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Drivers and Bus Company Sued Over Automobile Accident


The Philadelphia Daily News reported on a lawsuit filed against SEPTA, Maria Vanelas, and Luis A Martinez by Clarence Lemar who was confined to a wheelchair after being struck by an automobile while getting off of a SEPTA bus last year.

The 42-year-old Lemar of Philadelphia was descending a SEPTA bus driven by Vanelas which had stopped in a travel lane to let passengers off instead of pulling into the rightmost bus lane. As Lemar stepped down, an automobile driven by Martinez struck him while trying to pass the bus on the right. As mentioned earlier, this car accident left Lemar confined to a wheelchair.

Damages from Car Accident

As a result of the negligence of the two drivers, the lawsuit states that Lemar suffered “neurological damage, paralysis, speech impediment, loss of motor function, excruciating and agonizing pain.”

He spent two months at Temple University Hospital and six weeks at MossRehab following the accident. The suit claims that Lemar “has and will incur enormous medical bills in excess of one million dollars.”

Lemar did not have work-related health insurance at the time of the accident. Medicaid has so far paid for approved charges.

Charges and Liability Following the Accident

Initially, neither Vanelas nor Martinez were criminally charged following the accident. Philadelphia police Sgt. Lawrence Ritchie stated that the case was still open and that it was “possible” Martinez may face charges. He went on to say that Vanelas was “not going to get charged.”

The suit claims that SEPTA bus drivers have a “regular, ongoing pattern” of releasing passengers in an unsafe manner. The suit went on to state that Lemar was eligible to receive $5,000 from a SEPTA medical-payments coverage plan but that “SEPTA has intentionally, wrongfully, and with malice” refused to pay.

Martinez’s car insurance policy was not in effect at the time of the accident.

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