Earlier in 2014, we were working on three school bus crash cases. One of those settled for a confidential amount, and two are ongoing. In the settled case, the company that provided the school buses and drivers hired a driver who was known to have multiple health problems, including sleep apnea and psychological disorders, and used various prescription drugs. On the day of the collision, the school bus driver drifted off the road at times, and then later that morning, on a straight, level stretch of road in daylight, crashed into the back of a white Honda Accord that had its brake lights and blinker on.
A 16-year-old girl was sitting in the back of the Honda when the bus hit. The force of the crash crushed the back of the Honda all of the way up into the passenger compartment, essentially obliterating the rear third of the car. The girl’s head and face were subjected to forces that broke most of the bones of her face. She was life-flighted to Portland for emergency trauma services. Her saga of surgeries and medical procedures still continues, with over three quarters of a million dollars of care required thus far, and much more to come in the future.
The defendant bus transportation corporation, which claims to be the world’s largest surface transportation company, litigated the case heavily. Most of our office worked on the girl’s case for about three and a half years, devoting thousands of hours of time.