The jury in a Bronx courtroom held the 41 year old driver not guilty for the death of 15 passengers. Evidence showed that the bus driver was sleep deprived at the time of the accident which caused the bus to hit a guard rail and flipped on its side. Prosecutors argued that the defendant was driving under a serious state of exhaustion. Testimony of surviving passengers explained a horrific scene of terror when the bus flipped
causing a metal signpost to slice through the carriage.
While the bus driver is not held liable for the death of the passengers, the bus company or operators who employed the driver can be held liable. Occupants and there surviving heirs will have a cause of action for a wrongful death lawsuit. Generally a civil cause of action will have a lower standard of care which would need to be proven.
Claimants will likely be able to prove negligence when the defendant failed to have adequate rest and sleep prior to the accident
. Negligence requires a showing that the actions of the defendant or negligent party were below the standard of a reasonably prudent person in the same situation. Would a reasonably prudent bus operating company permit an employee to drive under such conditions?
These are all questions which will surely arise when the claimants decide to file suit.
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