A $40 million lawsuit has been filed against Battle Ground School District, Clark County Public Works, and school bus contractors after children were injured and killed at an alleged unsafe bus stop.
According to the lawsuit, the location of the unsafe bus stop does not protect children from motorists on the 50-mph road. The unsafe bus stop lawsuit alleges that one child was injured while standing at the designated area for students when he was hit by a driver who “negligently veered off the roadway and struck” the child. Another child was killed when she walked across the road to talk to friends and was hit by a motorist driving a minivan.
According to the complaint, the unsafe bus stop lawsuit is seeking $20 million in damages for each child. The lawsuit states, “This case arises out of the horrifying death of one student and permanent disfigurement and loss-of-limb of another.”
The unsafe bus stop is at an intersection that is “known by the community to be dangerous,” according to the complaint. The speed on the road is 50-mph; however, motorists are often observed going well over that speed. Additionally, the stop is located on a hill that reduces visibility for drivers and pedestrians.
According to the lawsuit, the school district and school bus contractors, Petermann Northwest LLC and Cascade Student Transportation, knew or should have known that the bus stop was unsafe. The lawsuit alleges that the bus stop did not meet industry standards, noting that it has no lights, or a stop sign, and school bus contractors are charged with finding safe school bus routes and stops.
The complaint states, “The condition of the roadway, the proximity of the bus stop to the roadway, and the proximity of the students to each other as they waited on separate sides of the street created a dangerous condition where students could be foreseeably harmed by fast-moving and difficult-to-see traffic,” alleges the unsafe bus stop lawsuit.
Furthermore, the lawsuit notes that the location of the bus stop does not follow the National Congress of School Transportation’s best practices which urge school districts and bus contractors to periodically review the safety of bus stops. Bus stops “should be established only after thorough investigation has revealed the location to be the most desirable in the area, clear of hazards or dangerous situations.”
The unsafe bus stop is also located too close to the road, alleges the complaint. Children at the bus stop in Battle Ground only stand 10 feet away. The National Congress of School Transportation Policy dictates that children be reminded to stand at least 12 feet away from the bus stop.
Additionally, the unsafe bus stop lawsuit alleges that the county is responsible for the unsafe state of the intersection where the bus stop was placed. “As a result of the county’s negligence, numerous vehicle collisions (and many near-miss events) occurred at the intersection in question prior to the injuries to the plaintiffs in this action.”
If you or a family member have been injured as the result of another party’s negligence, you may have a legal claim. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Bradley/Grombacher today for a free case evaluation.