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Toronto Blames Girl Who Was Pushed Onto Subway Tracks: ‘She Was Travelling Alone’

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A girl is suing the Toronto Transportation Fee (TTC) for negligence after she was pushed off the platform onto the tracks by an assailant. 

She says the company failed to forestall and reply to the incident.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

A girl who was pushed onto the tracks at a busy subway station in Toronto in April “should have recognized” it was unsafe for her to journey on public journey “alone and unassisted,” says Toronto’s public transit company.

The lady is suing the Toronto Transportation Fee (TTC) for negligence after she was pushed off the platform onto the tracks by an assailant, and says the company failed to forestall and reply to the incident. 

However in its assertion of defence, the TTC alleges the sufferer is partly guilty for the assault she suffered. 

“It’s an appalling defence to take,” Nadia Condotta, one of many attorneys representing the lady who was pushed, instructed VICE World Information. “This type of defence in an assault declare is like blaming the sufferer in a sexual assault case for being assaulted for carrying a brief skirt.”  

When requested for remark, the TTC  instructed VICE World Information it doesn’t touch upon ongoing authorized issues.

On April 17, Shamsa Al-Balushi was standing on a platform at Yonge-Bloor when one other lady, now recognized as 45-year-old Edith Frayne, shoved Al-Balushi off the platform onto the tracks. Through the incident, caught on video, Al-Balushi is standing behind the thick yellow line separating the platform from the tracks when Frayne approaches her from behind and shoves her. 

In response to courtroom paperwork, Al-Balushi fell a number of ft off the platform and onto the tracks, earlier than she rolled over till she wasn’t on the tracks themselves. She screamed, as did onlookers, whereas they might hear the subway travelling within the distance, the paperwork say, and the prepare slowly pulled into the station and Al-Balushi was caught beside the prepare because it rolled in. In response to the paperwork, she needed to wait half-hour earlier than she obtained assist. 

Al-Balushi suffered a number of accidents from the incident, together with a damaged rib, neck and again ache, bruising and contusions all through her physique, and trauma, anxiousness, and despair. She’s at the moment unable to work. 

Frayne has since been charged with tried homicide. However Al-Balushi can also be suing the TTC for $1 million as a result of she says the company didn’t do sufficient to forestall and reply to the incident.

Her assertion of declare lists a number of alleged TTC failures, together with the failure to implement enough security measures, reply to the emergency promptly,  cease the subway prepare from driving onto the platform, and provides emergency companies entry to the tracks to save lots of her.

In its assertion of defence, the TTC maintains that Al-Balushi is herself accountable, at the very least partially, along with the assailant.

In response to the TTC’s assertion, Al-Balushi “didn’t take cheap steps and precautions for her personal security and safety.” The assertion says “she selected to face near the sting of the platform,” “didn’t pay due care and a focus to her environment,” and “was travelling alone and unassisted on public transit when she knew or should have recognized that it was unsafe for her to take action.”

Condotta disputed the claims.

“There’s video proof she wasn’t standing that near the tracks,” Condotta stated, including, “How are you going to declare to be doing every little thing you possibly can safety-wise after which in the identical breath say she wasn’t taking correct precautions—and correct precautions would have been travelling with any individual?”

“If she was a baby that’d be a extra viable argument however she’s not. She’s a grown lady,” Condotta stated. 

The TTC additionally says Al-Balushi knew or was aware of Frayne, and in consequence, ought to have recognized to take away herself from the scenario. Al-Balushi’s workforce maintains she didn’t know Frayne.

In its assertion of defence, the company additionally denies allegations that it didn’t reply promptly, and as a substitute says that it reacted in a “immediate and cheap method.” The TTC maintains that it signalled the incoming subway prepare, contacted emergency companies, and minimize traction energy. 

In response to Condotta, folks have both jumped or been pushed onto the tracks a number of occasions, a phenomenon that’s “underreported” and “shouldn’t occur.” 

“The TTC has some obligation to guard the people who use their companies,” she stated.  

Court docket paperwork say she’s now unable to do family chores usually, and since she doesn’t have a automobile, continues to be reliant on public transportation.

“She has to proceed taking the TTC as a result of she does not have a automobile, and now, she’s scared on high of every little thing else,” Condotta stated. 

Comply with Anya Zoledziowski on Twitter.