Pamela Brown, a 45 year old resident of Jefferson City, Missouri, was injured on July 31, 2008 while attempting to cross the street when she was struck by a Jefferson City public bus. The incident occurred around 5:00 p.m. at an intersection near the Capital which contained a crosswalk and traffic signals for pedestrians. According to the initial crash report written by the city police department, the bus driver stated that she was waiting to turn right at a red traffic signal, that she “looked right, then left and began to make the right turn”. She stated she then saw a pedestrian out of the corner of her eye and immediately hit the brakes, but had already struck the pedestrian. Plaintiff said she had the “walk” sign when she started crossing the street. In the initial police report, one of the passengers stated that “the bus was hardly moving when it struck the pedestrian”. Another passenger also stated the bus had just let off the breaks when she saw the pedestrian get hit by the bus. It was undisputed that Plaintiff was knocked to the ground by the bus, but did not get run over.
Plaintiff was taken to a nearby hospital and subsequently diagnosed with a concussion, cervical sprain and lumbar sprain, contusion of the left ribs and left upper arm and left foot discomfort. At the time of the incident, Plaintiff already suffered from numerous pre-existing injuries to the neck, back, hips, knee, feet and legs, some of which were documented extensively by an MRI one year before the bus incident. The plaintiff subsequently underwent a cervical fusion at C6-7 approximately one year later and a lumbar fusion at L5-S1 approximately two years later.
Plaintiff initially filed suit in Cole County Circuit Court, however venue was changed to Callaway County upon agreement of the parties. Plaintiff alleged that the defendants were responsible for all of her medical bills and wage loss. Defendants alleged most of plaintiff’s injuries were preexisting and that she was still employable despite having been laid off from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. The parties negotiated and settled the case two months before trial.