Several lawsuits have been filed by victims of the December 2012 tour bus accident in Oregon which claimed nine lives and injured up to 39 people.
Many of the injured suffered horrific injuries as well as the horror of witnessing the death of their friends.
Named in the lawsuits was the operator of the bus, Mi Joo Tour & Travel and the bus driver, Haeng-Kyu Hwang.
Victims of the crash allege that the bus driver exceeded the maximum hours of service allowed by Federal Law. They said that the Hwang drove up to 12 hours or more a day on the nine day tour. Federal law places a limit of 70 hours of driving per week. Victims also allege that Hwang ignored signs warning motorists of dangerous road conditions on a section of the Oregon road referred to as “Deadman Pass” and drove to fast for the icy conditions.
The U.S. Department of Transportation regulates the maximum driving time for passenger-carrying vehicles. The tour that Hwang was driving was a nine-day tour of Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona and Idaho. Hwang was the only driver on the tour and he was forced to drive between 10 and 10 hours each day to make the tour itinerary.
The victims, in filing their lawsuits against the tour company are claiming respondeat superior.
Respondeat superior “let the master stand” means that the tour bus company can be held legally responsible for the actions of the bus driver who was in their employee. Both parties — the tour bus company and the employee — can be sued and found jointly or severally liable for damages of the bus accident victims.
Employers can protect themselves from vicarious liability if they have strict guidelines as to the behavior of their employees. In this case, they could have set a tour schedule that would not require the bus driver to drive above the federally mandated limits or they could have hired two bus drivers so to give the bus driver a rest.
King County Bus Accident Attorneys
The Farber Law Group represents people who have been seriously injured or disabled in a Washington bus accidents involving charter buses, school buses, airport shuttle buses or King County metro buses.
If you or a loved one has been injured, or a loved one has been killed, in an accident involving a bus, you may be seeking answers to your legal questions. The Farber Law Group will answer your legal questions in a free and confidential consultation. Call us Toll Free at 1-800-244-9087.