PRINCE GEORGE, VA (WWBT) - A New York woman is filing a lawsuit against the operators of a charter bus that overturned in Prince George County.
“We think this could have been a preventable situation,” attorney Kevin Biniazan said.
Biniazan represents 40-year-old Shivon Dollar-Moore.
Moore’s peaceful trip home was flipped upside down when the bus she was on overturned just off Interstate 95 in Prince George County.
“It’s negligence claim against the driver, but I think more importantly for our claims it’s against the companies managing this operation,” Biniazan said.
In a thirteen page lawsuit the Harlem woman seeks $10 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 dollars in punitive damages from the crash.
“Whenever you are taking 57 people on board a charter bus across state lines there are different standards that apply to drivers and different standards that apply to your company,” Biniazan said.
It’s not just a lawsuit against the driver Yui Man Chow, who also faces two counts of involuntary manslaughter, but documents name three "interstate passenger carriers’ - Tao Travel, Starline Coach and Peaceful Incorporated, as well.
“Right now we have a driver that was operating his charter bus with almost 60 people on it at excess speeds in a fog, going around a bend that recommended a 25 mph zone,” Biniazan said.
The lawsuit alleges poor bus maintenance and Yui Man Chow’s history as a driver as other issues.
“We have reason to believe this driver might have had some prior instances with speeding. If that is the case and other drivers in this company knew, then we have to go out and find that out,” Biniazan said.
Moore boarded the bus in South Carolina, where she attended a family wedding. She was returning home when the bus, driven by Yui Man Chow, overturned in Prince George County.
Two passengers were killed, and several were injured, including Moore. She is currently still recovering from severe back injuries at Southside Regional Medical Center.
“She’s starting from scratch if you want to think about it that way. She’s learning how to walk and that sort of thing. She wasn’t paralyzed but she is going through a lot,” Biniazan said.
Biniazan said this fight is about making sure this never happens again.
“When anyone gets on a bus across this country they can get in and now the man or woman riding or driving the bus has gotten enough sleep, following the rules, has the proper license and training to take care of them when they are on the road,” Biniazan said.
Biniazan believes other victims will file lawsuits as well.
The attorney has requested a trial by jury.
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