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FedEx sued over deadly California bus crash

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The mother of a 17-year-old honors student who was among 10 people killed in a fiery Northern California bus crash sued FedEx on Tuesday, alleging that its trucks have a history of catching fire.

The negligence suit that seeks $100 million in damages is the first filed in connection with the April 10 freeway crash in Orland, said A. King Aminpour, the attorney for the plaintiffs.

The suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of Rosa Rivera, mother of Jennifer Bonilla of Los Angeles.

Northern California Bus Crash Kills at Least 10

The Dorsey High School student had earned a college scholarship. She and other teens were heading north for a free tour of Humboldt State University when the bus was struck head-on by a FedEx truck.

Dozens escaped through windows before the bus exploded into towering flames, but five students, three adult chaperones and both drivers died.

"She had her whole future before her," Aminpour said of Bonilla. "She was the first in her family to ever go to college."

The California Highway Patrol has not determined the cause of the crash 100 miles north of Sacramento.

Some witnesses reported that the FedEx truck was on fire before the crash, and the lawsuit alleges that FedEx trucks have a history of catching fire from mechanical problems, driver error or improper cargo loading.

"Our heartfelt condolences remain with everyone affected by this tragic accident," Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx Corp. said in a statement. "We remain focused on providing support to those affected and cooperating with the authorities as they conduct their investigation. This is not the time for us to discuss potential litigation."

The suit also names the estate of the FedEx driver and the bus owner, Silverado Stages, as defendants. The bus lacked adequate exit doors that would have allowed passengers to escape after the crash, the lawsuit contends.

A message seeking comment from a Silverado Stages executive after hours Tuesday was not immediately returned.

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TB April 23 2014 at 10:28 AM

Lawyers....the root of all evil.

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1 reply
janicefenton TB April 23 2014 at 10:41 AM

Interesting you call lawyers "the root of all evil" when you have a Reagan picture for your profile. He raised taxes 17 times during his 8 years in office. Each and every one of those increeases impacted the lower and middle classes, ie credit card interest deductions eliminated. How many billionaires use that deduction? Started the whole union busting thing which in turn caused the decimation of the middle class. Too many charts and statistics prove that to list here....Google unions middle class. You should know your heros a little better. Not his image, but his ideology.

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1 reply
chuckhalper janicefenton April 23 2014 at 11:06 AM

This article is about a crash and eaths and a lawsuit, not your idiot savant obsession with dead politicians.

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Carla April 23 2014 at 8:43 PM

I told my husband the moment I saw that wreck on tv news Fed X would get the pants sued out there but my dad flew and retired from Fed X there a good company .!!! and I agree with someone else that the ambulance chasers was circling this terrible and sad deaths of all of these people.!!!!!!!!

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gov111w April 23 2014 at 9:30 AM

We all knew that this suit was coming, Fed EX is a very large deep pockets company. Perhaps the truth about what happened will come out in court !!!

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Jim Smith April 23 2014 at 9:29 AM

I am surprised that it was this long before the lawsuits started. Like the wrecks invilving trains, the driver, (engineer), is always blamed before the dust has settled.

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njtopit April 23 2014 at 9:25 PM

First let me say that my heart goes out to all the familes that lost someone in this terrible tragedy. I think the families of those killed should get compensated and there is no price that can be put on a human life but come on, isn't $100 million a bit ridicules. This woman is just looking to profit off the death of her child. That money is not going to bring her child back.

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robcabob1 April 23 2014 at 11:35 AM

Do those buses have emergency exits on the back? If not, WHY?

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mjp91154 April 23 2014 at 10:03 PM

before you aholes pass judgment on the FedEx drivers why don't you wait until the investigation is done and over! I have been a professional otr driver for 25 years and have the unfortunate opportunity's to have seen more accidents than I care to mention and believe me people 9 out of 10 accidents involving big trucks are caused by careless 4 wheel drivers (talking,texing on there cell phone,eating putting on make up ect. I have seen people ready the news paper going down the road in heavy traffic! I could write a book on what people do while driving! But that's ok! its always the truck drivers fault! you people don't have a clue! by the way UPS has one of the safest driving records in the industry and to best of my knowledge FEDEX uses sub contractors! oh! by the way your packgage might be a day late because you ordered something from LA to NY 3DAY GROUND in the middle of a snow storm! just saying!

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2 replies
buzzyseed mjp91154 April 23 2014 at 10:29 PM

In this case it is only the drivers fault because of deep pockets. Instead of morning her kid, she is thinking dollar signs!

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grant911 mjp91154 April 23 2014 at 11:21 PM

God, I hate whiners.

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nordengto April 23 2014 at 9:26 AM

Where there any traffic cams? Did anyone record or take pictures of the truck on fire before the accident on their phone? Where any of the drivers texting or on the phone at the cause of the accident? All truck drivers have to preform a pre trip on their truck-trailer each day and if they make a stop later in the day. We each are to be in control of our vehicle at all times that includes being aware of recalls and mechanical issues having them fixed, and being aware of our surroundings. You can be the best driver with a clean record and no accidents , and it just takes one careless second for someone to cause harm-death. Accidents do happen and our prayers go to the families.

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Hello, Mary April 23 2014 at 10:16 PM

Ms. Rivera's motives have to be suspect (money) since the accident is still under investigation.

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mcgowann April 23 2014 at 5:55 PM

From the article, "The suit also names the estate of the FedEx driver and the bus owner." Not enough to go after the deep pocket of Fed Ex, but to go after the estate of the FedEx driver. That's sick. Then there is the size of the suit at $100 million. I'm sure becoming rich would ease this greedy family's pain and suffering. For them, this law suit is like winning a lottery.

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