After a fatal Megabus accident left one passenger dead and several injured, Bridgestone Tires (BATO) denies any fault in the accident; however, a lawsuit filed by two passengers claims that BATO supplied defective tires that caused the accident.
According to news sources, the bus struck a concrete overpass on August 2, 2012 while traveling southbound on the I-55. Sources say that the bus veered off of the road when one of the front tires suddenly blew out. The driver, a 25-year-old trainee, was in control of the vehicle at the time of the accident.
While BATO denies any responsibility for the collision, two of the injured passengers launched a six-pronged attack against the company, claiming that the tires were unreasonably prone to puncture / deflation, did not carry an adequate warning, were predisposed to tread separation, had insufficient belt edge protection, were poorly bonded, and were not appropriately tested.
In short, the lawsuit alleges that BATO provided faulty tires, which caused the accident and subsequent damages. The suit seeks more than $600,000 in compensation for the plaintiffs.
BATO attempted to refute these claims and filed an affirmative defense. According to the tire company, the plaintiffs exaggerated their injuries after the crash by ignoring the medical instructions given to them by doctors.
The plaintiff's reportedly sustained injuries to the head, face, arms, hands, legs, wrists, legs, knees, ankles, and torsos – some of which may be permanent. Both passengers said that they experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after the accident too.
BATO may not be the only company to blame for the accident, though; the lawsuit also names Coach Leasing, Inc. as a defendant in the case. Coach Leasing allegedly owned the bus when the accident occurred, but denies any responsibility for the accident because the vehicle was leased under an Equipment Lease Agreement. This type of arrangement limits any liability held against the vehicle owner. Coach filed a motion to reject several counts of the complaint.
News sources anticipate at motion hearing in St. Clair County on September 17th and a mandatory status conference on October 14th.
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