A woman who fell between a moving train and the platform in western Sydney has been awarded more than $1 million in damages by the NSW Supreme Court.
Aluk Majok Chol was captured by security cameras on the afternoon of August 4, 2016, as he attempted to board a train at Auburn station.
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A few seconds after the train pulls up, she collects her shopping bags and approaches the doors, which begin to close.
To prevent this, she stretches out her right arm, but her purse strap is caught and closed by the doors.
The train then pulls away while Chol pulls on her purse, causing her to fall between the edge of the platform.
The 46-year-old claims she suffered such “catastrophic injuries” that she will need extensive treatment and care for the rest of her life.
Sydney Trains argued that Chol was “the author of her own misfortune” and put herself in danger by trying to keep the doors from closing.
The rail network further alleged that Chol lost her balance and fell because she was intoxicated, and it was not an employee’s fault.
Judge Richard Cavanagh found that the accident was caused by accidental negligence on the part of a security guard who failed to ensure Chol was safe from danger before allowing the train to proceed.
“I do not accept that (Ms. Chol) was simply overwhelmed because she was drunk,” Judge Cavanagh wrote in his ruling on Wednesday.
“The train started moving immediately after the doors closed while she held on to the strap of her purse.
“This resulted in her being pulled or jostled and losing her balance.
“Of course, the fact that she was holding her purse shows how close she was to the edge of the train.”
The judge accepted the claim that travelers who made up their minds at the last minute and tried to catch a train in hopes of boarding were a regular occurrence.
And he agreed access officials couldn’t shift the schedule every time that happened, saying the ‘system’ that Sydney Trains operates is safe if followed.
And the judge pointed out that it is impossible to ensure that all passengers have removed themselves from a moving train.
“But standing right on the edge of the platform is clearly a precarious and very dangerous position,” he said.
Some of the injuries Chol has sustained include significant pelvic fractures that required extensive surgery, fractures to her spine, and a ruptured bladder.
She received $1,179,368.53 for her extensive aftercare after estimating that she would need $823,064.00 for adequate housing.
Damages, originally estimated at $1,760,251.54, were reduced by 33 percent for “contributory negligence.”
Chol did not claim economic damage as she had not worked since arriving in Australia from South Sudan.
https://7news.com.au/news/nsw/woman-who-fell-between-a-moving-train-and-platform-at-auburn-railway-station-awarded-1m-c-8315368 A woman who fell between a moving train and a platform at Auburn station was awarded $1 million