Driver loses lawsuit against City of Surrey, worker

Judge doesn't buy woman's version of events after Scott Road collision in 2012.

A woman who sued the City of Surrey and a maintenance worker for a 2012 collision has lost her lawsuit.

Roshan Ara Ali claimed that truck driver Rajinder Sandhu and the City of Surrey were responsible for a collision that took place near the exit of a parking lot on Scott Road near 95 Avenue.

The city and Sandhu argued that Ali was at fault because she illegally passed Sandhu’s 40-foot truck on the right.

Ali testified on her own behalf, claiming she was leaving the parking lot of her bank when she got stuck behind a large, slow-moving truck. She said she moved her vehicle to the right – the direction she wanted to turn on to Scott Road – believing the truck was turning left. She then claimed the truck’s reverse lights came on and it reversed into her, striking the side of her car on an angle.

Sandhu, who was servicing sewer pipes and manholes for the city, testified he was making a right turn onto Scott Road – under the direction of two safety workers – when he heard a “crunch.” It was only then, he said, that he saw Ali’s vehicle on his right. He said he was never backing up in the parking lot.

The investigating Surrey RCMP officer testified Ali’s version of events was not consistent with the vehicle damage he saw, as there was no damage to the rear of the truck Ali claimed had reversed into her.

In her  Feb. 1 decision, Justice Martha Devlin sided with the city and Sandhu, noting Ali was not a credible witness.

“Her version of events was sometimes vague and changed throughout her testimony, depending on what aspect of her testimony was challenged,” said Devlin. “As a result her testimony was internally inconsistent and contradictory.”

The judge also questioned Ali’s revelation that in 2014, two years after the crash, she encountered a woman who had witnesses the incident. While first saying she didn’t know the woman, phone records showed she had prior contact – a suggestion Devlin said the plaintiff tried to “explain away” at trial.

“Ms. Ali’s explanation of how she discovered the supposed witness…was most damaging to her credibility even though [the witness] did not testify at trial.”

Devlin concluded Ali was solely responsible for the collision, dismissing her lawsuit, with costs.

 

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