Drunk woman suing SydneyTrains for being struck while trespassing

 
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Yesterday's Daily Telegraph (30 July 2016, p16) reports a lady suing the railways for hitting her with a train while she was drunkenly walking along the tracks near Gymea, Sydney, station. This happened at night near midnight.
She claims that the train's headlights were not turned on, and that the train did not sound its horn, and that the railways failed to notice her getting off or falling off the platform.



The lady was 14 years old at the time, and is now 20, suffering catastrophic brain damage. Damages worth several million dollars are being claimed in the suit.


All trains have small "marker" lights, but do all types of trains have bigger "headlights." Are there "blackboxes" which record the turning-on of these lights, or the sounding of horns?

It is noted in the article, that under the Civil Liability Act 2002 damages cannot be awarded if the claimant is intoxicated.

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  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
It's not April 1st is it?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Sadly it is April Fools Day.
It will go on for ages until the lawyers have got their money then settled out of court because a Train Controller at Orange was wearing odd socks on Pancake Tuesday in 1927.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Tracks are for trains, not pedestrians, even sober ones.
  Edith Chief Commissioner

Location: Line 1 from Porte de Vincennes bound for Bastille station
When I was a child in Victoria, the railway lines of Melbourne had wire fences to stop people wandering onto the train tracks.  You could do it, but you had to stoop and climb through. I believe the Railways dismantled these fences as they were obliged to maintain them if they were already there. Sort of admitting there was a danger by putting a fence there in the first place.  They removed the fences and now people have to make their own choices.

We all have a duty of care in the things we do. If you acknowledge a danger then you have to do something about it.  Barriers and procedures can be solutions.  In this case if someone did not follow all correct procedures then the plaintiff would have an action.

I remember talking to a man years ago who was sued by the Tramways for damages to a tram when he ran into the back of it late one night. He countered that the street lights were dim and the tram had broken down and was unlit.  That he was driving a VW bug compounded things. I never did hear how it turned out.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

When I was a child in Victoria, the railway lines of Melbourne had wire fences to stop people wandering onto the train tracks.  You could do it, but you had to stoop and climb through. I believe the Railways dismantled these fences as they were obliged to maintain them if they were already there. Sort of admitting there was a danger by putting a fence there in the first place.  They removed the fences and now people have to make their own choices.

We all have a duty of care in the things we do. If you acknowledge a danger then you have to do something about it.  Barriers and procedures can be solutions.  In this case if someone did not follow all correct procedures then the plaintiff would have an action.

I remember talking to a man years ago who was sued by the Tramways for damages to a tram when he ran into the back of it late one night. He countered that the street lights were dim and the tram had broken down and was unlit.  That he was driving a VW bug compounded things. I never did hear how it turned out.
Edith

I am not sure what wire fences have to do with this thread. This woman didn't just wander onto the tracks from a side street since the Sydney trains system is fenced off unlike Victoria. She stumbled onto the tracks from a platform while drunk. Audio messages are constantly being played on platforms to stay behind the yellow line. Why should Sydney trains have to pay for something that happened because of someone's own stupidity.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
When I was a child in Victoria, the railway lines of Melbourne had wire fences to stop people wandering onto the train tracks.  You could do it, but you had to stoop and climb through. I believe the Railways dismantled these fences as they were obliged to maintain them if they were already there. Sort of admitting there was a danger by putting a fence there in the first place.  They removed the fences and now people have to make their own choices.

We all have a duty of care in the things we do. If you acknowledge a danger then you have to do something about it.  Barriers and procedures can be solutions.  In this case if someone did not follow all correct procedures then the plaintiff would have an action.

I remember talking to a man years ago who was sued by the Tramways for damages to a tram when he ran into the back of it late one night. He countered that the street lights were dim and the tram had broken down and was unlit.  That he was driving a VW bug compounded things. I never did hear how it turned out.

I am not sure what wire fences have to do with this thread. This woman didn't just wander onto the tracks from a side street since the Sydney trains system is fenced off unlike Victoria. She stumbled onto the tracks from a platform while drunk. Audio messages are constantly being played on platforms to stay behind the yellow line. Why should Sydney trains have to pay for something that happened because of someone's own stupidity.
simstrain
It's a grab for cash by lawyers to get a fee, not just for the client.

Trains dont have to have headlights, look at the british for over 100+ years. We all know trains don't stop like a car. Headlight or not the tain would never have been able to stop if they saw the lady in the light. And as others say she was drunk.  Perhaps she should sue whoever sold here the booze !

Regards,
David Head
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
When I was a child in Victoria, the railway lines of Melbourne had wire fences to stop people wandering onto the train tracks.  You could do it, but you had to stoop and climb through. I believe the Railways dismantled these fences as they were obliged to maintain them if they were already there. Sort of admitting there was a danger by putting a fence there in the first place.  They removed the fences and now people have to make their own choices.

We all have a duty of care in the things we do. If you acknowledge a danger then you have to do something about it.  Barriers and procedures can be solutions.  In this case if someone did not follow all correct procedures then the plaintiff would have an action.

I remember talking to a man years ago who was sued by the Tramways for damages to a tram when he ran into the back of it late one night. He countered that the street lights were dim and the tram had broken down and was unlit.  That he was driving a VW bug compounded things. I never did hear how it turned out.

I am not sure what wire fences have to do with this thread. This woman didn't just wander onto the tracks from a side street since the Sydney trains system is fenced off unlike Victoria. She stumbled onto the tracks from a platform while drunk. Audio messages are constantly being played on platforms to stay behind the yellow line. Why should Sydney trains have to pay for something that happened because of someone's own stupidity.
It's a grab for cash by lawyers to get a fee, not just for the client.

Trains dont have to have headlights, look at the british for over 100+ years. We all know trains don't stop like a car. Headlight or not the tain would never have been able to stop if they saw the lady in the light. And as others say she was drunk.  Perhaps she should sue whoever sold here the booze !

Regards,
David Head
dthead
I am not a friend of lawyers, but I think that this has come about because Australia does not have a government compensation scheme. Third party liability is insurance for the track owners, rail operators etc and people are forced to sue to obtain funds to take care of their needs (medical, loss of income etc) for the rest of their lives if they suffered permanent injury.

This person with a permanent brain injury probably doesn't have the capacity to initate the claim, but rather the family or carer's that are looking after her have to seek funding from the insurance companies. As soon as you do that the lawyers are involved. For the amount involved I would say that this is a very serious brain injury.

While I agree being pissed on a railway line is high risk, the court will look at the history of preventing such an incident and who is responsible. Just because they are suing $X amount will mean they will get that. Also sadly for her, her legal reps and the court process will chew a significant amount (probably 30 to 70%).

Don't think in this case even if she successful and got the lot, that she will be drinking Pina Coladas in the Cayman Islands.

More think that she will be permanently cared for in a group home if she is lucky.

Without the lawyers and insurance she would be stuffed. It is a good thing we are introducing NDIS, but should we go to the NZ model of a government sanctioned compo scheme to reduce the sharks and free up the courts????

I do agree with you, she should not have been there, but she was and she did get hurt.

I think that we are so litigious these days, but we are forced to.
  Brianr Assistant Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
I also think this is just a method of obtaining support funds for the woman. I moved to NZ a little over 6 years ago. In Australia I was involved with a seniors walking group and we had to pay for insurance even though it was unlikely that any of us would sue the group after a misadaventure. We no longer worked and medical costs would be covered by Medicare or private health insurance. However there was always the risk that someone would sue the walk leader.  I now organise a similar group in NZ, no such worries. One lady even received ACC (accident compensation) after falling on her own back path.
  steam3801 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Newcastle
I see the fingerprints of an ambulance-chasing legal vulture all over this one.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
It's a grab for cash by lawyers to get a fee, not just for the client. - Dthead
I am not a friend of lawyers, but I think that this has come about because Australia does not have a government compensation scheme. Third party liability is insurance for the track owners, rail operators etc and people are forced to sue to obtain funds to take care of their needs (medical, loss of income etc) for the rest of their lives if they suffered permanent injury.

This person with a permanent brain injury probably doesn't have the capacity to initate the claim, but rather the family or carer's that are looking after her have to seek funding from the insurance companies. As soon as you do that the lawyers are involved. For the amount involved I would say that this is a very serious brain injury.

While I agree being pissed on a railway line is high risk, the court will look at the history of preventing such an incident and who is responsible. Just because they are suing $X amount will mean they will get that. Also sadly for her, her legal reps and the court process will chew a significant amount (probably 30 to 70%).

Don't think in this case even if she successful and got the lot, that she will be drinking Pina Coladas in the Cayman Islands.

More think that she will be permanently cared for in a group home if she is lucky.

Without the lawyers and insurance she would be stuffed. It is a good thing we are introducing NDIS, but should we go to the NZ model of a government sanctioned compo scheme to reduce the sharks and free up the courts????

I do agree with you, she should not have been there, but she was and she did get hurt.

I think that we are so litigious these days, but we are forced to.
Big J
So  sort of confirmation of my iniital premise, only the lawers will  make  the good cash. One could be cynical and say they went to her. And one could also assume they have told the carers/family that the people getting sued may just settle for the smaller amount, making the lawyers fee small too, they get easy money as well.

You are right the unfortunate lady is in the middle and is not well....

Regards,
David Head
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
The woman was drunk when hit and has been severely brain-damaged since. Just what standard of recollection will she have, and hence, how much reliable testimony can she possibly give? Any barrister who attempts to lead her if she's in the witness box will get jumped on firmly by the opposing counsel.
  BigTrain2015 Junior Train Controller

Anyone else think this is simply a poor joke?
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
When will people take responsibility for their own actions? Confused
  Tulloch4808 Locomotive Fireman

Let's see..... at the time of the accident she was 14 and drunk. Why don't they sue the people responsible for providing alcohol to a minor ??. And her parents were where???
  cityrail-rulez Chief Train Controller

First of all she shouldn't have been anywhere near the tracks, she must have been so drunk she didn't know where she was going and we all know alcohol is a depressant, it effects how quick we respond and slows our brain down

Second all trains are fitted with high/low beam headlights, so as stated above she would have been so drink to even take noticed

Third all trains I've seen sound their horn when leaving railway stations and at level crossings
HOWEVER, due to complaints that I would imagine that the railways get from people is sounding the horn during night either departing a station or approaching a level crossing so it's NOT the railway's fault if they are told to put a silence to the horn
that's what they are made for to give a distinctive warning sound

I think the driver would have sounded the horn but due to being too drink she'd most likely would have gotten angry with the sound and put her finger up at the driver LIKE I'VE SEEN FROM MANY DRUNKEN IDIOTS DO

It's like some drunken idiot would tell a dog to shut up in the middle of the night and not taking noticed what's happening

I saved a teenage girl from getting hit once near Newcastle, but she wasn't drunk she just goes under the boom gate and attemts to cross the tracks as the train departed and I pulled her back in time if it was a split second later well she would have been human sushi and she was very lucky I was there and the signal box control yelled at her for going under the boom gate illegally

Anyway, the point is that this women who's now 20 and 14 at the time souldn't even had been drinking
teenagers DO NOT know how to control their alcohol and many adults don't either LETS BAN ALCOHOL, WHY NOT!!!

It's her own stupidity to gain access to the tracks, if she thinks that the train didn't have it's headlights on and didn't sound the horn then she should have some sence NOT TO ENTER RAILWAY PROPERTY

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