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School Children May be at Risk From Faulty School Buses

When parents send their children to school on big yellow school buses, they hope that the ride will be as safe as possible. Nevertheless, according to a recent report by CNN, school bus manufacturer Blue Bird Corporation is recalling about 3,900 large school buses for a potential fire hazard.

The Blue Bird Corporation is an American-based producer of school buses, as well as transit buses, motorhomes, and large-scale specialty vehicles, such as mobile libraries and mobile police command centers. In fact, according to the American School Bus Council, approximately 480,000 Blue Bird-manufactured school buses are on the road today.

CNN reports that routine inspections by customers revealed that a starter cable in the buses’ ignition might rub against a power steering hose, which could, in turn create a short circuit resulting in a fire. Following these independent accounts, Blue Bird began its own investigation that uncovered the frightening statistic that approximately 5% of the buses in current circulation had chafing on the starter cable.

When a company, such as an automobile maker like Blue Bird, manufactures a product to be marketed to the public, that company is responsible for ensuring the safety of those products. When that company’s product is defective or dangerous and that product harms the person or persons using that product, the company may be held legally responsible for the customer’s injuries. This type of situation would give rise to an Illinois product liability lawsuit. As it applies here, if a fire occurred on a Blue Bird school bus because of a short circuit and school children were harmed, Blue Bird could potentially be held legally responsible for damages arising from those injuries.

When companies are held responsible in Illinois product liability lawsuits – such as those that may arise if a blaze breaks out on a school bus – the responsible corporations may be made to pay compensatory damages, which attempt to put an injured person back in the position he or she was in before being injured, such as compensation for medical and hospital expenses, and the loss of a normal life following the injury. Here, Blue Bird might be liable for damages to compensate the families for medical bills to treat the child’s injuries, as well as damages to offset the loss of a normal life that the child otherwise would have enjoyed.

The buses affected are model years 2004-2006 Blue Bird ‘Vision’ buses; the bus maker will alert owners to inspect the buses and make sure there is enough space between the starter cable and the hose, reports CNN. Additionally, recall notifications for the involved buses are expected to begin this month.

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a dangerous product, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Please contact an attorney immediately to be apprised of your rights under the law.