VICARIOUS LIABILITY-CORPORATION FOR ACTIONS OF BUS DRIVER

June 27th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Miscellaneous

Bus accident in which several people were killed. Driver fell asleep at the wheel. The jury assessed 55% of the liability to the bus driver and 45% of the liability to Greyhound on Plaintiffs’ independent liability claim. The jury awarded each Plaintiff $500,000 in punitive damages. The court was correct to leave out evidence of drinking alleged by a truck driver because there was no indication of alcohol or drug consumption at the time of the accident. The standard for admission of alcohol evidence or drug consumption just was not met. Punitive damages were legitimate. The driver was subjectively aware for extended period before the accident that was too fatigued to drive safely and in danger of falling asleep. In terms of liability for Greyhound for punitive damages, they are liable vicariously and not for any independent act on their part. There is no dispute that the bus driver was within the scope of her employment. The punitive damages thus are attributable to Greyhound. Livingston vs. Greyhound Lines, Inc., 2019 Pa. Super. LEXIS 400.