Verdict upheld in fall on bus steps of private bus
The plaintiff suffered a badly fractured ankle and heel when she fell on the icy steps of the Defendant's shuttle bus. The majority noted that the "open and obvious" defense does not apply to a straight-forward negligence claim not associated with a product or a particular parcel of real estate, and also rejected the Defendant's "serious impairment" defense.
With respect to "open and obvious" the majority noted that this doctrine does not apply when ordinary negligence is alleged and is a defense to a static property or product claim, only. It also noted in dicta that it would not apply in this situation in any event, since the Plaintiff had no other way to leave the bus.
With regard to "serious impairment" the judges noted that the woman suffered severely comminuted fractures of her ankle and heel, permanent nerve damage, and a permanent misalignment of the foot. Since the fall she suffers constant pain, has retired early from her job as a court clerk and has given up many non-vocational activities, including dancing and jogging. Despite this testimony and the corroborating testimony of two physicians, dissenting Judge Zahra would have ruled that she did not suffer a "serious" injury. We're betting Judge Zahra would consider the injury serious if it happened to someone in his family. The activist conservatives are re-defining terms to an extent that literally denies reality and common sense.