$26k for girl hit by bus

A Labasa bus driver and company have been ordered to pay $26,058 to a student who was injured in an accident in 2016.

Abigail Kinikinilau was crossing the road at Tuatua Housing when a Dalip Chand Bus driven by Vellaidam hit her and dragged her for about 30 metres while she was underneath the vehicle.

In his ruling, Justice A.L.B.Brito-Mutunayagam found the bus driver was “driving at a fast speed and he failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to heed the presence of the plaintiff, slow down and exercise care and control to avoid the collision”.

“He drove onto the incorrect side of the road,” the judge said.

“I find the first defendant negligent and his negligence caused the collision.”

In determining the extent of the injury, the court found Ms Kinikinilau was run over, went underneath the bus and got dragged with the bus for 20 to 30 metres over potholes and gravel surface.

“She had no fractures. It was expected that she could not go to school for two months due to the swelling and secondary trauma.

“She suffered acute pain for the first few days. The pain was medically categorised as 4 out of 5. Her skin healed in six weeks. On 30th August 2018, her last date of review, she had no swelling.”

Justice Mutunayagam awarded general damages of $25,000 and $450 for special damages. Interest payable on both awards was $654.

Vellaidam and Dalip Chand Bus were also ordered to pay court costs of $5000 to Ms Kinikinilau.

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