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SANTA ANA : $100,000 Settlement in OCTD Injury

An elderly woman whose shoulder was torn as she stepped off a bus in 1987 will receive $100,000 from the Orange County Transit District, an unusually large payment by the agency in a personal-injury action, officials said Monday.

Under terms of a settlement reached in Orange County Superior Court last Thursday, Mildred Cole, 70, will receive $20,000 to cover the cost of two surgeries and another $80,000 for future medical bills and pain and suffering, said Ronald C. Staff, claims administrator for the OCTD.

The payment stemmed from an accident at a bus stop at Bristol and Myrtle streets in Santa Ana, said Cole’s lawyer, Michael E. Caston. Cole was stepping down from a bus but caught her hand in the rear door handle, he said. Before she could disengage herself, the bus driver started to pull away, tearing the connecting ligaments in Cole’s shoulder.

Cole, who lives on Social Security, required two operations to repair her shoulder and might need a third, Staff said. Her range of motion in that shoulder is still limited, Caston said.

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Staff said the settlement is the second largest against the OCTD in this fiscal year, which ends June 30.


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