Every personal injury attorney knows how difficult is is to hold any government, whether local, state or federal in a personal injury lawsuit. Even if a plaintiff is able to survive the immunity defenses the difficulty in proving the standard of negligence often leaves a very seriously injured plaintiff with no recourse and no reward. A recent New York jury awarded a 13 year old boy approximately $6.78 million after the youth suffered a degloving injury to his right lower leg and fractures to his fibula and heel bone. The boy underwent numerous surgeries and required several months of exhausting and painful rehabilitation.
According to the court records, the boy was running alongside the bus before it began to move and hit the side of the bus to alert the driver of his presence. As he approached the bus’ middle wheels, he tripped and his legs fell under the bus. The bus began moving and rolled over his legs resulting in his serious injuries.
The jury found the Transit Authority negligent in that the bus driver failed to note that the boy was near the bus and negligently moved the bus when the boy was in the zone of danger.
As Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys of over 25 years, we have handled numerous causes of action against private and public bus services. As Chicago residents of equal time, we have noted on many occasions the reckless and negligent driving habits of some (not all) bus drivers for the CTA and the private bus companies. We have also noted that private bus services have fewer defenses to their negligence than public bus drivers and this leads to a disturbing increase in the serious personal injuries suffered by pedestrians, persons in cars or on bicycles and bus riders involved in bus accidents with publicly run bus services. We applaud the jury in New York and believe holding drivers and municipalities culpable for reckless and negligent bus operation inures to the benefit of the public as a whole.
Grazian and Volpe has studied this lawsuit closely and hopes to successfully employ the concepts of liability established in the case for the benefit of our clients who are victims of bus accidents as well as for the furtherance of safe and responsible bus operation.