Court of Appeal failed to appreciate dual function of statutory right-of-way provisions

Supreme court | Civil Procedure

TRIAL

Court of Appeal failed to appreciate dual function of statutory right-of-way provisions

Boy, aged four, suffered catastrophic injuries when he ran onto highway and into path of oncoming school bus. Jury concluded no negligence by bus driver that caused or contributed to boy’s damages. Court of Appeal ordered new trial, referring to provisions concerning duty of pedestrians to yield right of way to vehicles and finding that trial judge improperly invited jury to treat boy like adult, and therefore find him responsible for accident. Appeal allowed; cross-appeal dismissed. Court of Appeal failed to appreciate dual function of statutory right-of-way provisions. Although boy’s contributory negligence ruled out as matter of law due to his young age, statutory right-of-way provisions continued to inform standard of care bus driver owed to all pedestrians. Absent special circumstances, where driver has right of way, he can reasonably proceed on assumption that others will follow rules of road and yield right of way to drivers. Trial judge’s instructions served only to delineate standard of care applicable to bus driver and did not improperly invite jury to find boy legally responsible for accident. Nor did trial judge err in asking jury whether situation was one in which bus driver should have expected children to be present. This was further factor that had to inform jury’s ruling on whether bus driver negligent.

Marshall (Litigation Guardian of) v. Annapolis County District School Board (June 7, 2012, S.C.C., McLachlin C.J.C., Deschamps, Abella, Rothstein, Cromwell, Moldaver and Karakatsanis JJ., File No. 34189) Decision at 198 A.C.W.S. (3d) 550 was reversed. 214 A.C.W.S. (3d) 796 (12 pp.).

Free newsletter

Our daily newsletter is FREE and keeps you up to date on all the developments in the Ontario legal community. Please complete the form below and click on subscribe for daily newsletters from Law Times.

Recent articles & video

Law professor Ryan Alford granted standing in national security law challenge

B. Courtney Doagoo returns to uOttawa as AI & society fellow

Hogan Lovells lawyers urge court to hear case from “Serial” podcast

Law Society of Ontario names new equity and Indigenous affairs committee members

Federal Court approves $1.47 billion settlement for day school survivors

Osler welcomes financial services partner Elizabeth Sale

Most Read Articles

Appeal court ‘withdraws’ real estate decision after it was signed in error

Challenges continue for legal aid practitioners despite funding boost from Ottawa

Law Society of Ontario names new equity and Indigenous affairs committee members

Amid enactment of sweeping law enforcement Bill C-75, LSO seeks status quo for students, paralegals