Imagine being arrested and fined for not holding an escalator handrail — unfortunately for Bela Kosoian, this happened in Canada!
The Montréal Municipal Court acquitted Kosoian and found that not holding the handrail was not an offence. Yet, Kosoian’s attempts to sue for her wrongful arrest have been unsuccessful – which is why she is taking her case to the Supreme Court of Canada.
In this episode, learn about:
- The story of Bela Kosoian, the woman who was arrested in Québec in 2009 for not holding an escalator handrail
- How and why Bela Kosoian sued for her wrongful arrest
- Why the Québec Court of Justice and the Québec Court of Appeal ruled that Bela Kosoian was not entitled to damages
- Damages: the kind of damages being sought by Kosoian
- Damages: the case of Cameron Ward, the lawyer who sued the City of Vancouver after the police wrongfully arrested and strip-searched him because they thought he might throw a pie at the Prime Minister
On November 29, 2019, after this episode was released, the Supreme Court of Canada allowed Bela Kosoian’s appeal. It ruled that the police officer had no legal justification to arrest Kosoaian and awarded her $20,000 in damages.
Supreme Court of Canada decision (English version)
CTV News article “Why the handrail verdict matters”
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iHeartRADIO article that includes the pictogram referred to in this episode
Toronto Star article about Bela Kosoian and her case
CTV News coverage about Bela Kosian’s case