Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Anaheim School Sued by Bicyclist Hit by School Bus

Negligent entrustment can sometimes border on intentional conduct. When conduct is intentional, it is typically not covered by insurance, because it goes against public policy to insure someone so they can go and intentionally beat people up, or engage in some other nefarious conduct and not personally suffer the consequences of their actions.

An example of a case that probably borders on intentional conduct, and is definitely reckless conduct, would be the recent case of the AUHSD ignoring the terrible driving history of a bus driver they hired. The Anaheim Union High School District has had a lawsuit filed against the school in Orange County Superior Court by a bicyclist who was struck by one of their school buses. In the negligence lawsuit filed it is claimed the school district officials ignored the traffic violation history of the bus driver. The suit alleges the school district ignored traffic citations of the driver due to under-staffing and budget limitations. 

The lawsuit was filed against the Anaheim Union High School District by Jose Medina, who was struck by the bus while on his bicycle in the intersection of Crescent Avenue and Valley Street on July 19th. The bus driver has been identified as Paulina Hernandez and the lawsuit claims Hernandez failed to come to a complete stop at the intersection stop sign. Alleging Hernandez did not check for pedestrians or other vehicles.

A nearby apartment complex surveillance camera has been obtained and shows the bus slowly going through the stop sign without the driver coming to a complete stop or checking for pedestrians and other vehicles. In the video Medina is seen curling into a fetal position as the bus ran over his body.

According to attorney Masih Kazerouni in the crash Medina sustained fractures to the spine, jaw, nose and right leg. During the past three years according to court records Hernandez has received a several traffic tickets prior to the current lawsuit, but was not prosecuted. According to reports in at least two of the incidences the police officers involved failed to show up at the scheduled hearings. Her record shows Hernandez has been involved in collisions with two bicyclists while driving a school bus and received three traffic tickets during the three years.

It remains to be seen how budget cuts or under-staffing would lead to hiring a bus driver with a bad record. But clearly, in this case, there is and was a policy and procedure to check the records of potential new employees to drive the buses. After civil discovery, perhaps we will be able update the story. If you hear of, or learn anymore about the case, please contact us. Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC (213) 596-9642.