Family of Bus Driver Wins $13.7M Verdict

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family of a bus driver who died after being ejected through the windshield in her seat during a crash won a $13.7 million verdict against the company that maintained the bus.

Los Angeles County Judge Michael Farrell found Inglewood-based Four Winds Inc. liable for the April 2001 death of 34-year-old LaShaun Clemmons.

Her seat was fastened to the bus with ”improper” and “inadequate” bolts, family attorneys said.

The verdict handed down Tuesday will be split between Clemmons’ two teenage sons and the boys’ father.

She was driving the empty charter bus that she owned on an interstate near Valinda it hit an icy patch and crashed into the median. The driver’s seat came loose and flew through the windshield with Clemmons strapped in.

She slid across five lines of traffic and was struck by a tractor-trailer, said her family’s attorney, Garo Mardirossian.

Gerald Malanga, attorney for Four Winds, declined to comment.

UPDATE:

After trial, the insurer of Four Winds refused to pay the judgment, claiming the judgment was not covered under its policy of insurance.

Mardirossian & Associates then sued the insurance company to establish coverage under the insurance policy and to enforce the judgment.

On August 2nd, 2007, Mardirossian & Associates obtained judgment directly against National Interstate Insurance Company, the insurer of defendant Four Winds, in the full amount of the judgment awarded to the Baker Family, plus interest.

Verdict: $13,700,000.00 + post judgment interested at a rate of 10%.

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