Case details

Bus’s passenger made no claim of injury after alleged fall: defense





Result type

Not present

back, brain, brain injury, bulging disc, closed head injury, cognition, concussion, head, herniated disc, lumbar, mental, psychological
On March 7, 2016, plaintiff Rocio Galan, 42, a housekeeper, boarded a transit bus that was stopped in Chatsworth. She claimed that, before she could seat herself, the bus’s driver resumed travel and caused her to fall. Galan claimed that she suffered of her back and her head. Galan sued the driver’s employer, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Galan alleged that the bus’s driver was negligent in the operation of the bus and that the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority was vicariously liable for the driver’s actions while in the course and scope of the driver’s employment. Galan claimed that she was not given enough time to sit down before the bus proceeded forward. She also claimed that no one said anything about her fall and no one checked on her. Defense counsel contended that there is no policy or law stating that a bus driver has to wait for all passengers to sit down. Counsel also disputed the alleged fall, asserting that Galan never told the driver or any of the passengers that she fell., Galan claimed she sustained blunt force trauma to her head, causing her to sustain a closed head injury and a concussion. She alleged that as a result, she lost consciousness for up to a minute. She also claimed that she sustained a 4 millimeter lumbar disc bulge at the L4-5 level. Galan presented to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, in Northridge, the day after her alleged fall. She then underwent physical therapy and chiropractic treatment for three months, and received trigger point injections from her treating orthopedic surgery expert. Galan claimed that she continues to suffer a loss of memory and cognitive issues. The plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgery expert opined that the lumbar disc herniation caused leakage of the inner gel of the disc and that Galan will need future epidural injections and possibly a future back surgery. The plaintiff’s neuropsychology expert opined that Galan suffered from cognitive issues and memory loss and that Galan needed to treat with psychological counseling, in home services and medication. Galan sought recovery of past and future medical costs, and damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel denied the extent of Galan’s alleged . The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon testified that Galan had a bulging lumbar disc, but opined that it was degenerative in nature. The expert also opined that there was no impingement or leakage of the lumbar disc, as it was not shown on the MRI or any other medical records. As a result, the defense’s expert opined that, based on Galan’s medical records at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, in the Willowbrook area of Los Angeles, Galan only had degenerative changes. The defense’s neurology expert testified that he disputed Galan’s alleged concussion because he found no independent evidence of a blow to the head, as Galan claimed.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Torrance, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case