Student who stepped off moving train wins damages
A KZN student who stepped off a moving train after it failed to stop at her station has successfully sued the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) for damages, says a Sunday Times report. Even though the train was still moving, Ngcobo stepped through an open carriage door and fell onto the platform, sustaining a serious blow to the head, and the injury had affected her studying.
Ngcobo's legal team insisted the coach doors should have been locked and secured, that the driver failed to stop at the station and that the train was not in proper working order.
A train expert and former driver, Wessel Strydom, testified that the coaches have doors that close and lock automatically when the train is in motion.
KZN High Court (Pietermaritzburg) Judge Peter Olsen, however, believed Ngcobo's actions were also negligent and that a reasonable person wouldn't have stepped off a moving train.
Olsen accepted evidence that the driver was suspended for 12 months after the incident.
‘After he was restored to his position as driver he again missed a station and that resulted in him being demoted to the position of a guard.’
Olsen ordered Prasa to pay half of Ngcobo's medical costs, which are yet to be determined.
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