was found 50% at fault for not holding onto the railing or requesting either assistance or that the driver move the bus closer to the curb.