Party buses and large limousines are becoming an increasingly popular transportation choice for large cohorts of individuals celebrating birthdays, weddings, or other festivities. Recently, a woman was hit and killed by a party bus in the East Boston area. According to reports, the victim was a female who fell out of the bus along with another passenger while the bus was driving down the McClellan Highway. Passengers on the bus stated that the driver did not immediately notice what had happened, but he stopped a short while later.
The party bus is owned and operated by a company called Entourage Livery, Inc. The company released a statement following the accident, which says in relevant part: “Our driver was questioned by Boston Police briefly before he was released and sent home. We have been in business for 19 years, and will continue to cooperate during the investigation of this tragedy.” Although the company does not provide any beverages or food items to passengers, they are allowed to bring their own alcohol and other provisions.
This is not the first time the party bus company has been involved in a passenger accident. In 2012, Entourage Livery was deemed liable for an accident that occurred in March 2010. In that case, the operator of the bus was deemed negligent for discharging passengers on his limousine across the street from their ultimate destination during a heavy torrential downpour. One woman was hit by a car and seriously injured as she attempted to cross the street. The group had selected and paid for a “VIP package” from the company, which included a “door-to-door” pick up and drop off feature. As a result, none of the passengers brought appropriate rain gear with them because they did not expect to be out in the elements as a result of the door-to-door feature. The plaintiff in this case was the last passenger to attempt to cross the street in the massive storm when she was struck by a vehicle traveling down Dorchester Avenue.
According to an online training manual from Entourage Livery, drivers were instructed to not discharge passengers at a location that would require them to cross a street to reach their ultimate destination. Instead, a driver should navigate the vehicle so that the passengers could be dropped directly at the doorway or entrance to their destination. In the litigation, Entourage Livery attempted to characterize this policy as a customer service policy rather than a safety policy. The company moved for summary judgment based on this argument and contended that the company did not owe the injured woman a duty because she exited the vehicle in a “place of safety,” i.e., the sidewalk across the street from her ultimate destination. Ultimately, the parties settled the case in binding arbitration.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, the skilled and compassionate trial attorneys at the Law Offices of John S. Moffa are prepared to help you assert your rights and to seek the compensation that you are owed. Car accidents are often sudden, painful, stressful, and inconvenient situations. We can assist you with every phase of the litigation and ensure that you receive the personal attention that you deserve. Call us now at 1-800-446-4485 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.