Case details

Man said he was dragged through intersection by MTA bus





Result type

Not present

biceps tendon, elbow, tear
On June 1, 2017, plaintiff David Budwin, a 59-year-old disabled man, was in Los Angeles. He claimed he was attempting to exit a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus when his right elbow became lodged in the door of the bus, causing him to be dragged by the bus. Budwin claimed a shoulder injury. Budwin sued the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He alleged that the MTA’s bus driver was negligent and that the MTA was vicariously liable for the actions of its employee. Budwin alleged that he was trying to catch a bus from Hollywood to downtown Los Angeles with his service dog and cart of belongings. The cart was about the size of a stroller. He claimed that he got on the bus to tap his card, momentarily leaving his dog and cart on the curb. Budwin asserted that the bus driver would not let him board because of the cart, the dog or overcrowding on the bus. He said there were some words exchanged and then the driver began pulling away with the doors still open. Budwin alleged that he tried to exit the bus as it was rolling so that he could get back to his dog and cart, but the doors began closing before he could get off the bus. According to Budwin, he tried to slide out the door after briefly trying to hold the doors open with his back, but the doors shut on his right elbow, leaving him running backwards alongside of the bus. Budwin claimed he was pulled through the entire intersection before the driver opened the doors and he was able to escape. Budwin said that he immediately called MTA customer service and reported the incident. He alleged that it was documented that he spoke with the supervisor as well, but the customer service representative intentionally sent this incident report to an unmonitored holding account instead of to the applicable division for investigation. As a result, Budwin maintained, the security video/audio from the bus was never downloaded and was overwritten after 30 days, as was the audio recording of this first call to customer service. The MTA denied that the incident ever happened. , Budwin went to the emergency room at California Hospital Medical Center on the same day as the incident. He was diagnosed with a torn right biceps tendon, given ibuprofen and instructed to ice it. Several days later, Budwin went back to the emergency room, this time at LAC+USC Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with a partially torn right biceps tendon. Budwin did not receive any further treatment or evaluation for his injury. Budwin claimed that he suffers from permanent right arm pain and weakness with use. He further stated that he has trouble brushing his teeth, lifting things and opening cabinets, and has an inability to finish tasks due to pain and weakness. He sought $233,630 in general damages. The MTA alleged that the incident did not occur and that Budwin’s injury was minor and preexisting.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, CA

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