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Clyde & Co successfully defends First Group on injury claim

Posted: 5th November 2020
  • Sheriff finds in favour of defender in black ice bus crash case

Global law firm Clyde and Co successfully defended a claim on behalf of First Group before the All-Scotland Personal Injury Court yesterday.

The claim centred on whether a collision between a bus and a van was caused by the negligence of the bus driver or the unexpected occurrence of black ice. The collision occurred early on a December morning within a bus stop in Bathgate. The van was stationary at the time of the collision. The principal of res ipsa loquitor was applied by the courts, with the onus on the defender to rebut the presumption that the incident had been caused by driver’s negligence.

Evidence was led from multiple witnesses on both sides, and included CCTV footage taken from the bus that showed the collision. After considering all the evidence, the court found that despite the presence of black ice on the road at the bus stop, the bus driver had no reason to anticipate this due to the condition of the roads elsewhere.

The court also found that the driver had been driving with due care and attention in respect of the road conditions that he reasonably anticipated to encounter. As such, the defenders were held to have rebutted the presumption of negligence and the pursuer’s claim failed.

Vikki Melville, Managing Partner for Scotland, said: “Although sadly the van’s passenger was injured in the collision, the issue was over what caused the collision and the ruling has confirmed that that there was no negligence on the part of the bus driver. I am delighted with the work of our team on this case, and pleased that the virtual hearing technology worked well. The entire hearing took place remotely using Webex technology, which presented no issues with witness evidence or the sharing of CCTV footage.  The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service should be commended for their smooth running of proceedings.”

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