On Thursday, the Arizona Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of a dismissal made by a lower court judge in a lawsuit involving the city of Phoenix and a 17-year-old girl who was severely injured by an out of control vehicle while she was waiting for the bus in 2015.
KTAR News reported that the Appeals Court granted immunity to the City of Phoenix from negligence for its failure to modernize a bus stop. The plaintiff in the case alleged that at the time of the accident, the bus stop did not meet safety standards issued at the time of the crash.
Recorded court testimony indicated that the accident had been the result of two vehicles racing 20 – 30 mph above the posted speed limit when one of the drivers lost control of his vehicle, jumped a curb, and struck Ms. Orduno with his vehicle. Legal counsel for the City of Phoenix asserted that the bus stop had been established at the location since 1989 with no accidents prior to the one involving the plaintiff, which occurred in 2015.
The City of Phoenix considered a number of factors including, location, traffic, and boarding and ridership in its decision to not update the bus stop. Counsel for both the plaintiff and the City agreed that the bus stop in question was determined to be ADA compliant in 2011.
Because the data-prioritization process which the city of Phoenix used to determine the upgrades of bus stops, it was considered a fundamental process of the city’s government. The Arizona Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s ruling and granted the city immunity in the case.