Feds Shut Down Bus Companies after Crashes Result in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has been focusing on enforcement of safety standards, resulting in its shutting down several bus companies in the last several months.

“We support FMCSA’s efforts to protect bus passengers and others on our nation’s roads,” said Fred Pritzker, who has won millions for accident victims, including several multimillion-dollar accident settlements. “Our experience is that one of the greatest dangers with charter and tour buses is driver fatigue. One of our cases involved a charter bus driver who fell asleep at the wheel, causing the bus to crash and roll. One young woman died and several students were injured.”

Below are some of FMCSA’s recent bus company shut downs, two coming after accidents involving serious injury and wrongful death . You can contact Fred for a free consultation here and talk with him about a lawsuit against a bus company for bodily injury or wrongful death.

Scapadas Magicas Shut Down after Bus Crash Kills 7 Passengers

On February 8, 2013, FMCSA announced it had ordered Scapadas Magicas LLC to immediately cease operations, and declared the carrier to be an imminent hazard to public safety.

On Feb. 3, 2013, a bus operated by Scapadas Magicas transporting passengers from locations including Tijuana, Mexico on a ski trip to the Southern California area, crashed on a mountain road striking two other vehicles east of San Bernardino, CA. Seven passengers were killed, dozens were injured, and a driver in a separate vehicle was killed.

“When buses transport passengers across the U.S. border and state lines, there can be issues regarding where to file lawsuits,” said Fred Pritzker, lead lawyer for our bus accident litigation group. “We have handled these kinds of issues many times, and I and our other accident lawyers are availabe for a free consultation to accident victims and their families.”

AFter this tragic crash, FMCSA investigators quickly inspected this carrier’s other two buses. They found serious mechanical safety violations, and those buses were immediately placed out-of-service.

FMCSA investigators also found that the company had failed to ensure that its vehicles were systematically inspected, repaired and maintained, and that its drivers were properly qualified and licensed.

Mi Joo Tour & Travel Shut Down after Fatal Accident Resulting in 9 Deaths and 39 Injuries

On January 8, 2013, FMCSA announced that it had ordered the Canadian bus company, Mi Joo Tour & Travel of Coquitlam, British Columbia, to cease operations in the United States, revoking the company’s authority to provide passenger service within the United States.

On December 30, 2012, Mi Joo Tour & Travel allowed its driver, Haeng Kyu Hwang, to drive after having been on duty for well beyond the 70 hour maximum hours of service permitted under federal regulations. On that day, the bus Mr. Hwang was driving was involved in a crash that resulted in nine passenger fatalities, and 39 passenger injuries.

The FMCSA investigation into the cause of the crash found that the company failed to take basic measures to ensure that its drivers are properly rested for safe vehicle operations. FMCSA also found an established pattern and practice of scheduling and dispatching drivers on trips without regard to hours of service requirements. The investigation further found that the company did not have safety management practices in place for monitoring and controlling its drivers.

FMCSA Action against Top Class Bus Company

On February 15, 2013, FMCSA ordered Atlanta-based Top Class Bus Company, LLC, to immediately cease all passenger transportation services because the company had allegedly blatantly disregarded federal safety regulations, putting the company’s own drivers, passengers, and the motoring public at risk.

Top Class Bus Company, which operated fixed-route passenger service primarily between Atlanta and New York City, is now prohibited from any type of commercial passenger service. The FMCSA order also blocks the unapproved use of the company’s buses by another company or any driver. The reason reason for this is that some bus companies that FMCSA has shut down simply reincorporated and continued doing business.

During an unannounced investigation, FMCSA safety investigators found that Top Class Bus Company failed to monitor and ensure that its drivers comply with drivers’ hours-of-service requirements. These requirements are meant to prevent bus drivers from causing accidents because they are too tired. FMCSA’s investigators also found that Top Class failed to comply with records-of-duty status requirements, qualification requirements, and controlled substances and alcohol use and testing requirements.

You can contact Fred Pritzker and our other bus accident lawyers for a free consultation here.

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Category: Accidents
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