Have you heard of the charter bus crash that happened in Loxley, Alabama on March 13th? A bus transporting 46 students and adults drove 50 feet down a ravine and crashed, killing the bus driver and injuring dozens. The passengers on that bus were from Channelview ISD, and now the parents of one of the teenagers wants the Houston charter company that owns the bus to pay for the injuries their child sustained in that Alabama bus crash.
Can a Houston Company Be Sued for an Alabama Bus Crash?
The 40 students and six chaperones that were involved in this crash were a part of the Channelview High School Band. They were returning from a band trip to Disney World when the bus driver veered off the road in Alabama and the bus crashed. Several students and adults suffered injuries, among those injured was one student who allegedly suffered a severe head scalping injury and post-traumatic stress syndrome. For these reasons, the teenager’s parents are filing a lawsuit in Harris County Civil Court.
The lawsuit alleges neglect on the part of the Houston charter company, and names the bus driver’s estate in the suit as well. The family is suing for $1 million dollars in compensation for endangering and injuring their child, but do they have a case?
Right now, investigators in Alabama are combing through the evidence. There has been no word on whether the bus driver suffered a medical event before the crash, or if there was some other cause. In the past 24 months, the bus company involved in this case has been involved in four other crashes, one of which proved fatal. Records from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration say that out of the past 276 inspections, this charter company has had 20 violations. It has also been cited for a driver not wearing a seatbelt in Louisiana and for speeding here in Texas.
It is not uncommon for lawsuits such as this to be filed after a bus crash. Charter companies have a duty to keep their passengers reasonably safe, and they must take reasonable steps to ensure that safety. If a bus company hires a driver with a history of unsafe driving, or a driver with a known health condition that prevents them from driving safely, then that company could be held liable for the damages caused by that driver in the event of a crash. This is why it is important to contact an experienced attorney if you or a loved one are involved in a crash with a commercial vehicle of any kind.