Aluk Majok Chol awarded $1million payout from Sydney Trains after falling between train and platform

Sudanese immigrant awarded more than $1million after wedging her handbag in train doors and clinging on as she was pulled between the moving train and the platform

  • Sydney Trains will have to pay a woman more than one million dollars after a fall
  • Six years ago, Aluk Chol was pulled between a moving train and the platform
  • She had been holding onto a handbag she’d got stuck between the trains doors 
  • The court heard station guards were negligent in allowing the train to move off

A woman has won a huge payout after falling between a moving train and the platform when he bag was caught in the door.

Aluk Majok Chol was awarded more than $1 million in a David and Goliath courtroom battle against Sydney Trains after she was seriously injured in 2016.

Ms Chol, 52, attempted to board a train at Auburn Station on August 4, 2016, by swinging her handbag between the doors to stop them closing.

But the doors didn’t open and she was left clinging on to her bag until the train pulled her off balance as it left the station.

Sydney Trains will have to pay out a Sydney woman more than $1million six years after she fell between a moving train and a platform with her handbag stuck in the doors

Sydney Trains will have to pay out a Sydney woman more than $1million six years after she fell between a moving train and a platform with her handbag stuck in the doors 

CCTV showed the moment she fell between the edge of the platform and the moving train and suffered  severe injuries.

Justice Richard Cavanagh said the severity of the injuries showed the negligence of Sydney Train, and ordered it to pay Ms Chol $1,179,368.53 compensation. 

‘Whilst there is a dispute as to the extent of her incapacity and disabilities, there is little dispute as to the nature of the frank injuries sustained,’ he said, according to NCA Newswire.

Sydney Trains’ lawyers argued Ms Chol was the ‘author’ of her own misfortune, saying she was intoxicated and fell because she couldn’t balance properly.

The woman suffered extensive injuries as a result of the accident at Auburn Station (pictured) in Sydney's west

The woman suffered extensive injuries as a result of the accident at Auburn Station (pictured) in Sydney’s west

Ms Chol claimed Sydney Trains was negligent across the board, with ‘inadequacies’ in the system at the station, ‘failures’ on the part of station staff and the train’s guard to stop the train from moving while she was in danger.

Her barrister, John Catsanos SC, claimed staff saw Ms Chol walk towards the train door and ‘allowed the train to commence to move’ instead of making sure Ms Chol was away from the train as it left the station.

‘They allowed the train to commence to move despite her position,’ he said.

Ms Chol further argued ‘catastrophic’ injuries from the accident made her disabled and in need of extensive treatment and care for the rest of her life.

Sydney Trains defence lawyer David O’Dowd said Ms Chol put herself in danger by attempting to stop the doors from closing. 

Ms Chol's lawyer argued Sydney Trains (pictured) staff were negligent in allowing the train to move off with Ms Chol so close to the carriages

Ms Chol’s lawyer argued Sydney Trains (pictured) staff were negligent in allowing the train to move off with Ms Chol so close to the carriages

‘Whilst Sydney Trains does not dispute what is shown on the CCTV footage, it submits that the plaintiff would not have fallen if she had not been intoxicated,’ Justice Cavanagh said. 

The defence submitted its employees acted in line with the ‘accepted system’.

The justice didn’t accept Ms Chol was intoxicated and said the fact she was still clutching her handbag showed how close she had been to the edge of the train. 

Justice Cavanagh found the accident to have been caused by a casual act of negliglence by a guard, but conceded passengers often attempt to jump onto the carriage at the last minute and trains couldn’t be delayed every time it happened.

He also accepted it wouldn’t be possible to ensure passengers were a safe distance from moving trains at all times. 

Ms Chol was awarded $1,179,368.53, which includes payment for general damages, past and future care, accomodation costs, out-of-pocket expenses, future treatment and needs.

Sydney Trains will have to pay Ms Chol the entire sum.

It was estimated she would need $823,064 for appropriate accommodation. 

Ms Chol didn’t make any claim for economic loss because she hadn’t worked since emigrating to Australia from South Sudan. 

Source

Related posts