Court: Detroit-area woman who fractured back on SMART bus can sue
Detroit – A Detroit-area woman who said the wheels on the bus went far too fast will get her day in court.
The Michigan appeals court said Susan Mickels can press ahead with a lawsuit against a transit agency known as SMART. She claims the driver was negligent when she fractured her back while riding a bus in a construction zone in Detroit.
SMART said the bus was not exceeding the 35 mph speed limit on Michigan Avenue in 2016. But Mickels’ lawyer argued that the driver should have recognized the rough condition of the road and slowed down further.
Even if the posted speed limit in the construction zone wasn’t reduced, it didn’t “relieve the bus driver of her duty to operate the vehicle at a careful and prudent speed given the surface of the road and other external circumstances,” said judges Karen Fort Hood and Deborah Servitto.
SMART lawyer William Schaefer said the driver wasn’t at fault.
“Hitting bumps and potholes by public transportation happens every day,” he said.