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$7.1 Million Settlement Reached for Family of Man Killed in School Bus Collision

Closeup of front of yellow school bus with white clouds and blue sky reflected in windshield.

The family of a man who died after his truck collided with a school bus reached a $7.1 million settlement weeks before the case was set to go to trial, according to the family’s attorney.

According to Mike Meyer of Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Radar, the collision occurred in the fall of 2021 on a four-lane divided highway in Kansas. The man was driving north, while numerous school buses were returning south to the bus yard. To reach the bus yard, the buses had to cross the highway’s northbound lanes, which had no signal or stop sign. 

As the man approached the crossing at 65 mph, the first bus crossed the divided highway’s northbound lane. Unexpectedly, the second bus followed the first bus. With insufficient time or space to stop or swerve, the man’s light-duty truck collided with the bus, ricocheting into a ditch on the highway’s shoulder. First responders transported him to a local hospital. He was later diagnosed with a severe diffuse axonal brain injury as well as multiple orthopedic injuries. He was on life support for ten days before dying from his injuries.

The plaintiffs, including the decedent’s surviving husband, two adopted children, and parents, filed suit against the bus company in Missouri, where its registered agent was located. Meyer stated that the plaintiffs claimed the bus company bore vicious liability for the driver’s negligence in failing to yield the descendant’s right of way. They discovered that the bus driver who caused the incident intentionally avoided the highway where the accident occurred. Plaintiffs alleged that the bus company failed to implement and enforce proper policies and procedures, including mechanisms to ensure that bus drivers strictly adhered to their assigned routes.

Meyer stated that the case raised several legal concerns and disagreements about the applicability of Kansas and Missouri laws. Among these were the appropriate plaintiffs to be joined under the applicable wrongful death statute; the application of Kansas law to damages, including a potential cap on the decedent’s conscious agony and suffering; punitive damages; and comparative guilt.


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