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November 17, 2005 - Jury finds against Kansas City Area Transit Authority in slip and fall case

A Kansas jury has awarded a $48,000 verdict to a woman who slipped and fell on a Kansas City bus operated by the Kansas City Area Transit Authority.

Karen S. Bernard sustained a severely sprained ankle and aggravated her preexisting osteoarthritis in her right knee when she fell to the floor aboard a bus in April 2003.  She had ankle surgery six months later to tighten the ligaments.  Her medical expenses totaled $10,000.

Bernard sustained her injuries when she fell to the floor after the bus driver accelerated before she was seated.  It had been a rainy day and she was the last of six passengers to board the transit bus.  The drivers’ training manual instructs the driver to wait until all passengers are either seated or holding onto something before proceeding from a stop.  The driver in this case did not know whether Bernard was seated or holding onto something before accelerating.

The jury returned an $80,000 verdict, but found Bernard to be 40% at fault, reducing the award to $48,000.  
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