Carfra Lawton LLP | Victoria BC

Broken chain of causation ends injury claim

In the recent decision of Ray v Bates 2014 BCSC 878 the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claim for personal injuries on a summary trial application. The plaintiff bus driver was operating a bus en route to Apex Mountain Ski Area when the first defendant driver lost control of his vehicle and collided with the bus. A short time later the second defendant driver also lost control of his vehicle and collided with the bus.  The plaintiff was not injured in the collisions.  Shortly after the collisions the RCMP, fire department and ambulance arrived. The plaintiff attempted to walk towards the ambulance when he slipped and fell, sustaining injuries. The plaintiff was attempting to approach the ambulance to have them call for road maintenance when he fell. The plaintiff claimed he was obligated by the terms of his employment to assist at the accident scene and that his being injured was a foreseeable consequence of the defendants’ negligence. Although both defendant drivers were found to be negligent in the operation of their respective motor vehicles, the court held that as ambulance and emergency crews were already in attendance there was no basis for the plaintiff to say he was compelled by his employer’s accident procedures guideline to do what he did.  As such, the plaintiff’s injuries were not found to be caused by the defendants’ negligence and his claim was dismissed.

Case summary by: Caroline Alexander