Torts – Negligence – Duty and standard of care
Plaintiff was riding his bicycle on sidewalk when he approached intersection where defendant had stopped her vehicle in crosswalk in order to make right-hand turn. Plaintiff tried to stop his bicycle by applying rear brake, but cable snapped, his bicycle was rendered inoperable, and he crashed into defendant's vehicle and was injured. Plaintiff brought action seeking damages for injuries suffered in accident. Defendant brought motion for summary judgment dismissing action. Motion granted; action dismissed. Defendant's actions and inactions did not fall below standard of care that would be expected of reasonable and prudent motorist. Reasonable and prudent motorist in defendant's situation would not have performed visual checks that would have led her to seeing plaintiff riding toward her on sidewalk at earlier time than she actually saw him. Defendant initially stopped behind stop line and checked both ways for oncoming pedestrian and other traffic before entering crosswalk, she came to second stop after entering crosswalk, and in this particular situation it was not incumbent on her to continue watching for persons approaching intersection on north sidewalk. Anyone approaching intersection on north sidewalk would have no trouble seeing defendant's vehicle, any person approaching on north sidewalk could be reasonably be expected to go behind defendant's vehicle, this was not high traffic pedestrian area, and defendant could not look north up sidewalk while simultaneously watching for oncoming vehicles. It was reasonable in circumstances for defendant to disregard remote prospect of danger materializing from sidewalk to her right and focus her attention on avoiding dangers that might arise to her left. Reasonable and prudent motorist who had seen defendant earlier would not have acted any differently than plaintiff actually acted. Defendant's actions, once she did see plaintiff moments before collision, did not fall short of standard of care that would be expected of reasonable and prudent motorist in her position. Accident and plaintiff's resulting injuries did not arise through defendant's negligence or improper conduct.
Desbois v. Wood (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 9459, 2019 ONSC 3586, Dawe J. (Ont. S.C.J.).
Case Law is a weekly summary of notable civil and criminal court decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada and all Ontario courts. These cases may be found online in WestlawNext Canada. To subscribe, please visit store.thomsonreuters.ca