Case details

Defense claimed bus stopped suddenly due to imminent peril





Result type

Not present

back, knee, lower back, medial meniscus, right knee, tear
On Jan. 19, 2013, plaintiff Maxine Bell, 60, was a standing passenger on a Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus. As it was northbound on Crenshaw Boulevard, heading toward the intersection with 54th Street, the bus driver suddenly stopped to avoid a vehicle making a left turn. The force of the bus braking caused passengers to lose their balance. Bell claimed that another passenger fell on top of her, resulting in a twisting injury to her right knee. Bell sued the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Bell 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. Bell, acting in pro per, claimed that bus’s driver became distracted while talking to nearby passengers. She alleged that as a result, the bus’s driver failed to timely see the turning vehicle in front of him and failed to stop safely. Defense counsel presented an imminent peril defense, arguing that the bus driver acted in a reasonable manner in order to avoid the greater danger posed by the left-turning vehicle., Following the accident, Bell took a bus to the emergency room of Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, in Los Angeles, where her right knee was examined. She was later released with a walking cane. In July 2013, Bell underwent a right knee MRI in response to her complaints of continued pain. She was subsequently diagnosed with a torn medial meniscus of the right knee. Bell claimed that she later began to develop left knee pain due to overcompensating, as well as developed lower back pain. As a result, she began chiropractic treatment, but was unable to continue due to her pain. Bell is currently awaiting arthroscopic knee surgery. Bell claimed that as a result of her chronic pain, she suffers from emotional anguish. She alleged that she feels isolated from her family because of her altered emotional state and that she is no longer able to enjoy activities, such as dancing. Bell did not submit an expert designation. Defense counsel successfully moved to preclude any expert testimony on the plaintiff’s behalf.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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