Family Sues School Bus Manufacturer After Child’s Death
A family has filed a lawsuit against several companies after their 6-year-old daughter was struck and killed by a school bus after being offloaded. According to the lawsuit, the child was the last in a line that was being escorted across the street in front of the school bus. The driver inadvertently attempted to pull away when he struck the girl. She was run over by both the front and rear tires. Shortly thereafter, she was transported to a hospital where she died of her injuries.
Among those being sued by the family are the school district, the busing company, and the manufacturers of the Blue Bird bus which the parents claim was unreasonably dangerous. Since the accident, the school district has added crossing arms to the buses to prevent children from walking in the bus’s blind spots.
Analyzing the allegations
The school district is being accused of negligent training and hiring of bus drivers. They accuse the bus driver of not checking the blind spot before operating his vehicle. They also accuse the school district and the companies that supplied the buses of failing to add safety features that would have prevented this accident. Already, the district has moved to require crossing arms that keep children out of the bus’s blind spots.
Lastly, the company that manufactured the bus is accused of avoiding the installation of specific safety features that were standard on school buses since 2016. The bus was manufactured in 2021, so the parents claim that the bus should have had this standard safety feature that would have prevented the death of their daughter.
A jury will decide who is to blame for the death. They will consider each of the named defendants and assign some of the blame to each for their role in costing a child her life. However, the biggest problem here remains a lack of regulatory requirements involving school bus safety. Most of these are determined at the state level, so there is no uniform set of requirements for a school bus. If you’re reading this wondering how a school bus doesn’t have a crossing arm to prevent children from walking in blind spots, well, now you know. Each state has its own standards when it comes to student safety, and you can never sue the state for a policy choice. So while the state may be primarily liable, they are protected from lawsuits such as this.
However, there are several private companies that the plaintiffs can sue and they’ve filed a lawsuit against every one of them. Obviously, this is an accident that should have never happened. The parents are hoping their lawsuit will prevent it from ever happening again.
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