Reasons for judgement were published last month addressing a key liability question – is a driver of a taxi negligent for not securing a seatbelt on an adult passenger who is in a wheelchair? The answer was yes.
In the recent case (Stillwell v. Richmond Cabs Ltd.) the Plaintiff was injured while being transported in a taxi. The Defendant driver helped load the Plaintiff in his taxi and “did not affix the wheelchair seatbelt that would have secured Ms. Stillwell’s body in place.“. The court found that due to her physical limitations the Plaintiff “would not have been able to secure the wheelchair seatbelt by herself due to its positioning in the Taxi.”
The driver was mildly exceeding the speed limit and following a vehicle before him a bit closely. Raccoons ran onto the road. The vehicles stopped suddenly. No collision occurred. But the Plaintiff was thrown from her wheelchair suffering serious injuries.
The Defendant denied liability. However the Court found the driver was negligent both for failing to affix the seatbelt on his passenger and for following the front vehicle too closely which contributed to the sudden breaking.
In finding the defendant negligent the court provided the following reasons: