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$100,000 Settlement

$100,000 Settlement
Christian J. Amendt

Unsafe Bus Stop Causes Woman to Fall and Break Foot While Getting Out

In a tragic incident involving transportation services on a Southern California college campus, a petite female student faced severe consequences due to what appeared to be negligence on the part of the transportation provider. The incident unfolded when the student attempted to disembark from a campus transportation bus. The crucial detail emerged that the step down from the bus was a daunting 20 inches—a significant challenge for shorter passengers, including the plaintiff in this case.

The heart of the matter lay in the bus not being properly aligned with the curb, which was a manageable 8 inches high. This misalignment forced the student to step down awkwardly, leading to a devastating consequence: a broken foot. The severity of the injury necessitated surgery and extended therapy, significantly impacting the student’s academic and personal life.

Legally, the transportation bus operated under the classification of a “common carrier,” indicating its role in providing transport to the public for a fee, which carries specific responsibilities. According to policy, any negligence, no matter how slight, could render the operator liable for resulting damages. Here, the failure to align the bus with the curb appropriately, accommodating passengers of varying heights, proved to be a critical oversight.

In the aftermath, the insurance company representing the transportation provider initially proposed a settlement of $30,000. However, due to Mr Amendt’s skill and experience, the insurance carrier recognized the severity of the injury and the potential liability under the policy, the final settlement reached was the maximum policy limit of $100,000. This amount reflected not only the immediate medical costs incurred but also the long-term impact on the student’s well-being and academic pursuits.

This case underscores the importance of diligence and adherence to safety protocols, especially in services catering to the public. For transportation providers, ensuring that buses are properly positioned to facilitate safe boarding and disembarking is paramount. Failure to do so can lead to severe consequences, both legally and personally, as exemplified by the unfortunate circumstances faced by the student in this instance.