The Lawrence Bus Co. Inc. and a bus driver have been removed from a lawsuit filed by a Salina woman who is seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages for an injury she suffered in a 1989 traffic accident in Lawrence.
Douglas County District Judge James W. Paddock has ruled that the bus company and the bus driver, David Swartz, 1900 W. 31st, could not be held responsible for injuries suffered by Mary Lisbeth O'Brian, 22.
O'Brian alleges that she suffered permanent injury after she got off a Lawrence Bus Co. bus and was struck by a car driven by Richard M. McFarlane, Lawrence.
O'Brian had alleged that Swartz was negligent in double-parking in a lane of traffic to unload passengers, then motioning to O'Brian that it was safe to cross in front of the bus.
In a memorandum decision, Paddock ruled that the bus driver violated no state law when it stopped temporarily to release passengers. Paddock also said that the woman left the bus at a safe place and proceeded to walk to a place of danger where she was injured.
"The plaintiff has failed to present any evidence that would raise an issue of fact as to whether she was discharged in a safe place," Paddock wrote. "She could have walked to the curb and waited for the bus to pass or walked to the rear of the bus and crossed the street."
Paddock wrote that Swartz nodded to her before she crossed the street and she inferred from his not that it was safe to then walk in front of the bus and into the street.
"The plaintiff could not rely on a nod from the bus driver as a signal to her it was safe to cross the street," Paddock wrote.