201412.03
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Jury Awards Compensation for Injuries in a Bus Accident

A Philadelphia jury has awarded fifteen plaintiffs $4.3 million in compensation for injuries in a bus accident, bring the total value of the claim to $5.7 million.

The claim for compensation for injuries in a bus accident was brought by passengers who were injured in a May 2010 crash; when the brakes on a bus operated by Del Val Staffing failed and the vehicle flipped over on the junction of Kensington and Allegheny avenues in Port Richmond, Philadelphia, after hitting a telegraph pole.

The top of the back of the bus was sheared off in the accident, resulting in fifteen of the twenty-two passengers on board needing hospital treatment. Charles Hill – the most seriously injured passenger – was taken to the Hahnemann University Hospital suffering from a traumatic brain injury, and subdural and subarachnoid hemorrhaging.

Hill remained in hospital for a month – during which time he underwent surgery for a fractured skull and broken collarbone – and was then transferred to the Magee Rehabilitation Center. Despite intensive therapy, Hill is no longer able to care for himself and has since been placed in a residential support facility.

Using a guardian ad litem, Hill made a claim for compensation for injuries in a bus accident on his behalf and on behalf of the other passengers injured in the accident. In the claim he alleged that Frankford Auto Sales and City Car Sales were negligent in servicing and garaging the bus, and that Del Val Staffing – his employers – were liable as it was one of the company´s employees who had been driving the bus.

Frankford Auto Sales and City Car Sales settled their portion of the claim for $1.44 million in December 2013, but Del Val Staffing argued that they were not liable to pay compensation for injuries in a bus accident because Hill and the other passengers were “engaged in the course and scope of their employment” when the accident happened, and therefore should only be entitled to workers comp.

The case went before a jury at the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, who found that Del Val Staffing failed in their duty of care to protect their employees from danger. The jury awarded Hill and the other plaintiffs $4.3 million compensation for injuries in a bus accident – bringing the total amount the claim was settled for up to $5.7 million.