Bela Kosoian v. Société de transport de Montréal, et al.

(Quebec) (Civil) (By Leave)


Police - Civil liability, Damages - Police – Civil liability – Damages – Whether pictogram creates legal obligation to hold handrail of escalator in subway station – In civil liability context, standard applicable to police officer who commits acts against individual based on non-existent legal provision – Whether STM, as legal person established in public interest, is civilly liable for officer’s actions – Whether applicant can have contributed to her own injury by refusing to identify herself to officer if officer was acting on basis of non-existent regulatory provision.


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In May 2009, the appellant, Ms. Kosoian, was arrested by the respondent officer Camacho for refusing to hold the handrail while descending an escalator in the Montmorency subway station in Laval. Ms. Kosoian brought an action in damages against the respondents, Société de transport de Montréal, Ville de Laval and officer Camacho, in relation to the arrest. The Court of Québec dismissed the action. It found that the respondents had committed no fault. The majority of the Quebec Court of Appeal reached the same conclusion. Schrager J.A., dissenting, found the respondents to be solidarily liable. But he also concluded that Ms. Kosoian had partially contributed to her injury.