Case details

Plaintiff claimed wheelchair was not property secured on bus





Result type

Not present

arm, brain, brain damage, bruise, cognition, head, mental, psychological, shoulder, traumatic brain injury
On Oct. 8, 2015, plaintiff Marie Green, a 77-year-old disabled woman, was in her wheelchair on a public bus traveling in Perris when the wheelchair tipped and fell. Green claimed to her head, arms and shoulders. Green sued Riverside Transit Agency, which owned the bus, and Empire Transportation Inc., which had a contract with the agency to operate and maintain agency buses in Perris and other locations by providing drivers. The county of Riverside was also sued, but it was dismissed from the case prior to trial. Green claimed that the bus driver failed to properly secure her wheelchair and independent witnesses testified that there was broken safety equipment on the bus immediately after the incident. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that the bus was negligently maintained, as the clamps or straps used to secure the wheelchair were broken. Defense counsel argued that the wheelchair tipped for unknown reasons, including a possible defect in the wheelchair. Counsel also argued that there were no broken straps or clamps on the bus., After the accident, Green was taken to a hospital, where she was treated for bruises to her arms and shoulders, and a bump on her head. She was released the next day. However, Green claimed that she sustained a traumatic brain injury, resulting in memory impairment and cognitive deficiencies. Green claimed that as a result of her brain injury, she needs to live in a facility 24 hours a day for seven days a week for the next 11 years, her assumed life expectancy. Green sought recovery of $28,000 in past medical costs and an unspecified amount for her future medical costs. She also sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award Green $5 million in total damages as reasonable recovery. Defense counsel denied that Green sustained any serious injury and specifically denied that she sustained a traumatic brain injury. Counsel noted that Green had significant degeneration in her back and hips prior to the accident and that Green lived with her son, who was her 24/7 caretaker since 2001. Defense counsel admitted that Green suffered from deficits, but argued that the deficits were degenerative and not caused by the accident. The defense’s neurology and gerontology experts opined that Green did not sustain a traumatic brain injury. The gerontology expert further opined that Green had marked degeneration, which was age-related.
Superior Court of Riverside County, Riverside, CA

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