work injury claim form with a judge's gavel


Per NBC, an MTA Bus Operator in Los Angeles had a dangerous encounter with a passenger.

The incident was caught on tape.  The video showed man banging on the windows of the bus.  It was also reported that the man also opened her window and poured beer on her seat. Also it was reported that he continued to make a scene outside the bus.  To make matters worse, there was a slow response from both the Police Department and the MTA to the scene. Despite 20 passengers on the bus, MTA officials did not come for an hour.  In the end, the frustrated bus driver reportedly said in response to the slow reaction from management” “So my life is not a priority?”  The MTA, however, indicated that they had timely notified the police within 5 minutes. NBC

This fact pattern will be discussed under California Workers’ Compensation Law.

Was This A Work-Related Injury?

From the fact pattern, one can initially say that there was no work injury.  The reason being is that there was no indication of a medical injury.  In the instance, the Bus Operator was frustrated over the incident and had concerns over whether her employer cared about her.  These serious matters, however, does not translate into a work injury.

Work Injuries involve a medical diagnosis.  Thus, if this Bus Operator was having an emotional reaction to the very stressful events described, then it would have been appropriate for her to request a “claim form” from her employer and ask to be seen by a medical professional.  In this circumstance, the MTA would certainly have complied with that request and sent her to a clinic for evaluation and care.  In this matter, the totality of the facts would likely be considered with respect to the nature of the stress.  The passenger harassment, the beer on her seat, the dealing with the passengers, any delay in the police response, and her employer’s delay to the scene are all factors to be considered.

Thus, if this MTA Bus Operator believed she was injured, it was imperative that she report the injury claim to her supervisor as soon as possible.

What If I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information. 


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