Texas City man's fall during exit from charter bus results in lawsuit

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Oct. 25, 2013, 12:10pm

GALVESTON - A Texas City couple initiated legal action against Grand Transportation Service Inc. after the husband sustained injuries while disembarking from one of its vehicles.

In a lawsuit filed Oct. 11 in Galveston County District Court, Ruben Yoakum Sr. and his wife, Edna, blame the defendant, doing business as Sam's Limousine and Transportation, for the incident in question which occurred March 16, 2012, in the parking lot of the New Hope Baptist Church in La Marque.

The couple was headed to Alabama for a church meeting with other congregation members.

The respondent's charter bus arrived at the church, but "became stuck" after the plaintiffs and others came aboard.

According to the suit, the bus driver then instructed the passengers they would have to disembark the bus in order to extricate the vehicle, prompting the subject event.

"While in the process of disembarking the passengers the bus driver made a sudden and unannounced movement of the bus causing the plaintiff, Ruben Yoakum Sr. to fall forward injuring his right arm and shoulder," the original petition says.

The suit further asserts Ruben Yoakum Sr., then 78, suffered "a tear of his rotator cuff," and because of his advanced age, could not undergo surgery.

It blames the defendant for:

  • Failing to allow all the passengers off the bus before beginning any type of movement of the vehicle;

  • Failing to warn the passengers that the bus was about to make a movement;

  • Allowing the bus to become stuck due to improper handling of the vehicle; and

  • Failing to provide a skilled bus driver for the charter trip.

Consequently, the claimants seek $100,000 and a jury trial.

Attorney Gregory W. Allen of Houston is representing the Yoakums, and Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox is presiding over the litigation.

Case No. 13-CV-1304

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