Langley School District’s board office. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley School District’s board office. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley school district ordered to pay after gate strikes truck

A woman won a small claims case over the damage to her pickup

A Langley woman won a judgment of more than $2,600 against the Langley School District in small claims court this month after a school gate hit and damaged her truck.

On Aug. 6, 2019, Mona Feist drove her pickup truck into the parking lot of a Langley school.

The school isn’t named in the civil ruling, but Feist told the tribunal that the gate had a pair of swinging metal arms that could be chained shut to close off the entrance.

On that day, the right arm swung out and collided with the passenger side of her truck, according to Feist.

It did damage to both the rear cab door pillar and then struck under the box liner.

“She says she had to drive forward to detach the right gate from her truck,” wrote tribunal member Rama Sood in their decision.

ICBC paid for the damage, which totalled $2,493, with a $300 deductible, but Feist said she wanted to pay for the damage herself so as to not affect her insurance rates.

The district denied that the gates could have caused the damage, saying that they are too heavy to move independently.

When open, the left gate was attached to another metal post near the driveway. There was no post to attach the right gate.

“On balance, I find Ms. Feist’s truck was damaged by the right gate,” said Sood.

The district hadn’t established how heavy the gates were, so there was no way to know if they could move independently, wrote Sood.

The fact that the left gate could be secured to a post, but there was no post for the right side of the gate, showed that the district was aware the gate should have been secured when it was open, according to the ruling.

The district was ordered to pay Feist $2,622.04, for damages and to reimburse her $125 in tribunal fees, plus interest.