Blue Bell, PA (Law Firm Newswire) September 12, 2019 – Ostroff Injury Law is proud to announce that after a massive six year legal battle, the firm has settled the final cases related to a 2013 Greyhound bus crash in Union County, PA.
Ostroff Injury Law successfully represented 23 victims from eight different countries against Greyhound Lines, Inc., one of the largest bus operators in the United States. The firm’s recoveries total $21.3 million in verdicts and settlements (including delay damages and post-verdict interest), for its injured clients and for the estate of a tourist from Vietnam, who died in the crash.
“We have been fighting Greyhound for years over this crash, from the date the first victim retained us to the final settlement,” said Ostroff Injury Law partner Jon Ostroff. “After six years, more than 75 depositions, seven weeks of trial and two separate appeals, I am proud beyond words of our firm’s success for each of our clients.”
The litigation arose after a Greyhound bus carrying more than 40 passengers collided with a tractor trailer on Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania on October 9, 2013. The bus was traveling from New York, NY to Cleveland, OH when its driver, Sabrina Anderson, fell asleep at the wheel. The bus then left its lane of travel at approximately 67 miles per hour and slammed into the back of a tractor trailer, driven by Akos Gubica. Anderson testified that prior to blacking out, her right leg went numb and would not move off the accelerator.
Ostroff Injury Law asserted that Greyhound was responsible for Anderson’s conduct and independently liable for the collision due to its failure to take reasonable steps to prevent driver fatigue. Greyhound disputed the claims about its safety procedures, arguing that the crash occurred because Gubica was driving his truck at a speed of only 16 miles per hour and had failed to activate his flashing hazard lights.
The jury found Greyhound Lines, Inc. and Anderson to be 100 percent at fault for the collision, despite the fact that the investigating state trooper had testified and blamed this crash on Gubica. On July 22, 2016, after a seven-week trial, a Philadelphia jury awarded a total of $5.05 million in separate verdicts to each of the four plaintiffs in Hoang v. Greyhound. The award includes $3.05 million in total compensatory damages and $2 million in total punitive damages. The punitive damages were awarded by the jury against Greyhound and its driver, as a punishment for their reckless corporate conduct.
“My sincere hope is that the substantial compensatory and punitive damages that Greyhound was forced to pay will cause them to re-think their safety program and their obligation to safely transport their passengers.” Ostroff said.
Greyhound appealed two entirely separate issues unsuccessfully. The first appeal arose well before trial. It related to damning evidence that Ostroff Law fought for years to obtain and Greyhound refused to provide. This issue was appealed by Greyhound twice, first at the Superior Court level and again at the Supreme Court level. Both Courts found in favor of Ostroff Law’s clients and forced Greyhound to turn over thousands of documents. Greyhound was also required to produce a videotape of its lawyers coaching Anderson on how to answer questions at her deposition. She was forced to practice handling lawyer’s questions about a stroke she never mentioned to doctors until many weeks after this crash.
Ostroff said: “It was clear from the verdict that the jury didn’t buy what Greyhound was selling. Their driver didn’t have a stroke. The evidence and testimony at trial overwhelmingly established that Greyhound’s bus driver fell asleep and caused this crash. It also established that by failing to enforce it’s own safety rules and pushing drivers beyond their limits, Greyhound wasn’t doing enough to protect its passengers from tired drivers falling asleep at the wheel. As a result, a trusting passenger tragically died and many others were seriously hurt.”
Greyhound also appealed the jury verdict. This post-trial appeal was also rejected by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, which upheld the jury verdict. Despite Greyhound’s six-year effort to defend this case, Ostroff Injury Law prevailed for each of their 23 clients.
The conclusion of Brown v. Greyhound Lines in August 2019 marked the final case stemming from this 2013 crash. The last client to settle with Greyhound was passenger Keith Pressman, who suffered from post-concussive syndrome and a right hip labral tear, requiring arthroscopic surgery. His claim settled for over $3.1 million dollars.
“These cases are a modern story of David and Goliath.” Ostroff added. “Our outstanding team of attorneys, paralegals, and support staff successfully stood up to one of the largest transportation companies in the world, putting in countless hours for the people whose lives were forever changed by this tragic crash.”
About Ostroff Injury Law
For nearly three decades, Ostroff Injury Law has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for injured victims. The firm has fought for clients against negligent parties in lawsuits involving passenger and commercial vehicle accidents, slip and fall incidents and medical malpractice. In the past four years alone (2016-2019), Ostroff Injury law has recovered more than $100 million for its clients.