Case details

Bus accident caused multiple traumatic injuries: plaintiff





Result type

Not present

chest, crush, foot, foot drop, heel, leg, penis, rectum, urological
On March 12, 2011, plaintiff Namar Burton, 22, a student, was with a group of friends aboard a “party bus” they hired to celebrate the birthday of a mutual friend at a Hollywood nightclub. At some point, Burton exited the bus and went to use a public restroom. He was subsequently run over by another bus and sustained multiple bodily . Burton sued the owner of the “party bus,” Luxury Sports LLC; the bus driver, Zamora Salvador; the owner of the bus that hit him, Platinum Limousine & Sedan; and the driver of the bus that hit him, Craig Allen Wade. Burton alleged that Salvador and Wade were negligent in the operation of their respective buses. He also alleged that Luxury Sports was vicariously liable for Salvador’s actions and that Platinum Limousine was vicariously liable for Wade’s actions. Prior to trial, both bus drivers were dismissed from the case, as it was determined they were engaged in the scope of their employment with the respective bus companies at the time of the incident. Burton claimed he and two friends asked the bus driver to let them out near McCadden Place and Yucca Street in Hollywood in order to use a bathroom. He claimed that when he returned to the street, the bus was gone and he had to run after a bus that was identical to the one he was previously in, causing him to be run over by that bus. Burton’s counsel contended Luxury Sports breached its contract and California Law by letting Burton and his friends out of the bus after they had been drinking and before they reached their point of destination. Counsel also contended that Luxury Sports breached its contract and California Law by leaving Burton and his friends at the bathroom stop without any plan to pick them up. Burton’s counsel further contended Platinum Limousine was negligent because the bus driver failed to see Burton in the unmarked crosswalk due to improper and impermissible shading of the windows. In addition, counsel contended driver of Platinum Limousine’s bus was wearing sunglasses at night. Defense counsel asserted that Burton was comparatively negligent. Counsel for Luxury Sports contended the bus arrived at its intended destination at the club and opened its doors, after which Burton got off the bus with a group. Counsel asserted that instead of following the group into the nightclub, Burton and two friends diverted to a nearby Starbucks to use the bathroom and that when the three returned, they did not see their party and did not know which club the party went to. Thus, Luxury Sports’ counsel asserted that Burton and his friends failed to communicate with the rest of their party and thought they should go look for the Luxury Sports bus, causing them to walk around the block until they saw the Platinum bus drive by. Counsel for Platinum Limousine contended that Burton was intoxicated, well over the legal limit, when he chased after the Platinum bus. The defense’s biomechanical expert opined that Burton ran into the rear tires of the bus as it was making a right turn onto Yucca Street. He further opined that the bus driver did not see, and could not have seen, Burton approaching from behind on the right side of the bus, in the darkness, as the bus made the right turn. The expert also testified that the bus driver was not wearing sunglasses nor was he cited for any infractions., Burton was struck and dragged under the bus until his friend smashed the front window and yelled for the driver to stop. At some point, the bus backed up and ran over Burton a second time. Los Angeles Fire Fighters treated Burton at the scene, and he was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood. Burton sustained degloving from his chest to his knees, resulting in traumatic castration and maceration of his scrotum, as well as a degloving of his penis. He also sustained a massive anorectal injury, multiple fractures and crush throughout his body. Burton remained in the hospital for four months, during which he underwent multiple surgeries that included a colostomy. Burton alleged that he might have to use a colostomy bag for the rest of his life, and that he suffers from drop foot. He claimed that as a result of the drop foot, he must use a wheelchair extensively, as he is only able to walk short distances with the aid of a cane. He also claimed he suffers unspecified lost earnings due to not being able to pursue a career as an aspiring writer. Thus, plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award damages for Burton ‘s loss of earnings, past and future medical costs, and past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel asserted that Burton’s were the result of his own actions, in that Burton ran into the side of a moving bus while intoxicated. Counsel also asserted that Burton’s future loss of earnings would not be diminished, as Burton was and is an aspiring writer.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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