BALTIMORE, May 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Murphy, Falcon & Murphy and Schochor, Federico & Staton filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of all of the victims of the tragic November 1, 2016, MTA bus crash on Wednesday afternoon in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. The horrifying crash occurred when an AAAfordable school bus, driven by its employee Glenn Chappell, struck a passenger vehicle from behind, then crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with the MTA bus. Chappell had been medically cleared to operate commercial vehicles by Concentra's medical professionals, just months before, despite suffering from diabetes, hypertension and a seizure disorder. Six people were killed in the crash, including Chappell. The lawsuit names Concentra Health Services and its related entities as well as AAAfordable Transportation, LLC and its owners and operators Tracy Dabo and Aliyu Dabo as Defendants.
The lawsuit alleges that Concentra, a billion-dollar nationwide health care company that provides commercial driver certifications at its urgent care facilities throughout Maryland, knew or should have known that Chappell had suffered multiple seizures in the past and had been involved in at least 4 crashes or incidents while operating a school bus or a personal vehicle where he had lost consciousness from a seizure when it medically cleared Chappell to drive commercial vehicles. Concentra's own website acknowledges that its certification physicals are critical to the safety of others and are crucial to detect physical, mental, and emotional issues that can affect a driver's ability to safely drive a commercial vehicle. The lawsuit alleges that Concentra's medical professionals were obligated to perform a reasonable inquiry into Chappell's medical and driving histories, but failed to do so. Such an inquiry would have revealed Chappell's prior crashes and a checkered driving history that included over a dozen suspensions of his commercial driver's license.
The lawsuit also alleges that AAAfordable and its owners knew or should have known that Chappell suffered seizures or seizure-like disorders, and was disqualified from driving commercial vehicles at the time of the incident. The lawsuit further alleges that AAAfordable failed to properly ensure that Chappell was medically certified to drive commercial vehicles, or even ensure that Chappell held a valid commercial driver's license. Moreover, the lawsuit also alleges that just one-week prior to the crash, Chappell suffered a seizure-like episode at work. The lawsuit claims that despite this incident at work, AAAfordable continued to allow Chappell to drive buses full of children to and from school.
Michelle Kennedy, a Plaintiff named in the lawsuit and a MTA passenger in the crash stated, "I will never forget that day. I'll never forget the sounds of the buses crashing together. I'll never forget waking up on the floor of the bus pinned underneath metal and other passengers with glass in my mouth. It's been traumatic. I don't know if I'll ever get over this. I want answers, and I want justice for all of us who have suffered. He should never have been driving that bus." Antwan Baker, a Plaintiff in the lawsuit and the widower of MTA bus driver, Ebonee Baker continued, "Our lives changed forever that day. Our kids lost their mother, and I lost my wife and best friend. They should never have let him drive that bus. This should never have happened."
Upon the lawsuit's filing, Hassan Murphy, Managing Partner at Murphy, Falcon & Murphy stated, "It is beyond unbelievable that Concentra and AAAfordable put this man behind the wheel and that they certified him to drive buses full of disabled children. It makes us all angry that they gave this man keys to a school bus, endangering the children he carried and all of us that he encountered, despite his clear history of having seizures while operating vehicles. Concentra's decision to certify this driver, without performing the required inquiry into his medical and driving background, leads to the inevitable conclusion that they operated a rubber-stamp machine that valued profits over the safety of their passengers and every other driver on the road. This tragedy is truly heartbreaking and the fact that it could have been prevented by a series of easy checks that take minutes is unconscionable."
Murphy's co-counsel, Jonathan Schochor, Senior Managing Partner of Schochor, Federico & Staton added, "Nothing we can do will take away the pain of the families who lost a loved one, or heal the wounds of those who were injured. Concentra and AAAfordable must be brought to justice for their recklessness. This class action suit is the most efficient and expedient way to help bring closure to the families and justice for those injured."
The Complaint requests that the matter be certified as a class action in order to ensure that each victim receives the full measure of damages permitted under the law and to ensure an orderly procedure by which to handle these claims, instead of pursuing multiple separate actions. This procedure will also significantly decrease the cost of each Plaintiff's suit. A copy of the Complaint is attached.
About Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, P.A.
Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, P.A. is a Baltimore-based law firm specializing in complex civil, criminal and civil rights litigation. Our team of seasoned trial lawyers has significant experience working with a variety of clients across the country, and takes pride in exceptional success rates that dwarf the national average. The firm has experience in handling high-profile class action cases, including the tragic Chattanooga school bus crash in which six children died. That matter is currently pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Our attorneys have won some of the largest verdicts in high-profile, high-stakes cases in some of the toughest jurisdictions around the country. Learn more at www.murphyfalcon.com.
About Schochor, Federico & Staton, P.A.
Schochor, Federico & Staton is a Baltimore-based law firm that handles cases involving complex personal injury and medical malpractice with a comprehensive approach to get full compensation for injured victims. The firm has served the Maryland and Washington, D.C. areas for over 30 years and has collected more than one billion dollars for its clients. The firm has experience in handling high profile class action cases, including, most recently, obtaining what is purported to be the largest settlement of a single perpetrator sexual abuse case in United States history. Learn more at www.sfspa.com.
*Each case is different. Past success does not guarantee a favorable result in any future case.
Contact: Hassan Murphy
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SOURCE Murphy, Falcon & Murphy