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Bus Passengers must demonstrate "Special Jerks" to hold Bus Driver Liable for Injuries (NY)

January 15, 2016

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Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Pothole! Go. Stop.  Most New Yorkers are familiar with how trying it can be to ride a bus on a busy city street, but a Second Department decision handed down this week shows that it takes something special to hold a bus company liable when a passenger claims to have been injured on a bus ride.
In <em><a href="http://blog.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Andreca.pdf" rel="">Andreca v. Cash World Tours</a>., </em>plaintiff was a bus passenger who claims to have been injured as a result of a bus coming to a sudden halt.  The problem for the plaintiff was that her daughter’s deposition testimony characterized the sudden stop as not unusual or any different than what is commonly experienced in city bus travel.
According to the Second Department, to a hold a bus company liable for these kind of injuries, the plaintiff’s characterization of a stop is not sufficient.  Rather, “there must be objective evidence of the force of the stop sufficient to establish an inference that the stop was extraordinary and violent, of a different class of jerks and jolts commonly experienced in city bus travel.”  According to the daughter, this was not such a different class of jerks and jolts.
<em>Andreca </em>shows that for a buss passenger to hold a bus driver responsible for an injury, there needs to be more than just a plaintiff's allegation of a sudden stop -- there must objective evidence of "a different class of jerks and jolts."  Thanks to Mike Gauvin for his contribution.  Please email <a href="mailto:bgibbons@wcmlaw.com">Brian Gibbons</a> with any questions.

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