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$36M Award to Family Of Child Injured Trying to Catch School Bus


This is a settlement for the Bus Accident lawsuit.

San Bernardino, CA:A $36.1 million personal injury settlement has been awarded to the family of a now 11-year old girl who was hit by a car while attempting to catch her school bus. The accident left her with severe injuries including fractures to her neck, arm, leg and pelvis, and a permanent traumatic brain injury that requires she is cared for by a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the rest of her life.

On the morning of October 3, 2012, then six-year old Isabella Escamilla Sanchez, attempted to cross 9th street mid-block to get to the bus stop where her school bus was en route to Bonnie Oehl Elementary School. While attempting to cross the road, the driver of a Subaru Impreza struck her.

In filing their lawsuit, Isabella’s family named Durham School Services as a defendant for failing to report and prevent mid-street crossings, which is a blatant violation of their own policies and procedures. The family’s attorneys showed that it was a common practice for parents and students to cross 9th street mid-block directly in front of the Durham bus driver.

The family also argued that had the bus driver warned parents and studens about the dangers of attempting to cross the street mid-block, this tragedy could have been prevented. During the trial, all the parents with children at the same bus stop testified that they never used the controlled intersection near the stop because they didn’t realize the danger and always crossed in the middle of the block.

Additionally, the parents stated that crossing mid street was common practice and that they did so in plain view of the Durham bus drivers who never took steps to prevent this behavior. The San Bernardino School District’s transportation director stated at trial that the drivers are the “eyes and ears for the school district” and that the district relies on drivers to report dangerous conditions at bus stops including unsafe mid-block crossings.

Other defendants names in the personal injury lawsuit include the County of San Bernardino, City of Highland, San Bernardino City Unified School District, Bonnie Oehl Elementary School, Shanita Cottia Mason, the bus driver, and Lillian Thanh Vo, the driver of the Subaru.

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Published on Oct-24-17


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