A B.C. Supreme Court judge has awarded $260,950 in damages to a cyclist struck by a vehicle at the south end of Vancouver’s Burrard Street Bridge in February 2015.
“While cycling is good for the mind, soul, and body, and for the planet, the wet, dark streets and idiosyncratic drivers of Vancouver place cyclists at daily risk of grievous harm,” Justice David Crerar said in the July 5 ruling.
Crerar said James Christopher Rouse of Vancouver, now 53, was commuting home from downtown on his old Norco "rain bike.” He rode every day, living deliberately car-free. He now must use a car.
The judge said Rouse had the right of way on a green light in the cycling lane as he passed south through the intersection with Cornwall Avenue.
However, at the intersection’s end, Crerar found Mary Lamarque turned right on a red light, knocking the plaintiff and his bicycle to the ground.
The judge said the impact left a significant dent above the passenger-side tire on the defendants' vehicle.
“It also left the plaintiff with osteoarthritis in his right hip, with an increased risk of a necessary early hip replacement, along with certain soft tissue injuries, most of which have resolved,” Crerar said.
Residual injuries continue to make prolonged sitting and standing painful, the judge added.
“They have also deprived him of running, which served as ancillary training to his central life activity: competitive rowing in the masters category,” Crerar said. “Post-accident cycling anxiety has also deprived him of his primary mode of transportation. Happily, the accident injuries have not directly impacted his rowing, in which he continues to compete with some success.”
Rouse had sought $658,750 in damages while co-defendants Mary Lamarque and Joseph Lamarque suggested $139,000 to $153,000.