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B.C. cyclist injured after driver turned right on red awarded $261K

James Christopher Rouse says he can no longer bike due to anxiety
A B.C. cyclist was awarded $261,000 in damages after getting struck by a driver in 2015. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

A B.C. cyclist has pocketed $261,000 in damages after getting struck by a driver who turned right on a bike-lane only green light.

James Rouse was biking home along his regular Vancouver commute route in February 2015 when he was hit by the driver of a vehicle and knocked to the ground. Rouse had been passing southbound through the Burrard Street intersection at Cornwall Avenue on a bike-only green light when driver Mary Lamarque turned right into him.

“The impact left a significant dent above the passenger-side tire on the defendants’ vehicle,” Supreme Court of B.C. Justice David Crerar wrote in his July 5 decision.

Rouse suffered some soft tissue injuries, which healed soon after, as well as osteoarthritis in his right hip, exacerbating a hip condition he already had and increasing his chances of requiring a hip replacement.

Now 53 years old, Rouse says the crash has made him too anxious to ride his bike anymore, which was his primary mode of transportation, and the hip injury prevents him from running and sitting or standing in one position for too long.

“It has diminished his joy of life,” Crerar wrote.

In his claim, Rouse also noted that should he need a hip replacement in the future, it will very likely mean he has to give up his hobby of competitive rowing for the rest of his life.

His actual damage claims centred primarily around loss of past and future earning capacity, housekeeping capacity and the cost of future care. Rouse suggested he should be paid $658,750, while the driver Lamarque said it should be between $139,000 and $153,000.

In his decision, Crerar settled on $260,950. Of that, $150,000 was for pain and loss of enjoyment, $30,000 was for loss of past earnings, $102,000 was for loss of future earnings and $25,000 was for cost of future care (such as physiotherapy and pain medication). Crerar awarded zero dollars for loss of housekeeping capacity, as even Rouse admitted he is still able to perform most chores.

READ ALSO: Cyclists and pedestrians injured in crashes no longer need to pay costs: ICBC


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About the Author: Jane Skrypnek

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media.
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