The Appeal Court has reduced a Surrey man’s award against Greyhound Canada Transportation. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk).

Court shaves Surrey man’s award against Greyhound

Bus passenger had been returning to Surrey to see his family when the crash happened

Greyhound Canada Transportation will pay less than what a B.C. Supreme Court judge awarded a Surrey man who was injured in a bus crash, after appealing the decision in court.

Ujagar Singh Dhaliwal, 61, had been working at a lumber mill in Mackenzie and was returning to Surrey to see his wife and children on Dec. 22, 2007 when the crash happened. He had been a passenger on a Greyhound bus.

The court heard there had been fresh snow on the Trans-Canada Highway west of Hope when driver Jaskaran Singh Dhillon lost control of the bus and it crashed into a concrete barrier. Dhaliwal, who was seated at the time, ended up getting stuck in between two seats, on his knees, on the floor of the bus.

Dhaliwal sued and was awarded $960,573.

Greyhound called for a new trial, arguing that the judge “misconstrued evidence and drew incorrect inferences,” Appeal Court Justice Mary Saunders noted in her reasons for judgment, delivered July 12 in Vancouver. The bus line also argued that the trial judge’s assessment of Dhaliwal’s damages was too high for past and future loss of earning capacity.

“The parties urged us to recalculate damages in the event we found an error in quantum, rather than remitting the question to the trial court,” Saunders noted. “In my view, this is an appropriate case to do so.

“I would allow the appeal only to the extent of reducing the damage award for past loss of income earning capacity by one month’s income,” Saunders decided. She also discounted by 20 per cent remaining damages for a period of 19 months.

Justices David Harris and Lauri Ann Fenlon concurred.

tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com