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Bus Rollover Causing Back and Neck Injury Settles for $6 Million

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Dallas, TXA back and neck injury lawsuit stemming from a serious bus crash in 2013 has resulted in a $6 million settlement required of Greyhound Bus Lines. While the defendant maintained the driver of the bus lost consciousness from a coughing fit while drinking coffee behind the wheel, plaintiffs maintained the driver suffered from an undiagnosed sleep disorder.

KCBD 11 in Lubbock, Texas (3/8/16) reported on the bus rollover that occurred in Ohio in 2013, injuring at least 35 people. According to the media report, an investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol noted that the Greyhound bus left the road and entered a cornfield about 25 miles north of Cincinnati while en route from Detroit. The driver had reported he was drinking coffee when he suffered a coughing spasm and passed out at the wheel. The bus is reported to have rolled several times, leaving many passengers with various injuries, including back and neck injury.

The plaintiffs, however, held in their back injury compensation claim that the driver fell asleep due to a sleep condition. Lead plaintiff Ruthie Allen - one of the passengers injured in the rollover - sued Greyhound on behalf of four other injured passengers, and asserted bus driver Dwayne Garrett actually suffered from sleep apnea. Greyhound denied the assertion.

The neck injury compensation claim further asserted that Greyhound could have avoided the bus accident had the defendant responded to a recommendation from a medical examiner with the US Department of Transportation. According to court documents, the medical examiner suspected Garrett of suffering from sleep apnea and recommended restrictions to his driving certificate for a period of three months, allowing Garrett the opportunity to participate in an overnight sleep study to gauge his sleeping habits and capabilities.

That recommendation was issued a month before the crash. It is alleged Greyhound failed to heed the recommendation that might have prevented the accident from happening.

According to media reports and court documents, the plaintiff’s legal team obtained a court order in April 2015 requiring Garrett to undergo an overnight sleep study.

Greyhound, it has been reported, appealed the trial court’s ruling, continuing to maintain the driver lost consciousness after choking on some coffee. However, the appellate court upheld the trial court’s ruling, and the sleep study went ahead.

The study confirmed that the driver did, indeed, suffer from moderate-to-severe sleep apnea, supporting claims made by the plaintiffs in their back and neck injury lawsuit.

The bus accident caused back and neck injury to a host of passengers 17 to 64 years of age, and happened September 14, 2013 while en route along Interstate 70. The bus flipped several times before coming to rest about 100 feet from the highway.

Allen, a resident of West Bloomfield, Michigan, launched a back and neck injury lawsuit against Motor Coach Industries International Inc., FirstGroup America, and the driver Dwayne Garrett. The lawsuit, filed in Dallas County Court, alleged negligence.

The settlement was worth $6 million.

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