A Fresno man had been in a wheelchair for about 10 years due to arthritis. He relied upon the local bus system to transport him around town any time he wanted to get out. He also relied upon the bus drivers to be properly trained and to secure him and his wheelchair properly so he could be transported safely.
On a sunny January day in 2013, the bus driver he relied upon let him down. The driver failed to secure the man to the wheelchair after she secured the wheelchair to the floor of the bus. When she later negligently slammed on the brakes to avoid rearending a car, the man flew to the front of the bus striking his head, fracturing a bone in his neck and fracturing both legs.
Obviously, the bus company knew the driver was negligent, they fired her from her position with the company. That did not keep the company from making every effort to avoid their responsibility to compensate the man, however, initially blaming the belt on the wheelchair. Later, after it was proven by The Dunnion Law Firm that the belt on the wheelchair was not designed for motor vehicle travel, the company still made an initial offer of settlement that was less than the medical bills paid on behalf of the man.
It was not until a number of months of litigation and a long day of mediation did the company acknowledge its responsibility to the man and they agreed to pay $725,000.00 to avoid having the case be set for trial.