Greater Houston Transportation Co. v. Zrubeck – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Greater Houston Transportation Co. v. Zrubeck, 850 S.W.2d 579 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1993, writ denied), Greater Houston Transportation contracted to provide transportation services for elderly, handicapped, and mentally retarded passengers of MetroLift. 850 S.W.2d at 581.

The accident in question involved the transport of a quadriplegic passenger. Id. at 582. While the Greater Houston driver properly secured the passenger's wheelchair to the railway of the van she was driving, she did not secure him in his wheelchair with a seatbelt. Id.

When the van's driver made a sudden stop, the passenger fell out of his wheelchair and broke both of his legs. Id. at 582-83.

Undisputed evidence presented at trial showed that mandatory seat belt usage was one of Greater Houston's safety policies. Id. at 591.

In evaluating the sufficiency of the evidence to support the jury's determination that Greater Houston had been consciously indifferent to its passengers' welfare by not enforcing its written policy, the court stated that "the jury could have inferred that Greater Houston failed to implement its seat belt policy," and that such failure indicated a "conscious disregard" of the welfare of its wheelchair passengers. Id. at 592.