Lack of Seat Belts on a School Bus Paralyze Student Forever
Uvalde County, Texas.—On April 11, 2013, a school bus driver lost control of the bus he was driving and it rolled over, ejecting 15-year-old Abel Perez from the school bus. Abel did not have a seatbelt that he could utilize and was not restrained when the bus rolled over, which resulted in severe injuries when he was ejected, rendering him a quadriplegic.
Joe Dunn and Jeff Wigington, attorneys at Wigington Rumley Dunn & Blair LLP, filed a suit against the school bus manufacturing companies on behalf of the Perez family, contending that the school bus had manufacturing and design defects with regard to its’ occupant retention characteristics, specifically seat belts.
The school bus manufacturing companies maintained that seatbelts were not necessary as standard equipment on their school buses, however since Abel Perez did not have a seatbelt, he was not restrained during the rollover that allowed uncontrolled movement of his body and was therefore ejected from the school bus. Abel Perez suffered severe, permanent and disabling injuries, which resulted in paraplegia. This case settled for a confidential sum.