Bus seat back injury in Surrey nets $92K court award

NEW WESTMINSTER — A bus passenger whose back was injured when he was bounced off a seat during his morning commute has been awarded nearly $92,000 in court.

Mark Steven Hutchinson, 58 at the time, sued TransLink, Coast Mountain Bus Company Ltd. and bus driver Cliff Dyck for an incident that happened in the 11600-block of Grace Road in Surrey on Oct. 29, 2010.

The City of Surrey was named as a third party defendant but Hutchinson dropped that claim prior to the trial in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, over which Justice Jennifer Duncan presided.

The court heard Hutchison typically took transit to and from work.

On Oct. 29, 2010 he boarded a bus at Scott Road station to take him to his office in Delta. It was dark and damp, but not raining. Hutchinson sat on a bench seat at the back, where the lights were, so he could read his newspaper.

The court heard that, roughly five or 10 minutes later, the bus was traveling along Grace Road when without warning Hutchinson and two seatmates were thrown up off the seat after the bus went over a dip in the road.

 Hutchinson told the court he felt like he was suspended about three feet in the air, but knew that wasn’t possible. He then fell back down. The seat dropped away, rose up and struck him, he said. His vertebrae fractured, he was left kneeling on the floor, next to his seat, holding the vertical bar and was in a great deal of pain.

Someone yelled to the driver to stop, and an ambulance took Hutchison to Surrey Memorial Hospital.

He told the judge he thought the bus was doing between 60 and 80 kilometres per hour.

The court heard Dyck was a bus driver more than 32 years and had a 25-year safe driving record. He retired three years before the trial.

Dyck testified he thought he was doing about 30 km/ when he hit a depression in the road so wide his bus’s wheels went right in. He said he slammed on the brakes because he didn’t want the back wheels to also hit the depression and felt two impacts – at the front axle and back axle.

This happened at roughly 5:30 a.m. and he didn’t have his high beams on.

Duncan noted that the consensus among bus drivers was that this was a "terrible patch of road.

"The plaintiff was ejected from his seat on the bus while simply sitting there and minding his own business," Duncan found. "The defendant bus driver owed the plaintiff a duty of care."

She found Dyck knew there was a bump in the road but he couldn’t see how deep it was because it was dark and raining. "In other words, he saw it but did not approach it in such a fashion as to judge it properly."

Hutchinson sought $110,000 in compensation for his injury but got $91,785.39.

Tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

Just Posted

Surrey wants BNSF to slow Crescent trains

Mayor Linda Hepner said ‘it’s the least we can do’

Rail-safety forum planned for White Rock this Friday

Event to include municipal, federal, provincial governments

White Rock open house to discuss city’s aquifer protection plan

Examination of potential hazards includes increased population, climate change

‘Connecting Threads’ and more in Surrey Art Gallery’s fall shows

Free admission at opening reception and panel discussion Sunday afternoon

SFU unveils new lab at Surrey Memorial Hospital

Combination of MRI, MEG allows for ‘best possible windows’ intro brain function

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

B.C. marijuana workers may face U.S. border scrutiny

Cannabis still illegal federally south of the border

New political party holds an informational session in Vernon

Maxime Bernier’s The People’s Party of Canada draws about 2o interested patrons to Vernon pub.

B.C. MLAs reminded of rural school struggles

Finance committee hears of falling enrolment, staff shortages

B.C. VIEWS: ’Not photo radar’ coming soon to high-crash areas

ICBC deficit now largely due to reckless and distracted driving

Researchers tag great white shark in Atlantic Canada

Information will be used to learn more about where white sharks move in Canadian waters

Mix-up of bodies leads to funeral home reforms in Nova Scotia

One woman was was mistakenly cremated, another was embalmed and presented to family members during a visitation that went horribly wrong

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Most Read