Civil lawsuits filed in wake of Boston charter bus crash

Back in February, we wrote about a charter bus full of underprivileged kids that crashed into an overpass following a Harvard visit. The Boston charter bus accident on Feb. 2 left 35 people injured, one of whom is still hospitalized. This week, it was reported that authorities are deciding whether criminal charges should accompany the civil lawsuits against the bus driver.

According to reports, the 66-year-old bus driver took his eyes off the road to look at his GPS moments before the bus struck the overpass around 7:30 p.m. on Soldier’s Field Road. It was also reported that the bus driver ignored signs warning that the overpass had a low clearance and oversized vehicles are unauthorized on the road.

The charter bus was on its way back to Philadelphia when the crash occurred, scraping off the top part of the bus. It was transporting 33 students and nine chaperones from 33 students and nine chaperones from the Destined for a Dream Foundation, a non-profit group that gives opportunities to underprivileged kids.

It will be up to the Suffolk County District Attorney in Boston to decide whether criminal charges should be filed.

Even if the bus driver is not criminally charged for his role in the accident, personal injury claims have already been filed against the bus driver and his employer. Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer can be held liable for the negligent actions of its employees so long as the actions were performed within the scope of employment.

A personal injury lawyer representing some of the victims said that it is time for stricter regulations on bus companies and drivers.

“We have a huge problem in the U.S. with bus companies and drivers who are reckless, poorly trained and poorly qualified,” he said.

Source: NBC Philadelphia, “Will the Driver in the Boston Bus Crash Be Charged?” David Chang, March 20, 2013