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Drunk Pedestrian Looking for a Fight Only 40% at Fault for Being Run Over


This intoxicated pedestrian, Mr. Joel Robert Michael Ackley, made fun of a driver’s dreadlocks and removed his shirt while waiting for the driver to emerge from the Subway (Ackley v. Audette,2015 BCSC 1272). As the driver tried to leave the parking lot Mr. Ackley tried to prevent him from getting into his car. When the driver got into his car he accidentally ran over the claimant fracturing his pelvis and causing serious injuries.
The Court of Appeal upheld the finding that Mr. Ackeley was 40% to blame for his own injuries stating:

[49] Further, I note that even after Mr. Audette was in his car with the driver’s door closed Mr. Ackley proceeded to strike the hood and windows of the car with sufficient force to leave marks. Mr. Audette’s testimony was that, as he backed up out of the parking stall, Mr. Ackley followed beside the driver’s door and continued striking the window. The trial judge made no factual finding as to the amount of time that elapsed between Mr. Ackley’s final aggressive act and Mr. Audette’s acceleration forward, but it is apparent that the events unfolded quickly and seamlessly. In these circumstances, it would be wholly artificial and inappropriate to attempt to parse out what amounts to a single transaction into a series of discrete stages or read the judge’s reasons as suggesting that the emotional impact of the confrontation on Mr. Audette simply evaporated once he got into the car. In my view, the judge made no error by taking account of the entirety of Mr. Ackley’s behaviour in concluding that his negligence was a contributing cause of the injuries he suffered. I would not give effect to this ground of appeal.(Ackley v. Audette, 2017 BCCA 283)

Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.

Tags: contributory negligence

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