Case details

Turning bus crushed leg and caused amputation: pedestrian





Result type

Not present

crush injury, fracture, leg
On Nov. 1, 2011, at approximately 3:50 p.m., plaintiff Lang Nguyen, an unemployed 67 year old, disembarked from a Sacramento Regional Transit District bus, operated by Janet Chacon, at the Indian Lane stop in Sacramento. Nguyen then proceeded south on Indian Lane and attempted to cross Florin Road. Upon reaching the intersection, Nguyen walked approximately nine feet within a marked crosswalk and was struck by Chacon, who was in the process of making a right turn. The bus subsequently ran over Nguyen’s right foot, ankle, and knee, coming to a stop with the tire directly on top of her leg. As a result, Nguyen had to be extricated from underneath the bus by the fire department, during which her lower, right extremity had to be traumatically amputated at the scene of the accident. Nguyen sued Chacon and the Sacramento Regional Transit District. Nguyen alleged that Chacon was negligent in her operation of the bus and that the transit district, as Chacon’s employer, was vicariously liable for her actions. Nguyen claimed that when she reached the intersection, she pressed the crosswalk button and waited for the walk signal before proceeding into the marked crosswalk. Thus, she alleged that she lawfully entered the marked crosswalk when the walk signal was turned on. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Chacon failed to look to her right before turning right at the subject intersection, which resulted in the bus striking Nguyen’s left side, causing her to spin around, get knocked to the ground, and then have her right leg run over. Defense counsel contended that Nguyen entered the intersection while the “don’t walk” sign was on and failed to look to her left to see if the bus was proceeding through the intersection. Thus, counsel contended that Nguyen was liable for the accident., Nguyen suffered a degloving injury to her right leg with multiple crush and fractures. She was subsequently extricated from underneath the bus by the fire department, during which her lower, right extremity was traumatically amputated. Nguyen was then rushed to an emergency room, where several unsuccessful surgeries were attempted and she ultimately underwent an above-the-knee amputation. Nguyen now uses a wheelchair to ambulate outside of her home and a walker to ambulate inside the home. Thus, she claimed she lost her independence and was forced to move in with her son and his family. Nguyen further claimed that will require 24-hour attendant care for the remainder of her life. Thus, Nguyen sought recovery of $850,000 in past medical costs, $2 million in future medical/care costs, and an unspecified amount of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed Nguyen’s alleged need for future nursing care. Counsel also contended that Nguyen’s future life expectancy was greatly reduced due to her lifelong, chronic smoking and lung disease.
Superior Court of Sacramento County, Sacramento, CA

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