CARRANZA v. LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
Insurance Fraud. The plaintiff claimed that the bus operator intentionally accelerated and decelerated, causing him to be slammed onto the floor of the bus, striking his head, rendering him unconscious and severely exacerbating a pre-existing back injury. The plaintiff contended that the bus operator was acting in retaliation for a prior verbal confrontation, after which the plaintiff made a complaint with the Customer Relations Department at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The bus operator contended that the whole accident was staged. He claimed that the plaintiff was upset with the bus operator because the driver had in the past admonished him for opening various windows on the bus while the air conditioning was operating in a mid-July Los Angeles heat wave. Mr. Carranza had not worked for ten years and had lived on awards on worker’s compensation claims for the same back injury, made against the City of Los Angeles when he was employed as a meter reader/repairman. The plaintiff asked the jury for an award in excess of $200,000. Our request was a resounding defense verdict where we got 12-0 in less than two hours of deliberations.