Madison County Mass Transit blamed for allowing woman to fall from wheelchair

By Kelly Holleran | Feb 19, 2013

The guardians of a disabled woman have filed suit against Madison County’s public transportation, alleging employees allowed the woman to fall backwards from her wheelchair while loading her onto a bus.

Laverne F. DeMent and Frances E. Abbett claim Pamela Jo Byrd was attempting to board a bus operated by defendant Madison County Mass Transit District and Agency for Community Transit on March 26.

While Madison Mass Transit employees attempted to load Byrd, who utilizes a wheelchair, onto the bus, however, her wheelchair tipped backwards, according to the complaint filed Feb. 14 in Madison County Circuit Court.

In turn, Byrd suffered a subdural hemorrhage, experienced pain and suffering, incurred medical costs, lost her enjoyment of a normal life and sustained disability, the suit states.

DeMent and Abbett blame Madison County Mass Transit for causing Byrd’s injuries, saying its employees negligently failed to properly load Byrd’s wheelchair on the bus, failed to properly maintain
the wheelchair lift ramp and improperly operated the lift ramp.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs seek a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Eric J. Carlson of Byron, Carlson, Petri and Kalb in Edwardsville will be representing them.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-226.

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