Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

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

Author:

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 2021-12-06 at 8.05.11 AM

Minnesota firefighters mourn sudden death of colleague

Aaron Bidle of the Loretto Fire Department passed away suddenly Wednesday.

flickr - thin ice warning - USFWS Midwest

Snowmobiler goes through the ice on lake near Duluth

Ice thickness varies greatly throughout Minnesota right now.

snow, measuring snow, snow totals

Here's how much snow fell during the weekend winter winter storm

The Highway 2 corridor in north-central Minnesota was the bullseye.

Minneapolis Fire Department

Roof collapses on 3 firefighters in south Minneapolis

The fire happened at a residence east of Lake Nokomis on Sunday.

Joleigha Johnson

42-year-old Minnesota woman missing since December 1

She drives a white 2009 Chevrolet Impala.

icy roads, bad roads

20-year-old killed in crash on icy highway during Sunday snowstorm

More than a foot of snow had fallen in the area where the crash occurred.

Mike Zimmer

Vikings fans clamor for change after latest bad loss under Mike Zimmer

The "fire Mike Zimmer" tweets are raging on Twitter again.

Tony Oliva

Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat are finally heading to Cooperstown

The Twins legends were elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame on Sunday night.

Tanner Morgan

Report: Gophers to play in Guaranteed Rate Bowl

The Gophers will reportedly head to Phoenix to take on West Virginia.

Adam Thielen

Winless Lions beat Vikings on final play of game

Adam Thielen also left early with an ankle injury

Payton Willis / Gopher Basketball

Gophers improve to 7-0 on Willis' late 3-pointer

The Gophers earned back-to-back road victories for the first time since January 2017.

Related