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First wrongful death suit filed after bus-FedEx collision

In past posts, we have discussed the tragic charter bus accident in Northern California that left ten people dead. The bus, carrying many high school students and chaperones, was on its way to Humboldt State University for a tour when it was struck by a FedEx truck head on.

Last week, it was reported that the first wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in connection with the deadly crash. The negligence claim was filed by the mother of a 17-year-old student who was killed in the accident.

The lawsuit seeks $100 million in damages from FedEx and other defendants, stating that the courier delivery company’s trucks have a history of catching on fire as a result of driver error, improper loading of cargo or mechanical problems.

According to some witnesses to the accident, the FedEx truck was on fire before it crossed over the grassy median on Interstate 5 about 100 miles north of Sacramento and struck the charter bus. However, officials with the California Highway Patrol are still investigating the cause of the accident.

The lawsuit also accuses the bus operator, Silverado Stages, of negligence for not including more emergency exists on the bus so that a greater number of passengers could have escaped.

Tragically, reports indicate that many students were able to crawl out of the bus before it exploded into flames; however, five students, three adult chaperones and the bus driver died after not being able to escape or suffering fatal injuries in the process. The FedEx driver also died in the accident.

In a statement, the attorney representing the mother who filed suit said that he hopes the litigation is able to “provide answers to the families” and prevent “something like this from ever happening again."

Wrongful death lawsuits are never able to take away the pain that results from losing a loved one in an accident, but they can provide the victim’s family with financial support during this difficult time.

Additionally, as the attorney above pointed out, wrongful death lawsuits can help prevent similar instances from occurring in the future by holding negligent parties responsible for their actions.

Source: Courthouse News Service, &ldquoFed-Ex Sued for Fatal NorCal Bus Crash,” Matt Reynolds, April 24, 2014

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