$800,000 Settlement in a Wheel-Chair Transport Case
A 61-year-old wheelchair bound passenger being transported by a Eulen America transporter was flung from her wheelchair as she was being pushed facing forward down the jet bridge causing her to suffer a fractured leg and shoulder injury at Miami International Airport. Eulen America contracts with American Airlines to safely transport its disabled passengers in wheelchairs. Santa Maria alleged that Eulen was negligent in its transport of her client, by failing to follow its own safety policies requiring wheelchair transporters to enter the jet bridge facing backwards.
In her lawsuit, Santa Maria also pled violation of the Vulnerable Adult Act alleging that Mrs. Martinez-Lopez’s disability rendered her a “vulnerable adult” and Eulen America’s role was as “care giver” under that statute. The Vulnerable statute in Florida provides a civil cause of action for abuse and/or neglect of “vulnerable adults”. A vulnerable adult abused, neglected, or exploited as specified in the statute has a cause of action against any perpetrator and may recover actual and punitive damages for such abuse, neglect, or exploitation, together with attorney fees.