A 56-year-old woman, Shirley Walker, who was wheelchair-bound, was receiving transportation services from a company known as LocoMotion. LocoMotion was a county-subsidized bus service. While the wheelchair was being loaded onto the transportation van by a mechanical lift, she found that she had been left alone and unattended. Walker released the chair’s brakes believing that she would roll onto the van. But the wheelchair rolled backward and it fell off the lift. She fell with the wheelchair, which resulted in her suffering a fractured neck.
After the incident, Walker was paralyzed from the neck down until her unfortunate death. She was just 56 years old.
The Walker family brought a wrongful death lawsuit that claimed that LocoMotion’s owner was responsible for choosing not to strap Walker’s wheelchair onto the lift or stand behind her as she rolled onto the van. Before the case went to trial, the matter was settled for $500,000.