A California jury has awarded $15.3 million to a woman and her daughter for injuries suffered when a public bus they were riding in went over a speed bump at twice the speed limit.
The jolt from the AC Transit bus going over the bump at 30 mph caused a severe traumatic burst fracture to Maria Francisco’s L1 vertebra. She has since undergone three surgeries as a result of the accident and has run up medical bills approaching $1 million.
At the time of the August 2011 incident, Francisco, then 20, was traveling in the bus with her 4-year-old daughter en route to a shopping mall.
At trial, jurors saw video footage of Francisco flying up and hitting her back on the edge of the bus’s rear seating, followed by the driver accusing her of faking as she was crying in pain.
The jury awarded Francisco $10 million for pain and suffering, $3.4 million for medical expenses, and $800,000 for future lost wages. It also awarded $1 million to Francisco’s daughter, Mia, for emotional distress from witnessing the incident.
The Alameda County verdict is the largest of its kind against the region’s transit system.
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