A widower whose wife died after being hit by a tour bus in the car park of a popular visitor attraction, has won damages at the Court of Session against the coach company involved.
Rachel Cassells, 50, who worked at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s shop in Kilmahog in the Trossachs, died in April 2015 after being struck by a bus as she walked across the store’s car park.
Douglas Cassells, Mrs Cassells’ husband, sued coach operator Allan’s Group claiming their bus driver Brian Alexander caused his wife’s death.
Mrs Cassells, a catering assistant, who lived in Stirling, had gone out from her workplace at 6:30pm to greet a single-decker coach load of tourists arriving at the car park.
Lawyers for Mr Cassells claimed Mr Alexander, who had 20 years experience of driving coaches, had not been taking sufficient care in the moments leading up to the incident.
Lawyers for the company argued Mr Alexander had done all he could prior to the collision.
In a written judgment judge Lady Carmichael ruled in favour of Mr Cassells. Lady Carmichael also ruled against Edinburgh Woollen Mill.
Mr Cassells, who originally sued the two companies for £700,000, will receive an undisclosed sum for damages.
Lady Carmichael ruled Mrs Cassells actions were partly negligent and that this would cause the award to be reduced by 30 per cent.
Lady Carmichael wrote: “I regard the driver of the bus as primarily responsible for the accident and injury to Mrs Cassells which resulted in her death.
“The risk of harm posed by a large vehicle in collision with a pedestrian is obviously relevant in considering causative potency.
“That said, I regard the second defenders as bearing a significant share of the responsibility.
“The risk of injury to employees in the car park was obvious and not mitigated by the very straightforward and practical measures which would have been open to second defenders and which they adopted after the accident.”
The court also heard that Mrs Cassells’s employer did not carry out a risk assessment which considered the possibility of employees being struck in the car park by vehicles.
Lady Carmichael said the risk assessment was “inadequate” and that Mrs Cassells shouldn’t have been
allowed to greet coaches in the car park.
She wrote: “Had there been a prohibition, I am satisfied that she would have respected it and the accident would not have occurred.”
Lady Carmichael also concluded that Mrs Cassells’s actions partly contributed to the collision.
Witnesses included a number of tourists from Sweden, Italy and the US who gave evidence by video link.