CASE LAW - Olson v Farran

BC Courts Coat of ArmsShortly before 8:40 a.m. on February 17, 2011 Kristin Olson was walking along Jervis Street at Nelson Street in Vancouver, B.C. She was walking in the direction of Davie Street and stopped to watch for traffic before crossing Nelson. She observed a car driven by Ashraf Farran approaching in the distance across the traffic circle. Thinking that the Farran vehicle was not a hazard, she crossed Nelson Street. She was struck by the Farran vehicle as she reached the opposite side of the intersection. The impact threw her onto the hood of the vehicle before she fell to the pavement where she landed on her left side.

Ms. Olson was holding a cell phone conversation with her mother at the time of the collision.

Justice Pearlman found Ms. Farran was familiar with the intersection and was aware that pedestrians might cross the roadway. She failed to maintain an adequate lookout for Ms. Olson who was there to be seen. Ms. Farran bears the greater fault for the accident. However, Ms. Olson failed to take reasonable care for her own safety by entering the crosswalk without keeping an adequate watch for Ms. Farran's oncoming vehicle. In these circumstances, he divided liability by apportioning 75% of the fault to Ms. Farran and 25% to Ms. Olson.


Does this mean that the victim will only receive 75% of the compensation that she would have received if she was watching the driver hit her? She was in a marked crosswalk, walking. Depending on her right to have priorty in the marked cross walk, to protect her.

If she had been paying attention and unable to get out of the way, then yes she could expect the driver to be 100% at fault and not receive reduced compensation.

So what did those  seconds in the cross walk on the phone, cost the injured pedestrian -was it $thousands/minute or tens of $thousands/minute or hundreds of $thousands/second for that conversation on the roadway. It seems that ICBC is now finding fault. How about ICBC investing in preventing these accidents?

ICBC is not the Supreme Court of BC.

In this case it is the pedestrian suing the driver. I suppose that ultimately may mean that Ms. Olson did not think that ICBC paid her enough but it is the court doing the fault finding here.

Thanks for the video of the scene. If the driver was wearing sunglasses,she may not have not seen the pedestrian in the shadows.This recently happened to me on a narrow rural road.I did not see the skateboarder until he was beside my vehicle in the shadows.Only good luck that prevented a collision and serious injury./death. Pedestrians, cyclists and skateboarders need to look out for themselves.

... that was a light settlement.

For sure, it was stupid of the pedestrian to presume that the vehicle would yield to her, so it's understandable that she lost a portion of the court's award.

And yes, there are times when the dappled lighting along much of Nelson Street west of Thurlow might interfere with a driver's vision (though that would not have been the case in February 2011 - I use that street frequently) but the driver has no excuse for not seeing the pedestrian, and yielding to her.

Only a few blocks from there, the VPD Motorcycle Squad like to setup their radar units from time to time, in the extensive 30 km/h Playground Zone along Beach Avenue.  Always seems a bit silly, being as pedestrians crossing Beach are always careful as it's a busy arterial, and conflicts are few.

But you never see those VPD Motorcycle Squad officers monitoring general behaviour of motorists - and pedestrians - elsewhere in the city.  I guess there's not much chance of catching either of them speeding, so what's the point, right?


This recently happened to me on a narrow rural road. I did not see the skateboarder until he was beside my vehicle in the shadows. Only good luck that prevented a collision and serious injury / death.

Good luck?

Surely, there has to be more involved than that?

It would be interesting to hear more from you as to the nature of this occurrence, and near disaster.

Very Narrow, winding road, no shoulder, driving into the sunshine-did not see the skate boarder in the shadows,coming towards me until he was beside the vehicle.Good luck ,as there are plenty of rough patches on the pavement that either party my have tried to dodge.I no longer wear sunglasses where there are shadows..

Although I drive defensively-I have been lucky.What are skate boarders, cyclists and pedestrians thinking ,when challenging a 2 ton vehicle for space on a narrow winding road?

There was a recent fatal vehicle accident on this section of winding rural  road. More signage and new signage"slow to 30KPH". have been installed.There were 4 signs indicating the speed limit, slow to 30, curve ahead, prior to the fatal.

The recent TRANS BC report describes the human factors in crashes. More signage, better signage is unlikely to prevent crashes such as this one .

If the 30 km/h signs are vertical rectangles with black lettering on a white background, then they are indeed speed limit signs.

If they're diamond shaped with black lettering on a yellow background, then they are warning signs, advising a slower speed than the limit due to the curve; the slower speed would give a driver more time to see what's ahead, and more time to react to it, as well as reducing both braking distance and - worst case scenario - force of impact.

Seems like a good idea to me, that's why they put signs up; all good drivers will notice them and respond to them although there will inevitably some who are not paying the necessary attention.

What was the nature of that fatal vehicle accident?

The vehicle went straght off the road,at he curve, hit a tree. The driver was found deceased in the morning.

We walk this section of road daily and there have been other similar accidents here without fatalty. The signage was clear, but drivers are driving too fast for conditions, distracted or impaired -the three leading causes of vehicle accidents.There was no publication of the cause of this fatal accident..

Another tragic , preventable road death. The spot is marked by flowers and a tree planted by family and friends.

How some pedestrians think that painted lines on a road will protect them against thousands of pounds with momentum. Putting trust in complete strangers when injury or death is a very real possible outcome just seems Insane to me. If you could manage to hit me crossing a road, there is now way I could sue as I would take full responsibility for my actions, even if I had a green light, if your bigger than me and can kill me, you have the right of way, very simple rule to stay alive.

Maybe I spent too much time in Mexico City and all over Mexico crossing streets, but I don't even walk down sidewalks without paying attention to vehicles coming in any direction.