Trial Avoided With Texas Bus Crash Settlement

Posted By The Carlson Law Firm || 13-Oct-2010

Three years ago, one of the worst bus crashes in Texas history occurred just outside of Sherman. Seventeen parishioners on their way to a church festival were killed when their charter vehicle careened off the side of a highway bridge. Dozens more passengers were injured. This past June, a settlement was finally reached with most of the victims’ families.

What Happened?

Part of the reason it took so long for a legal resolution to materialize is that there has been some dispute among investigators as to what factors were responsible for the bus accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board noted three safety violations at the time of the accident: a retreaded tire was attached to the right steering axle of the bus in violation of federal regulations, the bus driver was not authorized to carry passengers outside of Texas (the bus was en route to Missouri), and the company that performed a safety inspection of the bus was not set up to make a complete evaluation.

Investigators now believe that a foreign object punctured the retreaded tire, causing it to blow out and resulting in a loss of control. However, although the use of a retreaded tire on a passenger bus is a federal violation, officials determined that the tire did not blow out for that reason. Even so, the families of victims filed suit against the company that retreaded the tire, the bus-inspection company, and the charter firm that operated the bus for allegedly contributing to the accident.

Now, an out-of-court settlement has been reached with the families of 11 of the 17 passengers killed as to all three defendants. The exact financial terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.

Bus Safety

The Sherman bus crash and others like it have some wondering whether it may be time to step-up federal bus safety requirements. In late March, a Senate subcommittee hearing about bus safety explored several options for protecting passengers: requiring seat belts, sturdier roofs and windows, and electronic stability control are all options being discussed that could help save lives.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, contact an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney today. You may be entitled to financial compensation, and with the help of your lawyer, you can hold negligent bus companies responsible for the harm they have caused.

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