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Bus driver has numerous auto accidents on his record

Most New Jersey residents expect that the people driving public buses and commuter vans are screened and have good driving records. It might be surprising to know that one driver has been involved in no fewer than 10 auto accidents in recent years. Since 2010, the man's license has been suspended at least nine times and is currently suspended.

This makes the fact that he was driving a commuter van on a recent Friday that much more disconcerting. As he drove that morning, he struck an 11-year-old boy who was on his way to the school bus at approximately 8:20 a.m. Emergency personnel rushed the boy to a hospital in the area, but his injuries were too severe. He died shortly after arriving at the hospital.

The 44-year-old New Jersey bus driver is facing charges in connection with the death of the boy. The driver was given two citations for driving and using a handheld device. Another time, he was cited for not stopping for a pedestrian. He also has a history of failing to appear in court. The big question remains why he was even driving at all.

The family of the boy who died retains the right to file a wrongful death claim against all of the parties who could have caused or contributed to his death. Ordinarily, an employer is included in lawsuits involving a negligent employee under the legal theory of respondeat superior. In this case, there could be more to the employer's involvement than just the fact that the driver was in the course of his duties. If it is proved that his employer knew about the prior auto accidents and suspensions, but still allowed him to get behind the wheel, the employer may be found responsible for punitive damages in addition to other damages awarded.

Source: Newark, NJ Patch, "Young N.J. Boy Killed By Crash-Prone Bus Driver Needs A 'Proper Burial,' Friends Say", Tom Davis, Oct. 18, 2016

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