School Bus Lawsuit Alleges Injuries Caused by Lack of Seat Belts

A personal injury lawsuit has been filed by the parents of three children who were involved in a fatal school bus accident earlier this month, alleging that injuries may have been prevented if the school bus had seatbelts installed.

The complaint was filed by the parents of Michael Watkins, Lenae Watkins and Nevaeh Hobbs against Miller Transportation, Inc. in Indiana, alleging that the defendant was operating an unsafe vehicle.

The March 12th accident occurred when the Lighthouse Charter School bus reportedly hit a bridge abutment, resulting in the death of the driver and one 5 year-old passenger. In addition, 10 of the 26 students onboard were hospitalized for injuries and one child was ejected from the bus as a result of the impact.

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The school bus accident has sparked a debate in the Indianapolis area over the lack of seatbelts on school buses, and the parents allege that the injuries suffered by their children may have been prevented if safety feature had been added to the bus.

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association endorse the use of seatbelts on school buses.

Michael Watkins, 9, broke his leg in the accident and was hospitalized at Riley Hospital for Children. The other two children, Lenae Watkins, 14, and Nevaeh Hobbs, 6, suffered post-traumatic stress from the accident, according to the complaint.

While investigators say they have not found any problems with the bus, the lawsuit alleges that the bus was defective and unsafe, and that Miller Transportation failed to properly inspect the vehicle or install seatbelts. The lawsuit also accuses the bus company of not properly monitoring the driver’s health conditions.


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