Our firm reached a settlement on behalf of the family of Nicole Ford, a Lee High School student, who was killed when her school bus crashed on November 20, 2006, in Huntsville and plunged 30 feet from a highway overpass to the ground below. Ms. Ford was among 40 students traveling to the Huntsville Technology Center who were involved in the tragic crash. None of the students was wearing a seatbelt because school buses in Alabama are not equipped with seatbelts.
Four students including Miss Ford were killed in the crash, and many others were injured. The bus was not equipped with seat belts for student passengers. Although seat belts are required by statute for the drivers of school buses in Alabama, the statute is silent on any mandate for seat belts for passengers. The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled this silence indicates the Legislature only intended for bus drivers to be belted.
The suit was filed in the Circuit Court for Madison County by our firm. Ours was the first case filed as a result of the incident. Other cases were filed later, including three more death cases and several personal injury claims. Defendants in our case were Laidlaw Transit, the school bus driver, and the driver of a passenger car that was involved in the crash.
The safety of children riding as passengers on school buses must be a top priority for those who are in charge of our schools and for those who own and operate school buses. This tragic incident resulted in the loss of innocent lives. Hopefully, the Alabama Legislature will take the necessary action to require all bus manufacturers to equip school buses with seat belts for passengers.
All of the pending cases went to mediation and, after a full day which lasted into the night, all four death cases were settled. The amounts of the settlement were confidential at the request of the Defendants and their liability insurance carrier. Kendall Dunson and Cole Portis from our firm, along with Wayne Wolfe of the Huntsville firm Wolfe, Jones, Boswell, Wolfe, Hancock & Daniel, LLC., represented the Ford family. We were pleased to have been able to settle their case.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.