The claimant was the only passenger on the bus and was seated in the front row on the driver’s side in the area set aside for wheelchairs and push chairs. The claimant’s evidence was that the driver was driving without due care and attention and extremely close to the vehicle in front. The bus driver braked suddenly and with force causing the claimant to be catapulted eight feet from her seat into an upholstered pillar.
As the claimant lay on the floor of the bus, the driver radioed to the control room to advise of the accident. He said that he had had to brake suddenly to avoid the car in front.
Liability was denied by the defendant on the basis that the driver had to brake suddenly to avoid knocking down a pedestrian that walked into the path of the bus. The claimant’s evidence was that there was no pedestrian crossing the road and that she had a clear view of the road ahead and to the sides.
The claimant alleged that the driver was in breach of duty for failing to slow down in a controlled manner so as to avoid injury to passengers on the bus .
At trial, the report log was disclosed by the defendant, which supported the claimant’s version of events and did not mention a pedestrian. The bus driver could not give a description of the so called pedestrian nor could he recall what he had said to radio control when he reported the accident.
The Judge found in favour of the claimant and awarded damages in the sum of £2,602.00.