Quadriplegic woman sues party bus over bumpy ride

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Oct 5, 2012

GALVESTON - A celebration on a party bus resulted in injuries to a disabled woman, according to a lawsuit recently filed against the bus rental company. 

Geneva Felton, a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair, states she and 40 other relatives were on board a bus operated and owned by Destiny Limousine Service and R&R Partnership on April 6 for a birthday celebration.

According to Felton's suit filed Oct. 2 in Galveston County District Court, the bus hit a speed bump, causing the passengers -- including the plaintiff -- to fly out of their seats.

The suit states Felton's sister, Aretha Felton, first contacted R&R about renting a large capacity bus fitted with accommodations for a wheelchair.

Aretha Felton claims R&R said it could provide such a vehicle, however on the day of the party they informed her the vehicle was not available and that they would send a substitute.

When the bus arrived in Texas City that afternoon, the plaintiff claims it did not have enough seats and was not capable of carrying a wheelchair. Several celebrants had to find other cars, the suit states.

Meanwhile, Edwin McCloud, the assigned bus driver, supposedly demanded the plaintiff's wheelchair be removed.

Family members subsequently carried the complainant aboard and sat her down.

According to the original petition, none of the bus seats had seatbelts therefore Geneva Felton was unrestrained.

The night soon came to a close with the bus dropping off passengers at their respective residences in either Galveston or Texas City.

McCloud, who grew upset because the expiration time was drawing near, "[drove] fast to drop off the Galveston passenger and return the remaining group to the mainland."

"He turned onto a residential street with marked speed bumps," the suit says.

"Rather than slowing down to go over the speed bumps, Mr. McCloud kept his right rate of speed."

Upon her return home, the suit states, Geneva Felton discovered her left leg was injured.

She went to a nearby hospital where she learned she suffered a fracture knee and femur.

The suit also lists McCloud as a defendant.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Christopher D. Bertini with the Bertini Law Firm P.C. in Galveston is representing Geneva Felton.

Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox is presiding over the case.

Case No. 12-cv-2115

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