SMART loses bid for summary disposition after bus lurches while woman exiting
Melody Horne sued SMART and its bus-driver in Macomb County after she was hurt while exiting a SMART bus. She fell when the bus lurched. SMART sought summary disposition arguing that she could not prove negligence or gross negligence by its driver in causing her to fall. The Court agreed that Horne could not prove gross negligence by the driver with the evidence she had, and therefore agreed with summary disposition of the claim against him (government employees are only liable for "gross" negligence, interpreted to require a showing of wanton disregard of potential injury).
Nevertheless, the Court agreed with the trial judge that if the jury believes Horne's account claiming that the bus lurched while she was exiting, she will have presented sufficient evidence of negligence by the driver, and making SMART responsible for her injuries. The fact that the driver denied any negligence merely raises a question for the jury to resolve.