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brown v. orange county transportation authority, et al.

bus passenger injury


the case

Plaintiff, an elderly man with a number of medical conditions and disabilities, boarded an Orange County Transportation Authority bus and showed the bus driver his Access TAP card for individuals with disabilities. As Plaintiff walked down the aisle of the bus to a seat, the bus suddenly accelerated and then quickly decelerated without any notice or warning to Plaintiff. Plaintiff was not holding onto any railings in the bus and fell to the ground. Plaintiff sustained an L2 compression fracture and a right rotator cuff tear. The facts surrounding why the bus suddenly stopped were disputed between the parties. Defendant OCTA contended that the bus was forced to suddenly brake because a vehicle entered the bus’ path of travel without notice. The driver of the vehicle claimed that she used her blinker to pass the stopped bus and turn into an alleyway.  The video from the bus appeared to show the vehicle suddenly turn in front of the bus and did not show whether a blinker was used by the vehicle prior to entering the bus' lane.  Defendants disputed causation, claiming that Plaintiff's complaints were related to injuries and medical conditions that he sustained prior to the subject incident. Defendants also disputed the nature and extent of Plaintiff’s claimed injuries, as well as the reasonableness and necessity of Plaintiff’s medical treatment.  

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