United States District Court, D. New Mexico
Jeffrey W. McElroy and John Valdez, Davie, Valdez &
McElroy, PC, El Paso, Texas, for Plaintiff Carlos Monasterio.
H. Hernandez, Ray, McChristian & Jeans, P.C., El Paso,
Texas, for Defendants Greyhound, Inc. and Arnulfo Bravo.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS
GREYHOUND LINE, INC.'S AND ARNULFO BRAVO'S MOTION FOR
KELLY, JR. UNITED STATES CIRCUIT JUDGE.
MATTER is before the court on Defendants Greyhound Lines,
Inc. and Arnulfo Bravo's Motion for Summary Judgment
filed December 19, 2017. ECF No. 66. Upon consideration
thereof, the motion is well taken and should be
case arises out of an altercation on June 21, 2012 between
Plaintiff Carlos Monasterio and Defendant Jason Von Jimenez
II, which occurred on a bus operated by Defendant Greyhound
Lines, Inc. (“Greyhound”) and driven by Defendant
Arnulfo Bravo (collectively, the “Greyhound
Defendants”). Pretrial Order at 4 (ECF No. 78). At the
time of the altercation, the bus was traveling from
Alamogordo, New Mexico to Roswell, New Mexico on Route
Schedule 450. Id.
Jimenez boarded a Greyhound bus in Fresno, California, the
day prior to the altercation. Mot. for Summ. J. Memo. at 1,
UDF No. 1 (ECF No. 66-7); Jimenez Dep. at 1 (p. 24) (ECF No.
66-3); Jimenez Dep. at 2 (p. 15) (ECF No. 69-2). Greyhound
had a policy prohibiting weapons and conducted random
searches for them. Mot. for Summ. J. Memo. at 2, UDF No. 7
(ECF No. 66-7). There is no federal regulation that requires
these measures. Id.
Jimenez does not remember seeing signs at the Fresno station
warning about weapons, although he is pretty sure they were
there. Jimenez Dep. at 6 (p. 32) (ECF No. 69-2).
Nevertheless, he carried in his backpack a pocket knife with
a three-inch blade, which he moved to his pocket while on
board. Id. at 4-5 (pp. 98, 109). Mr. Jimenez had a
general sense that he was not supposed to carry weapons on
the bus, but he considered the pocket knife a tool. Jimenez
Dep. at 6 (p. 10) (ECF No. 71-1).
stopped in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where Mr. Jimenez had a
six-hour layover, and where he first encountered Mr.
Monasterio. Mot. for Summ. J. Memo. at 1, UDF No. 2 (ECF No.
66-7); Jimenez Dep. at 1-2 (pp. 25-29) (ECF No. 66-3). The
Las Cruces bus stop was operated by a commissioned agency and
independent contractor, Shorty's Quick Mart. Bravo Dep.
at 2 (p. 112) (ECF No. 66-2); Smith Dep. at 3 (p. 131) (ECF
No. 69-3). Although Mr. Monasterio did not say anything to
Mr. Jimenez, Mr. Jimenez testified that Mr. Monasterio was
staring at him and “mad-dogging” him with a mean
look on his face. Jimenez Dep. at 3 (p. 30) (ECF No. 66-3).
Both Mr. Monasterio and Mr. Jimenez boarded the same bus on
Route Schedule 450, which Mr. Bravo was driving. Id.
(p. 31). Mr. Bravo had no notice that Mr. Jimenez boarded the
bus with a knife, or that a fight could occur. Mot. for Summ.
J. Memo. at 2, UDF No. 4 (ECF No. 66-7); Pretrial Order at 4.
In addition, no passenger warned Mr. Bravo about Mr.
Jimenez's knife or that he posed a potential threat. Mot.
for Summ. J. Memo. at 2, UDF No. 5 (ECF No. 66-7); Pretrial
Order at 4.
Jimenez also testified to hearing Mr. Monasterio talk to
other passengers outside the bus at a stop in Alamogordo, New
Mexico, about hurting Mr. Jimenez, but they boarded after
five to ten minutes without incident. Jimenez Dep. at 4-5
(pp. 47-53) (ECF No. 66-3). While en route, Mr. Bravo pulled
the bus over to prevent it from overheating. Bravo Dep. at 3
(pp. 127-28) (ECF No. 66-2). Mr. Jimenez testified that Mr.
Monasterio told him that “something could just happen
like right here” and suggested leaving the bus to smoke
a cigarette while it was stopped. Jimenez Dep. at 13-15 (pp.
57-58, 63-34) (ECF No. 69-2). According to Mr. Jimenez, when
he declined, Mr. Monasterio grabbed his arm and said,
“come on.” Id. at 14-15 (pp. 58, 63-64).
Mr. Jimenez responded by punching Mr. Monasterio in the face.
Id. at 15 (p. 64). The two men then stood up in the
aisle and began punching each other while moving towards the
front of the bus, at which point the bus started to move
again. Id. (p. 65); Jimenez Dep. at 6 (pp. 66-68)
(ECF No. 66-3). As they moved up the aisle, Mr. Jimenez
pulled out his pocket knife and began stabbing Mr.
Monasterio. Jimenez Dep. at 6 (p. 66) (ECF No. 66-3).
Bravo became aware of the altercation when he heard
passengers say that there was a fight. Bravo Dep. at 5 (pp.
138-39) (ECF No. 66-2). He then observed in his rear-facing
mirror Mr. Monasterio and Mr. Jimenez fighting and coming up
the aisle, and he heard Mr. Monasterio say, “He's
got a knife.” Id. (p. 139). Mr. Bravo slowed
the bus. Id. (p. 139). He did not see the knife, and
he did not notice any blood until Mr. Jimenez and Mr.
Monasterio pushed through a swinging Plexiglass gate at the
front of the aisle. Id. at 5-6 (pp. 138-39, 147).
Mr. Bravo then stopped the bus on the righthand side of
Highway 70 and opened the main bus door. Id. at 7
(p. 156); Jimenez Dep. at 14 (pp. 58- 59) (ECF No. 69-2). Mr.
Jimenez and Mr. Monasterio's altercation had moved to the
step well, and their fighting caused them to fall out of the
opened door. Bravo Dep. at 7 (pp. 155-56) (ECF No. 66-2);
Jimenez Dep. at 7 (pp. 75-76) (ECF No. 66-3). After the two
men had fallen out, Mr. Bravo drove the bus approximately 300
to 400 yards, where he could still see Mr. Jimenez and Mr.
Monasterio, but where he believed was a “safe place to
park the bus” to prevent his passengers from getting
attacked. Bravo Dep. at 8 (p. 161), 10 (pp. 214-15) (ECF No.
66-2). Upon stopping, he checked on his passengers and
discovered that one passenger, Brian Brouilette, had been
injured after Mr. Monasterio and Mr. Jimenez fell on top of
him during the altercation. Id. at 11 (p. 221);
Bravo Dep. at 11-13 (pp. 161-63) (ECF No. 69-4). Mr. Bravo
then exited the bus and called 911 to report the incident and
that several passengers had been injured, and he called again
seven minutes later when emergency responders had not yet
arrived. Mot. for Summ. J. Memo. at 2, UDF No. 10; Bravo Dep.
at 12 (pp. 222-24) (ECF No. 66-2); Bravo Dep. at 12-14 (pp.
162-64) (ECF No. 69-4).
altercation ended immediately after Mr. Jimenez and Mr.
Monasterio exited the bus, and Mr. Monasterio crossed to the
other side of the highway to get away from Mr. Jimenez. Mot.
for Summ. J. Memo. at 2, UDF No. 12 (ECF No. 66-7);
Monasterio Dep. at 1 (p. 262) (ECF No. 66-6); Jimenez Dep. at
7 (p. 77) (ECF No. 66-3). Mr. Jimenez then flagged down a car
and persuaded its driver to call 911 to report Mr.
Monasterio's injuries. Jimenez Dep. at 8 (p. 78) (ECF No.
66-3). He then flagged down another car, which agreed to
drive him to the police station. Id. (pp. 78-79).
Mr. Jimenez was convicted of aggravated battery with a deadly
weapon and with intent to commit a violent felony in the
third degree, and he was sentenced to three years for both
charges to be served consecutively. Mot. for Summ. J. Memo.
at 2, UDF No. 13 (ECF No. 66-7); Jimenez Dep. at 9 (pp.
91-92) (ECF No. 66-3).
Monasterio and Mr. Brouilette brought their complaint in
state court. Count I alleges that two Greyhound
corporate officers, Dave Leach and Bill Blankenship, were
negligent and grossly negligent in failing to provide a safe
environment on Greyhound buses. Count II alleges that Mr.
Leach and Mr. Blankenship were grossly negligent for failing
to properly train Mr. Bravo. Count III alleges that Greyhound
was negligent under the doctrine of respondeat superior for
the acts of Messrs. Leach, Blankenship, and Bravo. Count IV
alleges that Mr. Jimenez is liable for injuries caused to
Plaintiffs. Finally, Count V alleges that Defendants are
jointly and severally liable for Plaintiffs' injuries.
removed this action to federal district court. Notice of
Removal, Monasterio v. Greyhound Lines, Inc.,
2:15-cv-00683-PJK-SMV (D.N.M. Sept. 9, 2015), ECF No. 5. This
court dismissed Plaintiffs' claims without prejudice
against Mr. Leach and Mr. Blankenship for lack of service.
Order of Dismissal, Monasterio v. Greyhound Lines,
Inc., 2:15-cv-00683-PJK-SMV (D.N.M. Aug. 30, 2016), ECF
No. 22. Mr. Brouilette and the Greyhound Defendants settled.
Order of Dismissal, Monasterio v. Greyhound Lines,
Inc., 2:15-cv-00683-PJK-SMV (D.N.M. Jan. 1, 2018), ECF
No. 70. Plaintiffs did not file an amended complaint. In
light of those now party to the case, and for the purposes of
deciding this motion, we read Counts I-III of the complaint
to assert a negligence ...