Investigations into a massive bus accident in Lockport, New York has led to the filing of a lawsuit with a $40 million claim. Kaizar Master of Abu Dhabi and Westchester County attorney Michael Kaplen (on behalf of 17-year-old Maryam and her father, Kaizer Master) filed a case with the Niagara County Court against Bedore Tours of North Tonawanda, Bridgestone Americas Tire, Motor Coach Industries, and the bus driver for the death of two passengers and the injury of dozens more during a tour by Indian nationals to Niagara Falls from Washington DC.
The bus reportedly got out of control on Interstate 390, flipped, and crashed into a wooded location 55 miles south of Rochester. On investigation, it was revealed that the front right tire belts appeared to have not been properly attached and the driver was speeding at 72 miles per hour in a 65 mph zone. The bus also reportedly did not have enough seatbelts, which could have saved some of the other passengers from serious injury.
Sakina Master was one of the passengers who was killed during the crash. Husband, Kaizer Master, and daughter, Maryam, are both seeking $20 million in reparations for their loss, as well as injuries and psychological trauma suffered to themselves. Mrs. Masters was sitting in the front seat without a seat belt and so was extremely exposed in the crash.
Bedore Tours of North Tonawanda, located in New York, has specialized in Niagara Falls tours since 1950. The reputable company could now be held liable for negligence in maintaining the vehicle question. The driver also faces charges of speeding. It has been reported that the driver himself was inexperienced as a bus driver and so was unknowledgeable as to how to react to the blown tire.
With so much mass transit in New York, the state has taken serious measures to prevent bus injuries as well as subway injuries. In the matter of the defective tire belts, the responsible parties could be fined a maximum of $1,000 or a minimum of $350. It remains to be seen whether Bridgestone Tire will be held liable for this aspect of the accident or perhaps a technician working with the bus company itself, dependent on the state of the equipment before installation.
Motor Coach Industries is being sued as a party to the incident as the bus manufacturer because they did not install seat belts when the bus was sold to Bedore Tours. It is known, however, that tour buses are not legally required to install seatbelts for passengers. It may be that this incident will raise an alarm for legislation in this area.
Bus injuries are no small matter. Consult with our bus accident lawyers if you’ve ever been or know someone who’s suffered trauma from a motoring accident. A bus is defined as any motor vehicle that carries fifteen or more people at once, not including the driver.