No new trial for woman struck by bus in Allentown

By John Severance | Sep 28, 2017

HARRISBURG – A woman lost her appeal and will not get a new trial seeking damages after being involved in a pedestrian/bus accident, according to a ruling Sept. 6 from the state Superior Court.

Stephanie Alvarez filed a civil action against Trans Bridge Lines Inc. and bus driver Scott Griffin almost four years ago. In her appeal, she alleged there was a series of errors in her initial trial and she brought forward several questions for the Superior Court judges to consider.

According to the opinion, she questioned whether the jury was given proper instructions concerning her case and whether the police officer who investigated the case was allowed to look at his report during testimony. 

In addition, she questioned whether her damages claim concerning distracted driving held any merit and whether the verdict made any sense considering the evidence that was presented. And in her final point, Alvarez alleged the lower court abused its discretion in determining what evidence it would allow.

In her brief, Alvarez listed 16 instances in which the trial court overruled objections or sustained objections which she claimed collectively prejudiced her presentation of her case, requiring a new trial.

The opinion of the Superior Court, though, concluded, "Appellant fails to identify, however, any specific errors regarding each of the enumerated instances, nor does Appellant provide any legal grounds in support of her assertion that these rulings were in error.’’

The original case was heard in the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County. After a five-day trial that concluded Nov. 10, 2015, the jury ruled that Griffin was not negligent. 

"The jury was polled on their verdict and it was revealed that it was unanimous," the opinion states.

Alvarez then filed a motion for a new trial that was denied by a court order on Oct. 19, 2016. Two weeks later, Alvarez filed an appeal in Superior Court.

The accident occurred June 1, 2012, at the intersection of Hamilton Street and American Parkway in Allentown. Griffin was the driver of the 2006 MCI Passenger Bus that made a left turn with the green arrow and collided with Alvarez, who crossed the street in a crosswalk.

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