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$1.4 million settlement for wrongful death by Columbia city bus

The negligent actions of a city bus driver have led the City of Columbia, Missouri, to pay $1.4 million to the family of a deceased motorcycle rider. The motorcyclist was passed away in 2010, the day after he suffered catastrophic injuries in the bus collision.

The bus driver was later convicted of careless and imprudent driving in connection with the incident. He was given a six month suspended sentence, along with two years of unsupervised probation. In addition, the surviving family of the deceased biker filed a wrongful death lawsuit which The Columbia Daily Tribune confirms was recently settled for the indicated sum.

The 34-year-old victim and father of three was a resident of Centralia. It is said that the motorcyclist swerved to avoid contact with the bus but ended up crashing into its side. The wrongful death claim that was pursued by the family alleged that the city bus driver operated his vehicle in a negligent manner, which caused their loved one's untimely death.

Wrongful death is a legal term which applies to those Missouri fatalities caused by the negligent or intentional conduct of others. Here, the claim was assisted by the bus driver's criminal conviction, since the burden of proof in a criminal proceeding is more stringent than in a civil wrongful death action.

While nothing can be done to make this family whole as a result of this terrible accident, the funds from the settlement may help pay for expenses related to the death and help replace some of the income the man would likely have earned for the benefit of his family. The settlement may also act send a message that reasonable care and caution must be taken by all who operate a motor vehicle in our state, whether for public transportation or otherwise.

Source: Springfield News-Leader, "Columbia settles crash lawsuit for $1.4M," March 19, 2012

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