Wed | Oct 17, 2018

Court awards $3 million plus interest to woman injured on JUTC bus

Published:Thursday | May 7, 2015 | 5:34 PMBarbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

The Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited (JUTC) is to pay damages amounting to $3 million with interest to a passenger who was seriously injured while travelling in one of its buses.

Acting Supreme Court Judge Marcia Dunbar-Green made the award in favour of practical nurse, Janet Stewart-Earle.

The JUTC had denied liability and contended that Stewart-Earle caused her own injury.

Stewart-Earle testified that in the Supreme Court that on December 16, 2007 she was travelling on a JUTC bus and on reaching Havendale, St Andrew, she rang the bell to get off at the next stop.

She said as she stood and held onto the overhead rail the driver swung the bus to avoid a large pothole.

Stewart-Earle said she fell between the seats of the bus injuring her hip, buttocks and other parts of her body.

She said she could not return to her job at a nursing home as she was unable to lift patients.

The judge found that the driver was negligent and did not manoeuvre the bus with the skill and care of a reasonable driver.

Stewart-Earle, who was represented by attorneys-at-law David Henry and Winsome Marsh,  was awarded $2.5 million for pain and suffering, $172,000 for loss of earnings and $333,768 for special damages.

Attorney-at-law Andre Wedderburn instructed by Queen's Counsel Dorothy Lightbourne represented the JUTC and opposed the claim for loss of future earnings.

The judge found that the claimant did not bring any credible evidence to prove loss of future earnings.