Articles Posted in Bus Accidents

The law holds people and businesses responsible for injuries caused by their negligent conduct.  In a July 19, 2017 case, the Court of Special Appeals considered a Maryland injury claim brought on appeal by a plaintiff against a bus transportation business.  The plaintiff filed the appeal after a jury found in favor of the defendant.wheelchair

The victim in the case was a double amputee who required the use of a wheelchair for mobility.   The victim had hired the defendant’s bus transportation company to transport him to his home.  As the driver attempted to load the victim into the transport bus, his wheelchair rolled backwards and fell off the bus’ lift.  The fall sent the victim crashing to the ground and broke his neck.  The victim spent the next few months in the hospital before passing away from his injuries.  The victim’s estate filed suit against the driver and the bus transportation company, alleging negligence.  After a trial, the jury found that the victim’s injuries were not results of the driver’s negligence.

On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the trial court erred by striking the testimony of the plaintiff’s expert.  In Maryland, before allowing expert testimony, a trial court must make the following determinations:  (1) whether the witness is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, (2) whether the expert testimony is appropriate on the particular subject, and (3) whether a sufficient factual basis exists to support the expert testimony.  With respect to the third element, an expert’s opinion testimony must be based on an adequate factual basis so that it does not amount to conjecture, speculation, or incompetent evidence.  They cannot simply hazard guesses, however educated, based on their credentials.

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Individuals who have been hurt while in the care or on the property of another person or business may be able to pursue compensation from negligent parties in a personal injury claim. A plaintiff in a recent case filed a negligence claim after she was injured while being loaded onto a Maryland Transportation Authority bus. She appealed the jury verdict, which found in favor of the defendant, and the case was reviewed by the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland in a May 10, 2017 opinion.

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The defendant in the case was the employer of a Maryland Transportation Authority bus driver. The bus driver had assisted the plaintiff, who was in a wheelchair, in boarding the bus. After raising the steel lift to a height that would allow the plaintiff to move into the bus, the driver entered the bus to assist her from the inside. However, as the driver boarded the bus, the wheelchair tipped backwards, and the plaintiff fell on her back. The plaintiff claimed the driver’s employer was vicariously liable for the negligence of its employee.

The plaintiff had argued that the driver violated the defendant’s safety procedures and policies, which provided that operators are not permitted to leave passengers unattended on lifts in the upward position on inclines or ramps. The defendant contended that the driver did not actually leave her but attempted to follow the proper procedure by getting on the bus to pull the plaintiff’s wheelchair into the bus from the lift. At trial, both the driver and his supervisor testified that the driver’s actions complied with all of the defendant’s safety protocols and procedures. After the jury found that the driver was not negligent, the plaintiff moved for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, which was denied by the trial court.

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In some lawsuits, plaintiffs can seek to hold careless business owners responsible for their negligence. In a recent case, Reyen v. Jones Lang Lasalle Americas, Inc. (D. Md. Sept. 7, 2016), an injured plaintiff filed a negligence claim against the owner of a bus company and the property manager of the bus station after she fell on an escalator. The matter was brought in the U.S. District Court of Maryland, which decided a motion for summary judgment filed by the defendants.personal injury

In Reyen, the plaintiff purchased a bus ticket from the defendant to travel from New York to Virginia on an itinerary with several bus changes. Due to a disability that required her to walk with a cane, the plaintiff notified the bus company in advance that she would need help with moving her luggage and getting on and off the buses. The bus company indicated that she would have assistance walking from one bus to the next. During one of the scheduled stops, the plaintiff looked for an elevator she could use but was unable to find one at the station, although they were in fact available. The plaintiff felt that she had no other choice but to ride an escalator, and as she took a step onto it, she fell backwards and sustained injuries.

A plaintiff alleging negligence must prove the applicable standard of care, a deviation from that standard by the defendant, and a causal relationship between the deviation and the injury. Generally, common carriers owe different standards of care to passengers and non-passengers. For passengers, common carriers must exercise reasonable care under the circumstances, including protecting passengers against assault, interference with the peaceful completion of their journey, and in certain situations, negligent acts of third parties. However, a common carrier owes no special duty of care to non-passengers, other than the general duty to exercise ordinary care to avoid injury.

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In a recent wrongful death claim a Missouri police officer allegedly caused an accident that resulted in four deaths. A settlement was reached for $ 2.25 million to the surviving family members of the deceased parties. The driver, a police officer, was apparently intoxicated at the time of the collision and had significant blood alcohol levels in her blood even three hours after the accident. Read more about wrongful death cases here.

Bus accident
12/08/2011 09:35:27 AM

A jury in New York recently awarded 7.5 million dollars to two women who were involved in a bus accident. Apparently, the bus ran a red light and struck an automobile, thereby causing significant injuries to the two women. The bus company was offered a settlement of $ 3 million but declined. Now they are exposed to the 7.5 million verdict. Bus accident can be particularly catastrophic because of the size of the bus and the inability to stop a bus as quickly as an automobile. If you or a loved one is involved in a bus accident, call the Law Firm of foran & Foran, P.A. Continue reading

Dartmouth College recently settled a lawsuit with regarding a student who was injured in a skiing accident that occurred while she was taking a skiing class. Apparently, the student skied into a tree during class. She was not wearing a helmet and was just a beginner. The student remained in a coma for 6 months before dying. This was a confidential settlement. Although there was probably an element of assumption of the risk in this case, the fact that the instructor did not have a beginning student wearing a helmet probably is what caused the defendant to agree to a settlement.

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What are you drinking?

How do you drink your water? Is it out of a bottle, purifier, or the tap? Water should be a staple of everyone’s diet and it’s disheartening to hear all the contamination cases throughout the country.

Montana’s Colstrip power settled a case last week for $25 million because their holding ponds leaked into local towns. Contaminant’s were found in nearby water supplies and individual homeowner’s wells. It is also alleged that one reservoir leaked into a town’s water supply, and raised the water level enough to cause structural damage to some homes. The company has taken steps to secure their reservoirs with rubber liners. (Brown, www.seattlepi.com, 5/2/08)

Chevron and 10 other oil companies have agreed to a settlement of $423 million Continue reading