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Family Settles in Connection with Tragic Tour Bus Accident

The family of a young Chicago woman who was struck and killed by a large tour bus in Chicago back in May of 2011 has settled in connection with their wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the young woman, who was 26 years old at the time of the bus accident, was leaving work in the Streeterville area of Chicago and was crossing the street at the time of the accident. Video footage show that the young victim was crossing at a green light and at a crosswalk and then also shows a bus turning right onto the street that she was crossing and striking her and running her over. The bus driver claimed that he did not see the young girl in the street and in turn was unable to stop and avoid hitting her as she crossed the street.

Following the accident, the tour bus driver tested positive for cocaine and also his record revealed that he was wanted in connection with two cases relating to child sexual abuse. The tour bus driver also has near 20 traffic violations in the previous 20 years and had only been with the tour bus company for about 6 months when the terrible accident occurred. The driver currently remains in jail awaiting a trial on criminal charges in connection with the accident (a reckless homicide charge) as well as his child abuse charges.

The family of the victim is planning to work with legislators to create a law aimed at insuring that convicted sex offenders are not hired or allowed to drive tour buses. Her family is also establishing a scholarship in their daughter’s name to send students to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, to help carry on their daughter’s love of art and of graphic design.

The lawsuit that the family filed was against the bus company who employed the bus driver responsible and was a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits are an available option for the family of a person who was killed as a result of someone or a company’s actions or inaction. In this case, since the driver appeared to have acted negligently or recklessly, the family filed this case against the tour bus company that the driver worked for. The family stated that they felt some sense of justice in that the bus company was willing to take some responsibility and accountability for their actions by offering a large settlement to the family. The family of the victim accepted a settlement of $6.75 million dollars in connection with their daughter’s accident. In addition to the settlement money the tour bus company is paying out to the victim’s family, the tour bus company is also helping to fund the scholarship set up in the victim’s name through 2022.

If you have a loved one that was killed in a tragic and avoidable accident, and you feel that someone or a company was at least in part responsible for the accident, please contact our office today to discuss what legal options may be available to your family. Please do not hesitate to call today, as there is a time limit on how long after an accident occurred that legal action can be taken.