In Benavides v. Doe, the Plaintiff was injured on a bus when the bus driver stopped abruptly. The Plaintiff commenced an ICBC claim, and formal legal proceedings were eventually commenced. ICBC was named as a nominal Defendant, as the identity of the bus driver was unascertainable.
ICBC’S lawyer argued that the Plaintiff failed to prove that he was injured on the bus or, in the alternative, even if the Plaintiff did make out a prima facie case that he was injured, the evidence did not show that Translink breached the standard of care owed as a public carrier to the Plaintiff.
The Court would rule that the Plaintiff was in fact injured after the bus driver stopped abruptly at a bus stop. When this occurs, a reverse onus of proof applies, as it is then up to the Defendant to show that the injuries occurred without any negligence on the part of the bus driver. The standard of care owed to a bus passenger is what would be expected of a reasonably prudent bus driver in the circumstances. The standard is not one of perfection.
The Court, after hearing all the evidence, ruled that the bus driver was negligent by breaching the standard of care expected of a reasonably prudent driver. There was no evidence to indicate that the bus driver had to stop abruptly in order to avoid any unexpected hazards, and, contrary to policy, the driver did not decelerate smoothly as he approached the bus stop.
Although the identity of the bus driver was not ascertainable, the Court nevertheless found that Translink was vicariously liable for the injuries suffered by the Plaintiff.
 The plaintiff has established that he was injured while a passenger on a bus operated by Translink, a public carrier. Accordingly, he has made out a prima facie case of negligence, and the burden shifts to the defendants to show that Mr. Benavides’ injuries occurred without negligence on the part of Translink, or that it resulted from a cause for which the defendants are not responsible.
 I find that the bus driver breached the standard of care expected of a reasonable and prudent bus driver by braking abruptly without warning his passengers and by braking suddenly in order to stop the bus at or beyond its regular stop at Fraser and 22nd Avenue.
 A public carrier may be liable for the negligence of its drivers even where, as here, the plaintiff is unable to identify the bus driver. In Kean v. British Columbia Transit, 1998 CanLII 1817 (BC SC), 1998 CanLII 1817 (BCSC), the plaintiff was injured when a privately owned bus hired by BC Transit as a replacement for its own buses stopped suddenly. Because the plaintiff advised the driver at the time of the accident that she was not hurt, the bus driver was never identified. The plaintiff claimed against BC Transit. In Kean at para. 16, Mr. Justice Cohen held:
Regarding the issue of the vicarious liability, … I agree with plaintiff’s counsel that BC Transit is liable for the actions of the driver and the owner of the bus that was placed on the route by BC Transit to transport passengers from the bus stop in White Rock to the Broadway stop in Vancouver. If the plaintiff was able to establish the actual identity of the driver and the owner of the subject bus, then she would be able to succeed at trial against them, as well as BC Transit. The fact that the driver or the owner of the subject bus have not been identified does not, in my view, remove BC Transit’s liability to the plaintiff.