Northern California Bus Accident Results in Brain Injury for Man in Wheelchair
Two years ago, Thomas Avery, a Northern California man in a wheelchair was being hoisted onto a paratransit bus when the hoist broke. As a result, the man fell backwards falling six feet and causing him to hit his head. This bus accident caused him severe brain damage.
Investigation after the accident showed that bolts on the lift were either missing or loose. Mr. Adams sued the City of Roseville and the transit company, MV Transportation, for the damages resulting from traumatic his brain injury. A jury recently found the City and the transportation company liable for negligence and awarded the man $6.4 million dollars in compensatory damages.
Bus companies are considered common carriers. Under California law bus drivers and operators are required to use the highest degree of care in transporting their passengers (Civil Code section 2100) Thus, a bus company is liable for even the slightest degree of negligence. Additionally, a bus company or any common carrier, must provide vehicles which are safe and fit for the purposes to which they are put (Civil Code section 2101). In this case, the jury found that the transportation company was 83 per cent responsible and the city of Roseville was 17 percent responsible for this traumatic brain injury.
As an Oakland personal injury lawyer, I understand how persons suffering from disabilities must rely upon public transportation. It’s a crime when people such Mr. Adams depend on the bus company to maintain their buses in a safe condition, and the company fails him. In this case, the failure led to catastrophic injuries which will permanently affect the quality of this young man’s life.
Washington Post, Judgment Against Transit Company, October 13, 2010
cbs13.com, Quadriplegic Man Wins $6M Suit Against Roseville, October 12, 2010