Laval, Quebec, Canada (12/02/19)— A Canadian woman, arrested for not holding on to an escalator handrail, was awarded $20,000 in damages by the Canadian Supreme Court.
In 2009, Bela Kosoian was riding an escalator at the Montmorency Montreal Metro Station when an officer stopped her for not holding on to a handrail. A sign that stated “Caution. Hold Handrail” was posted near the escalator.
Kosoian was subsequently detained and, upon her release, was given a $100 ticket for disobeying the sign and a $320 fine for obstructing an inspection worker.
Though she was acquitted of the infractions in 2012, she sued Montreal’s transit authority, the city, and one of the officers for $45,000.
The lawsuit was rejected in Quebec court in 2015, and again in 2017 by the Quebec Court of Appeal.
The Canadian Supreme Court, however, unanimously disagreed, stating the sign was a warning, not a law.
Then, on November 29, 2019, the court ruled Kosoian be paid $20,000 in damages in Canadian dollars, which is roughly $15,000 American.
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