Last week, the City of Baltimore Board of Estimates voted unanimously to pay $100,000 as part of a settlement in a negligence lawsuit relating to the death of a young special needs boy who died after jumping from a school bus.
The $100,000 settlement relates only to the allegations made against the city school system, who hired the bus company to transport the boy to and from school. The family has a separate claim against the bus company, an independent company.
The lawsuit alleges that school officials knew the boy struggled with “impulse control,” and that he had a history of attempted exiting from the bus, yet proper procedures were not followed, and he was not restrained on the day of the fatal accident. He died just two days after the accident, as a result of the head injuries he sustained.
According to the suit, there were multiple prior incidents demonstrating the boy’s behavior on the bus. These included the boy standing at the rear of the bus during the entire duration of the ride and, on a separate occasion, an attempted jump out the back door.
The lawsuit alleges that, on the day of the accident, the boy first attempted to open the front door of the bus, but the bus driver motioned at him with his hat, and continued to drive. The boy then allegedly walked past several aides, none of whom made any attempt to stop him, and then opened an emergency exit at the back of the bus, and jumped from four feet in the air into oncoming traffic. The bus driver continued driving, at a speed of 30 mph.
In addition to pointing out the lack of restraints, the suit also alleged that officials did not implement the boy’s Individualized Education Plan, which required him to wear a safety vest on the bus. In accordance with the settlement, school officials admitted error, stating that this was an avoidable accident, and that officials knew the boy needed to be restrained on the bus, but that they failed to do so.
As the foregoing demonstrates, children can sustain injuries in any number of scenarios, which include dog bites, medical negligence or error, car accidents, swimming pool accidents, defective toys and even by prescription drug errors. In order to recover for injuries, all of these cases require proof that someone was negligent, and that their negligence was the cause of the child’s injuries. If a child’s representatives can establish negligence, the child is entitled to recover for his or her injuries. The child can also recover for any pain and suffering that accompanied those injuries. If the child is old enough to be employed or was employed at the time of the accident, the child can recover for his or her lost wages as a result of being injured.
Unfortunately, negligence and recklessness can cause more than just serious injury, such as alleged in this case. Sometimes, a death occurs. When a child dies due to the negligence or recklessness of another person or entity, the child’s parents may be entitled to recover for the loss of the child and the loss of the child’s love, affection, and companionship. This is known as a wrongful death case. Furthermore, if the child suffered following the injury until the moment of death, a case known as a survival action may also be brought.
If your child has injured or killed as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. Our lawyers have extensive experience advocating on behalf of individuals and families who have suffered due to wrongful death in Maryland. We have represented families who have lost loved ones as a result of wrongful deaths caused by auto accidents, hospital negligence, medical malpractice, and other traumatic events. If you believe that you have lost a loved one due to the negligent or wrongful actions of someone else, please contact us by calling 1-800-654-1949 or through our website in order to schedule your free initial consultation.
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Maryland Man Dies Tragically at Tough Mudder Race, Maryland Accident Law Blog, published April 29, 2013