By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: April 12, 2014
BC Transit is refusing to answer questions on whether they plan to repeal a Supreme Court judgement that awarded a Whistler doctor $5.9 million for a transit driver’s negligence.
“BC Transit has no comment,” said Merebith Burton, a spokesperson for BC Transit, when asked whether BC Transit plans to appeal the judgement.
‘No comment’ was BC Transit response again to a question about who will pay the $5.9 million, the tax payers or the insurance provider.
ICBC spokesperson said the company can’t comment as the award is being appealed by Wallman.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice G.C. Weatherill handed down the ruling on Jan. 17 in Vancouver, awarding Dr. Daniel Wallman $5.9 million in damages for debilitating concussions he suffered in the accident.
The accident happened in December 2006, when Wallman’s car was struck by a Whistler transit bus from behind at the Lorimer Road intersection.
It was a cold day and the roads were slippery when Wallman tried to turn into the intersection on green light, but was blocked by a snow plow that slid in front of his car.
As Wallman came to a stop, a BC Transit bus struck him from behind, leaving him suffering from concussions and unable to return to work.
The accident also raises questions about how well trained the drivers are and whether the public can trust them for safe transportation.
The bus driver, Rajinder Gill, claimed that he was new to the job and had little experience driving the bus, and was driving a route he had never driven before.
The defendants, Gill, BC Transit and Whistler Transit, also argued that given the icy road conditions, the collision was inevitable. The road plow, they said, was also to blame
But the court held the defendants responsible for the accident, but dismissed the action against ICBC.
“It took place because Gill was not properly attentive or because the Bus was travelling too fast for the road conditions,” the judge said.
The plow driver and the plow company were also found vicariously liable for the accident.
“There is no question that the plaintiff’s life has changed profoundly as a result of the accident,” the judge said.
“His ability to function in everyday life has been significantly impaired. He has considerable cognitive challenges that will likely affect him for the rest of his life.”
In awarding $5.9 million, Judge Weatherill agreed that the concussions suffered by the doctor in the accident will have life-long effects.
Headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, physical and mental fatigue, confusion, sensitivity to noise and light, irritability, depression and anxiety are just some of the effects of the concussion.