Skip to main content

Victims of ND school bus/train accident sue for more compensation

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The families of victims in a deadly collision between a school bus and a train nearly a year ago in North Dakota are in line to share $500,000 in compensation. But those families are suing in an effort to receive more, the Grand Forks Herald reports.

The accident occurred Jan. 5 in the small town of Larimore, North Dakota, when a school bus carrying children home from school was hit by a train, killing the driver of the bus and a 17-year-old passenger. The other 12 students on board were injured, some of them seriously.

Investigators determined the bus driver was at fault, finding he didn't stop at the railroad crossing as he should have. The bus driver, Max Danner, was a Larimore school employee, so the district is expected to be held liable for the crash.

A North Dakota state law limits damages a school district or other public entity has to pay out for injuries resulting from a single accident -- no matter how many victims there are, the Herald notes.

Lawyers representing the families filed a claim in federal court last week arguing the $500,000 limit in this case is unconstitutional.

Even the school district acknowledges the $500,000 is "insufficient" to cover all the claims expected to be made by the victims, some of whom were seriously injured and have substantial medical bills.

Insurance companies will also want to be reimbursed for the payouts they have already made.

The attorney argues the cap violates the families' right to due process and denies them equal protection under the law.

He also notes the Larimore School District's insurance will cover up to $2 million in damages, and he asked the judge to order the carrier to set aside that amount for the bus crash claims, the Herald reports.

In response to the accident, North Dakota legislators unanimously passed a bill in March that raised the ceiling on the damage amount to $1 million, but it's not retroactive and doesn't apply to the bus accident.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 4.04.40 PM

Ramen bar announced for upcoming Eat Street Crossing food hall

The restaurant roster is filling up at Eat Street Crossing.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man dies after being shot during argument in Minneapolis

It's the 70th homicide in Minneapolis this year.

NearNorthEncampment

Minneapolis police, city employees clear out Near North encampment

This comes as colder weather moves through the state.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 4.32.46 PM

New T.J. Maxx to open in the Twin Cities this month

Opening day will kick off with extended hours.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 3.04.24 PM

Former Hennepin County commissioner arrested for DWI

The 61-year-old was being held in Hennepin County Jail as of Thursday morning.

Evie Carshare

Electric carshare network showing growth in Twin Cities

Over 25,000 trips have been logged in a six-month span.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 1.11.01 PM

Popular Apple Valley ice arena could be replaced

A concept plan to transform the ice arena is being considered.

21a171abc8c6a3619739a786eed516a563206c38bec4a972944e80fa213b9ab6

Low river levels bring cancellations for St. Paul-New Orleans Viking cruises

The low water also impacted some barge traffic making its way down the river.

10.6 Tempest Weather Thumbnail

Drought tightens grip as Twin Cities reaches 'extreme' level

By this time last year, drought was fading fast in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 11.23.49 AM

Woman missing since car crash has been found

The 49-year-old is believed to have been driving when the crash happened.

Related