ttc subway pusher

TTC claims subway pushing victim was too close to edge of impossibly narrow platform

The TTC claims that the victim of a terrifying subway pushing incident was standing too close to the platform's edge in defence of a $1 million lawsuit filed against the transit agency.

But pretty much everyone who has ever waited for a train on the lower level of Bloor-Yonge station knows that "too close" is a relative statement on such a narrow, cramped platform.

In a video that gave transit riders around the city a good scare, 39-year-old Shamsa Al-Balushi was shoved onto the tracks in the path of an oncoming train, managing to roll under the lip of the platform, sustaining moderate injuries as the train passed just inches away.

Edith Frayne, 45, of Toronto, was later arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Represented by personal injury law firm Diamond and Diamond, Al-Balushi is seeking "damages in the amount of $1 million or some other amount which will be provided prior to trial," after suffering physical and emotional damage from the incident, but the TTC has no intention of taking responsibility for the April 17 incident.

The TTC claims that Al-Balushi "chose to stand close to the edge of the platform and failed to pay due care and attention to her surroundings," a statement that isn't sitting well with the victim and many commenters on social media.

"TTC boldly meeting the challenge of decreased ridership due to COVID-19 with its 'standing anywhere on the subway platform is inherently dangerous' campaign," reads one tweet.

The Line 2 platforms at Bloor-Yonge are already about as narrow as they can be, and during rush hour or even slightly above peak travel times, it can get pretty cramped down there. Standing close to the platform edge is rarely a matter of choice for commuters.

Defending against the lawsuit with a claim that the victim should have taken more care to avoid being pushed is coming across as victim-blaming to some.

The lawyer representing the victim, Darryl Singer, spoke to CP24, telling the outlet, "It's kind of like blaming the rape victim for wearing a short skirt."

Some seem to agree with the TTC's stance that the transit agency is not liable for what happened to Al-Balushi, but it's once again spurring a discussion about introducing (very costly) platform doors to stations with such safety concerns.

The suit alleges that the TTC "did not implement sufficient safety protocols on the subway platform."

The TTC argues "that at all material times, it took such care as in all the circumstances of the case were reasonable to see that persons entering on the premises were reasonably safe while on said premises."

Lead photo by

Clement Lo

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