In a recent case, a woman sued a casino after she was injured while boarding the casino’s shuttle bus. The woman was attempting to board a crowded shuttle bus provided by a casino when she claims she was pushed and fell. She suffered a broken bone in her hip that required immediate surgery. The casino operated the free shuttle for certain people and picked them up at different places to take them to the casino. One witness said that there was often a chaotic scene at the shuttle bus pickup at that time. Despite that, no additional precautions were taken by the casino to ensure passengers boarded the bus safely.
The woman sued the casino for negligence as a result. She argued that the casino was a “common carrier” and had a duty and a responsibility to ensure the safety of its customers who used its shuttle bus. She argued that the casino knew or should have known of the dangers inherent in boarding the crowded shuttle bus and that it should have made the process safer. The woman alleged the casino was a common carrier, which meant that the casino had a higher duty of care under certain circumstances. The casino argued it was not a common carrier and did not have a heightened duty of care.
Originally, the trial court found that the casino was not a common carrier and that the case could not proceed under that standard. However, the woman appealed, and the state’s appellate court found it was unclear whether the casino was a common carrier. A common carrier under the state’s law meant anyone “who offers to the public to carry persons.” Whether a party is a common carrier depends on a number of factors, including whether there is a business established for the purpose of transporting passengers, whether the party regularly transports people, whether it advertised its transportation services, and whether it charged for its services. Considering this, the court found it was unclear whether the casino was a common carrier, and this still had to be determined. Thus, the case was allowed to continue toward trial to determine whether a heightened duty of care applied.
Common Carriers in Illinois
To prove a claim of negligence, a plaintiff must prove duty, breach, causation, and damages. Under the umbrella of duty, there are certain relationships that signify a special, or heightened, duty. One of these special categories is that of a “common carrier” and passenger. In Illinois, a common carrier is “one who undertakes for the public to transport from place to place such persons or the goods of such persons as choose to employ him for hire.” If one of these special relationships exist, such as common carrier, a heightened duty may apply to protect the other party from an unreasonable risk of harm—making it easier for an injured person to recover compensation.
Have You Been Injured?
If you have suffered an injury on a bus, plane, or another form of transportation and believe the other party may be subject to a heightened duty, you may be able to recover damages more easily because of their heightened duty of care. The Chicago lawyers at Moll Law Group assist victims of car accidents and other incidents of negligence involving transportation. We serve victims and their families in Naperville, Schaumburg, Wheaton, and communities throughout Cook County. Contact us through our online form or call us at 312-462-1700 to arrange a free consultation.
See More Posts:
State Court Adopts Continuing Course of Treatment Doctrine, Potentially Extending Statute of Limitations in Some Medical Malpractice Cases, Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, October 5, 2016.
Property Owners May Be Held Responsible for Negligent Acts of Others on Premises, Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, October 31, 2016.
Baby Powder Found to Cause Cancer; Moll Law Group Can Help, Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, November 7, 2016.