Judge Rules in Favour of Bus Fall Victim

A court has awarded compensation to a woman who sustained injuries by falling on a bus after the driver pulled out sharply from the bus stop, causing her to lose her balance.

In May 2013, Mary Steel (82) of Argyle had just stepped onto a bus outside the Braehead shopping centre in Glasgow when she was trying to find a seat. Suddenly, the bus-owned by the private bus company McGill’s-pulled away from the bus stop, causing Mary to lose her balance. She fell, injuring her shoulder as she hit the floor. Emergency services were called and she was treated by paramedics on-scene. She was then transported to the nearby Southern General Hospital, where x-rays were taken.

The x-rays revealed that she had fractured no bones in her shoulder or arm. In spite of this, Mary suffered continual pain in the region, which caused her to sink into depression. She sought legal counsel, and proceeded to make a claim for compensation against the bus company. She alleged that the driver had shown a lack of care when he sharply pulled away from the bus stop, causing her to fall and sustain her injuries.

The case was heard by Judge Lady Stacey in the Court of Session in Edinburgh. Mary’s legal team argued that Mary should be entitled to compensation due to the nature in which she sustained her injuries while falling on the bus, blaming the manner in which the driver had been handling the bus.

The judge found McGill’s liable for Mary’s injuries as their employee had been negligent, stating:  “In my opinion the defender´s driver failed to ensure that a passenger who had been seen by him to be elderly and unsteady was seated before moving off. In doing so, he acted contrary to the defender´s policy and in breach of common law”.

She further said: “The movement of the bus while the pursuer was not seated caused her to lose her balance and fall”. The judge awarded Mary £10,000 as compensation for the injuries to her shoulder and for her subsequent depression.

Child Compensated for Dog Bite

A young girl has received a six-figure settlement of compensation for injuries she sustained after being bitten by a large dog.

On the 26th December 2011, Lauren Kelly and her friends were enjoying a game of “hunting the wren” in their town of Abbeylara in Co. Longford. However, as Lauren was playing a Rottweiler – that had escaped its owner’s property by jumping over a wall – attacked her.

Despite the intervention of her mother and friends, Lauren sustained twenty-six puncture wounds to her arms and neck. Onlookers later testified that Lauren had been “tossed around like a rag doll”, and it was only because of the intervention of others that she did not sustained graver injuries.

Lauren was rushed to hospital, where she was treated for the puncture wounds. The little girl also had a series of skin grafts to try and repair the damage, though now she still has over twenty scars on her arms. Even now, whilst engaging in some activities (such as swimming), Lauren is required to wear a specialised medical sleeve that prevents an infection developing.

Acting on their child’s behalf, Michael and Marcella Kelly made a claim for dog bite compensation against William Crawford, the Rottweiler’s owner. In their claim, they alleged that Crawford’s negligence stemmed from the fact that he had not undertaken adequate preventative measures to stop his animal from escaping.

Crawford initially denied that he was liable to pay the compensation settlement, though negotiations between the parties resulted in a settlement of €150,000. However, as the claim was made on behalf of a legal minor, the settlement had to be approved by a judge before it could be paid.

As such, the case proceeded to Dublin’s High Court, where Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told of Lauren’s injuries and their impacts. He then went on to approve the settlement, though added the condition that the sum should be kept in a court account until Lauren reached the age of eighteen.