60/40 Liability Split for Pedestrian Injured in Parking Lot

In the recent unreported case of Giron v. Griffiths & V.W. Credit Canada Inc. (9 & 16 October 2012), Robson Square 1032400 (B.C.P.C.), Gallagher PCJ awarded $14,000 in non-pecuniary damages (pain & suffering) to a claimant injured in an accident in an ESSO parking lot in Langley, British Columbia.

ICBC Injury Claim and Liability Issues

The accident happened in the early morning in a section of the parking lot designated as a drive-through lane for a Tim Hortons located at the rear of the gas station. Justice Gallagher found that the claimant had proceeded into the drive-through lane after stepping off a curb separating the parking lot from the drive-through. She had begun to cut across the poorly lit drive-through lane diagonally prior to being struck and knocked down by the defendant’s car. The court found that the defendant driver had turned into the drive-though lane at between 5 to 10 kmh without making a left shoulder check.

At trial, ICBC’s lawyer took the position that the claimant was completely at fault for the accident. The court did not agree. Justice Gallagher held that the claimant put her safety in jeopardy by not being more vigilant as she crossed the drive-through lane. However, she found that the defendant was more at fault for failing to check that the way was clear before turning into the drive-through. Liability for the accident was apportioned 60% to 40% against the defendants.

The claimant suffered soft tissue injuries to her right knee and ankle as a result of the accident. The ankle injury resolved within one month and she returned to work, as a licensed practical nurse, twenty days after the accident. the claimant’s knee was bad for about three months, with some lingering symptoms.

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