Archive for Friday, July 9, 2010

Family gives emotional testimony in third day of Cat Tracker trial

Driver says he was never told to keep people off the roof of the bus

Samantha Green shows pictures of daughter Addison, 3, who was born just weeks after her husband, John Green, was killed in the Cat Tracker bus fatality on Nov. 18, 2006, in Lawrence. Samantha Green testified Friday in Douglas County District Court about the loss of her husband, as part of her lawsuit against defendant Briggs Auto Group of Manhattan.

Samantha Green shows pictures of daughter Addison, 3, who was born just weeks after her husband, John Green, was killed in the Cat Tracker bus fatality on Nov. 18, 2006, in Lawrence. Samantha Green testified Friday in Douglas County District Court about the loss of her husband, as part of her lawsuit against defendant Briggs Auto Group of Manhattan.

July 9, 2010

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Widow testifies in Cat Tracker bus trial

The wife of a man killed while riding a K-State fan bus in Lawrence testified in the civil trial Friday. The judge ordered cameras removed from the court room while the woman gave her dramatic testimony. Enlarge video

When Samantha Green delivered her daughter on Dec. 30, 2006, her husband was not by her side. He wouldn’t be there for the late-night feedings or to help with changing diapers.

John Green never got to meet his daughter, Addison, who is now 3.

He died just weeks before she was born. When he was standing atop the Cat Tracker fan bus, his head struck an Iowa Street overpass. He was 27.

Attorneys for Samantha Green tried to demonstrate what the loss of John Green meant to his family members as testimony continued Friday in the civil case stemming from the Nov. 18, 2006, accident.

“He had so much love,” said John Green’s mom, Cheryl Green, while choking back tears. “He would’ve taught her (Addison) about Peter Rabbit, which he loved. He would have danced with her and cheered her on. He would have walked her down her aisle at her wedding. It hurts to know she looks up and says, ‘Daddy’s up there in heaven.’ It would be nice for her to be able to look at him and say ‘hello.’”

Most of Friday’s testimony was emotional, as Samantha Green took the stand, sharing with jurors the story of how the two got engaged, showing wedding and honeymoon photos, as well as pictures of the sonogram of their unborn daughter and a crib her husband had refurbished in anticipation of the birth of their first child.

“Do you see John in Addison?” Attorney James Thompson asked Samantha Green.

“Every minute,” she answered, while wiping tears. “People are always saying she talks through her expressions. You can just see his facial expressions. You can see it in her eyes.”

Earlier in the day, John Green’s sister and father both had trouble testifying as they talked about the type of father John Green would’ve been to Addison.

“Our big objective is that Addison know who her dad was,” John’s father, Jim Green, said. “He was the greatest kid ever. He would’ve been strict with Addison, but there would have been a lot of love. He would’ve been there for his child, the same as I was for him.”

Samantha Green left the courtroom in tears as her father-in-law testified.

But beyond the emotional loss, Samantha Green’s attorneys tried to portray to the jury the actual monetary loss associated with Green’s death.

Forensic economist John Ward took the stand, explaining to jurors how he calculated how much Green could have earned throughout his career.

He estimated that Green, who was making $65,000 plus bonuses at the time of his death, could have provided his family with more than $3.6 million in earnings and services throughout his lifetime.

Jurors also got the chance Friday to hear from the driver of the Cat Tracker, Brent Simonsson.

Simonsson said he never saw the overpass on Iowa Street as he drove the double-decker Kansas State University fan bus, loaded with people standing on the upper deck, under the bridge.

Simonsson also said, during a videotaped deposition played for jurors Friday in Douglas County District Court, that he assumed no one was on the upper deck as the bus made its way to Memorial Stadium for a college football game on Nov. 18, 2006.

“I had no reason to believe they were still up there,” Simonsson said. “I didn’t even think about it.”

It was the first time the court had heard from the driver since the accident that killed Green and seriously injured 34-year-old Chris Orr. The testimony came during the third day of the civil trial, in which Green’s widow is suing Briggs Auto Group of Manhattan, claiming the auto dealership put an unsafe vehicle on the road. Briggs is the only remaining defendant after the others reached a settlement.

Simonsson was recruited to drive the bus from Manhattan to Lawrence at the last minute after both of the other “regular” drivers were unable to make the trip.

He said he had no knowledge of the dimensions of the bus, including how high it stood off the ground, nor was he given any instruction to not allow people on the upper deck while the bus was in motion.

“I was 100 percent comfortable with driving the vehicle,” Simonsson said. “I wasn’t there as a safety instructor; I was a driver. I’m going to be extremely careful any day that I’m driving people.”

Attorneys for the plaintiff rested their case Friday.

Attorneys for the defendant are expected to call their first witness Monday morning.

Comments

consumer1 5 years ago

I drive diferent types of vehicles sometimes. Class A class B and Class Motor Cycle. It is hard for me to believe this person would drive a large vehicle under and over pass without thinkking about the size of it. He said, "I never gave it a thought". Really??? and you are an experienced driver? I don't buy it. I think he just made a stupid mistake and probably was not qualified to drive that bus.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

Semi truck drivers drive under that bridge every single day and never give it a second thought. There is no need to, because it's a posted 15 foot clearance, which is plenty of room for a rig to pass under it.

But then, they do assume that no drunks are standing on top of the rig, looking backwards instead of forwards.

mdfraz 5 years ago

He didn't see the overpass? That sounds like a ringing endorsement of his abilities to identify the road and/or conditions around him. Did he know anyone was on the roof? Maybe not. Should he have, or at least considered it? Probably. Was he told by the owners that it was his responsibility? Who knows? But the bottom line is, this has NOTHING to do with a company that used to own the bus, even if they modified it. There is no reason to believe it was modified with the intent that people would stand on the roof of a moving bus.

Going after the driver........I get that. The current owners? Yep. Briggs? We are moving farther and farther away from foreseeable consequences in my opinion. This was a tragedy, of course, and there is probably SOME blame that will fall on people other than the people who chose to ride on top as the bus moved, but that doesn't necessarily mean Briggs is liable. Still, a huge portion of the blame falls on those adults who decided they wanted to stand up there, alcohol or no.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

"The morning also included testimony from Green’s sister and father, both of whom choked back tears as they talked about the type of father Green would’ve been to his daughter Addison,"

That has nothing to do with whose fault the accident was. Why did the judge allow that testimony?

"Our big objective is that Addison know who her dad was,” John’s father, Jim Green said.

They could easily tell her that he was the type of father that drank beers "while giving the middle finger salute," as witnesses have claimed, without ever going to trial to make that vividly clear to her later in life.

mdfraz 5 years ago

The testimony about his earning potential is relevant IF the jury decides to award the family some compensation. I would have been objecting pretty strenuously at the emotional aspect; while the loss of a husband/father might be compensated to some extent, it is also very dangerously close to being more prejudicial to the defendant than it is probative.

And as far as Mr. Green's actions that day, from my reading of the articles and the comments, it would seem that the information about him and/or others on the roof throwing beer cans, yelling, flipping people off, etc. came from a poster on here, not actual trial testimony. As such, it's hearsay and not part of the jury's determination (obviously, as they wouldn't, or shouldn't, be reading any media coverage of the case until it's all over). Not to mention, even if there was some testimony to that effect, how someone acts on one occasion may not define who they are as a person as a general rule.

Ron, have you ever acted stupid in your life? Is that a reflection of who you are every other day? Not necessarily defending the alleged behavior, but drawing a conclusion that that's the kind of father he would be from this one incident is just idiotic.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

Oh, I was really stupid lots of times. But I was lucky!

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

And, if something bad had happened because of it, there would have been no lawsuit.

Kelly Johnson 5 years ago

Does anyone know how Christian Orr is now? I haven't read any updates on his current condition. Has he or his family filed any lawsuits?

Mark Kostner 5 years ago

This is unbelievable. Out here in Las Vegas we have double decker city buses, but there are places they are not used such as the airport tunnels and streets with older underpasses. The local bus system knew the buses' dimensions and where they could or could not go. Double decker buses are a novelty and were introduced to this country fairly recently, so a public carrier and drivers should know the bus height so when they approach bridges which have their clearances clearly marked, they can stop and avoid passing under them. As for passengers sitting on the upper deck, they should be able to sit up there with confidence that the professionals driving the bus who are responsible for their safety know what they're doing.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

I did a quick bit of research. In the UK, double decker busses are quite common. Here is a clip and paste about them:

"Although there are no theoretical restrictions on height, coaches are normally built to 4.38 metres (14 ft 4 in) high, while 'highbridge' buses are normally about 20 centimetres (8 in) taller."

14 ft 4 in + 8 in = 15 feet, so they would have easily cleared that bridge, and it would not have been necessary to avoid going underneath it.

Unless, someone was standing on the roof!

mdfraz 5 years ago

It wasn't a public carrier. It was a privately owned vehicle from my understanding. City buses and this particular bus are a bad comparison.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

I only brought it up because kansasexile had made that comparison.

But, back to the basics, I once sold a car that I thought possibly might have a defect. I would hate to think that I would be responsible for an accident by a later owner, because I had not spent my last dime trying to fix a defect on a worthless but running car.

jafs 5 years ago

Car sales by individuals who are not dealers are considered "as-is" sales, and the seller bears no liability unless they know of a defect and try to hide it.

I'm not sure of the details of this sale.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

I was never sure of the details either - it was the strangest thing.

Every once in a while, like every 2 or 3 months, the driver's seat back would suddenly release, and the seat would fall backwards. There was nothing wrong with it, and you could never repeat the problem, otherwise it would have been fixed long ago.

It was not a mechanical thing, or it would have been a simple mechanical repair. It was a total mystery what was causing it, basically because it was not a mechanical thing in any way.

Truth? If I were to have to swear in court about it, I would have no choice but to swear on a Bible that every once in a while, say maybe 3 times a year, a ghost did it.

And, I have no clue how the ghost managed to change the laws of physics in order to make it happen.

I know that's gotta sound crazy - so I just sold the car for almost nothing, and did not tell the purchaser about the ghost. After all, he would have thought I was crazy, and it might not have haunted him anyway!

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

Not sure how much of that is tounge in cheek - I never could figure it out, and neither could the guy at the upholstery shop, nor anyone else that looked at the car. Everyone assured me that there was nothing wrong with the seat, and that I must be imagining something. Anyway, I sold the car for less than 1/4th what I paid for it, just to get rid of the problem.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

But one thing I'll never forget - was the look on the man's face when I told him I wanted only $1,000 for a dent free, rust free Mustang convertible with good tires, brand new top, and in nice running condition! I even gave him the car cover for it!

It was sold within 30 seconds!

BlackVelvet 5 years ago

"sit up there" being the operative phrase. If they had been sitting, and seatbelted in, there would have been no tragedy.

Randall Barnes 5 years ago

i feel for the family, but if i fall off the roof of a building drunk or not drunk it is my fault.if i'm riding a horse in the woods isn't it my responsibility to see a tree branch coming at me and duck ? or is it the owner of the horses responsibility ? and if i die because of the branch can my family sue the horse breeder ? just wondering.

KEITHMILES05 5 years ago

Emotional testimony only taints what is said. The grieve of this family is real and is still raw.

They should not being doing this entire legal saga if they are still caught up in the emotion.

Once again where is the responsibility of those passengers? Todays society loves to place blame but not accept.

I predict the jury will place a huge percentage of blame on the passengers and rightfully so.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

I think they did the right thing with the other defendents by settling out of court. That way, the court records are sealed, and Addison will probably never know the exact details about what happened to her father.

But with a public trial, on public record, which they might not win anyway, Addison and her friends will someday get to read all about how her father was drunk, yelling at people, not watching what was going on, tossing beer cans, and flipping people off.

But, just for the chance for some money, her mother is perfectly willing for Addison to learn all about her father's actions that day.

It's quite obvious that they do not have Addison's best interests in mind.

But, their lawyers are very happy - because they will get a big cut of any judgement that they might win in court!

ohjayhawk 5 years ago

"if i fall off the roof of a building drunk or not drunk it is my fault"

Not necessarily, according to this civil case... even though it was settled, the house owners (or their lawyers) must not have felt very comfortable that they could win considering they did settle.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/aug/07/mother_student_injured_fall_reads_statement_part_s/?more_like_this

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

Actually, I think it's amazing that the plaintiffs didn't insist on a change of venue for the trial.

After all, everyone that lives in Lawrence that drives a motorcycle, car, or semi truck has driven underneath that bridge at least hundreds of times, and never, ever thought for a single second that they were in any danger because of it.

Therefore, I'm sure that a vast majority of people that live in Lawrence would be under the impression that you would have to being doing something very stupid in order to be hurt by a bridge that is fifteen feet up in the air.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

And here's something I wonder about - how in the world could they find a jury here in town that had not already heard about the accident and formed an opinion about it? Unless they couldn't read and never watched television. The news was full of the accident for several days!

A change of venue would have been in everyone's best interests, I would think, if a fair trial is what this is really all about.

lucky7brand 5 years ago

This is the first I've heard of this accident. Yes I can read. I don't watch the local Lawrence news. I rarely read the LJW. I'm sure I'm not the only 1 who is just hearing about this including the jurors. I really don't see what a change in venue would really do anyway.

1029 5 years ago

Sad for the family, but this guy made bad decisions and wasn't paying attention. It's pretty dumb to not be thinking about overpasses if you're riding that high. It should be clear to any rational human being that this is 100% about a family trying to capitalize on the opportunity to become millionaires (at the salivating encouragement of a lawyer, of course) and has absolutely nothing to do with seeking justice.

Also, you have to admit that it does take a little bit of selfish dbagness to want to make such a visible presence in the home team's town to begin with. If you think about it, you're going into a town hoping that your team wins at the disappointment of the tens of thousands of KU fans in Lawrence. It's like when opposing teams' fans go to a downtown bar to watch games. Why? It makes no sense. Does it really make you feel that good to potentially see every single other person around you having a miserable time? You really couldn't quietly watch the game at home? What kind of a person finds it fun to see other people disappointed? Not saying that visiting teams shouldn't have fans follow them and support them, but at least be classy about it. Don't come in loud and drunk riding on some big, ugly bus blasting music just to annoy people.

1029 5 years ago

Sad for the family, but this guy made bad decisions and wasn't paying attention. It's pretty dumb to not be thinking about overpasses if you're riding that high. It should be clear to any rational human being that this is 100% about a family trying to capitalize on the opportunity to become millionaires (at the salivating encouragement of a lawyer, of course) and has absolutely nothing to do with seeking justice.

Also, you have to admit that it does take a little bit of selfish dbagness to want to make such a visible presence in the home team's town to begin with. If you think about it, you're going into a town hoping that your team wins at the disappointment of the tens of thousands of KU fans in Lawrence. It's like when opposing teams' fans go to a downtown bar to watch games. Why? It makes no sense. Does it really make you feel that good to potentially see every single other person around you having a miserable time? You really couldn't quietly watch the game at home? What kind of a person finds it fun to see other people disappointed? Not saying that visiting teams shouldn't have fans follow them and support them, but at least be classy about it. Don't come in loud and drunk riding on some big, ugly bus blasting music just to annoy people.

ksjayhawk74 5 years ago

Sad to see so many people that want to blame the victims.

These people were riding in an unsafe vehicle were killed or injured because of it. You can't say it's there own fault for being dumb enough to use the vehicle as it was designed. If they had been riding in ANY other vehicle through Lawrence, they would have had no problem. No one else has ever been killed or injured by going under that overpass, yet the Cat Tracker could not make it through 1 time without a tragedy.

Carnival ride operators have strict guidelines they have to follow for safety sake because if there was an accident on a roller coaster that got someone killed, they could NOT say it was the victims own fault for riding in it...

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

The vehicle was designed to carry school children to and from class. That is what it was used for, for several years.

Later, someone added additions to it, so as to allow people to ride on top of the school bus.

Who exactly did this modification seems to have not been addressed on the talkback forums.

The only real questions seem to be, who ordered the changes, who modifed the school bus? It seems that Briggs did not own it when it was done, but that seems to be speculation.

jafs 5 years ago

If more people were allowed on the bus than it should hold, and that forced some people onto the roof, that's a factor.

And, that's not how our system works - in a civil trial you present evidence and try to establish both liability and damages - there aren't two separate trials.

And, that's exactly how you establish possible damages, by showing how much your family has lost as a result of losing him.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

And, even after the "cat tracker" modifications, the passenger capacity was claimed to be 17, which I assume was the number of the seats on the bus.

Later, there were 22 passengers aboard, and some were "forced" into climbing onto the roof?

And that's the fault of someone who previously owned the bus?

If you have ever sold or traded in a car, start shaking in your shoes!

ksjayhawk74 5 years ago

It's incredibly insensitive to think the victim died, made his wife a widow and left his daughter just to make money... Which obviously he can't enjoy... because he was killed.

ECM 5 years ago

I think it is incredibly insentive to make up for his bad choice by suing everyone in site to try to get as much money as possible. Didn't he have life insurance? I am so sick of people trying to get rich quick because they want to blame others for their own mistakes.

monheim 5 years ago

Yeah, the guy did something stupid, but come on. Are we really gonna act like the driver or the company is completely blameless? Allowing people to ride on the top of a bus that didn't seem to follow any sort of safety standards for doing so is not responsible. If there was a rule about not riding on top when the bus is moving, then the company should have had one and bears some responsibility. If there was, then the driver failed to enforce it and bears some responsibility. Of course this guy was behaving irresponsibly by being drunk and on the top of a bus, but I really think to dismiss the fact that he was allowed to do so is...silly.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

This case is not about the company, nor is it about the driver. They have already settled out of court.

The present case is about someone who formerly owned the bus, but sold it before the accident occurred.

The question is whether Briggs is still legally responsible for the operation of the "Cat Tracker" after they sold it.

Anyone who has ever sold or traded in a used car should follow this case with great interest.

monheim 5 years ago

Thanks for the friendly correction. I'm embarrassed I didn't stick to the actual article. I think my thought processes got sidetracked by the comments section moving the discussion back to the driver/etc.

bad_dog 5 years ago

Ron I believe the issue in the present case is whether Briggs unsafely modified a motor vehicle and then transferred it to another in that condition. I don’t believe construction of an upper deck itself is an issue, but building one without creating a barrier to prevent access to it while moving may be the deciding factor. That, I believe is what the jury will decide.

Having said that, I still believe the majority of the liability lies with the operator/driver of the Cat Tracker. I don’t care whether the passengers were drinking or making obscene gestures to other people-they probably shouldn't have gone up there, but perhaps they gave up their seats within the bus to other passengers as a courteous gesture. Perhaps they deferred to older/younger/female passengers. They probably also thought it wasn't far from Miller Mart to the stadium and it was a pleasant morning. As for the owner/operators, the driver wasn’t properly qualified, had a terrible driving record, then they overloaded the bus and the driver doesn’t even know there were passengers on top? In addition, I believe the driver's testimony regarding his knowledge of their presence on the deck is in contradiction to prior testimony from the other passenger that survived because he ducked to light his cigar. I know who I would believe on that issue. I also seem to recall other testimony indicating the bus was operated with passengers on top on several other occasions.

As far as your concerns regarding the sale or trade of a used car, I believe a former owner only need be concerned if they made unsafe modifications to it and then sold it to another-either without disclosing it or if the modification was not obvious and apparent to a consumer. Unsafe or improper modifications to the steering/suspension, exhaust, electrical system, fuel storage/supply, etc. might provide some examples of things a seller could have subsequent liability for. This isn’t a matter of failing to disclose a leaky water pump or a window regulator that doesn’t function properly, unless the former owner unsafely modified, or “repaired” it and some harm comes to the subsequent owner.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

Yes - but - did Briggs actually made the modifications? Seems that point has not been addressed! The next few days should be interesting,,,

bad_dog 5 years ago

I might be mistaken, but I believe earlier testimony from a vehicle title witness indicated the modifications occurred while it was owned by the Briggs Group. I'd have to believe that if the modifications were performed by someone other than Briggs, Briggs either would have joined that person/entity as a defendant in the lawsuit or would have filed Motions to Dismiss or sought Summary Judgment on that basis. Either they did not do so (because there was no other party responsible for the modifications), or they did not prevail on those Motions if they did.

Jeremiah Jefferson 5 years ago

So if the guy looked down the barrel of a loaded gun and it accidently discharged, is it the gun manufactures fault? Or what if he went sky diving and his chute didn't open as he burned in at 150mph, is that the pilots fault. Or what if he was driving along in the rain then hydroplaned, crashed and died, is that the auto makers fault. It was a horrible accident, its no ones fault. Making that bus into what it is was a stupid idea but it doesn't mean someone should be sued over it. No one should have been on top of it. As I have mentioned before, how many times did that bus pass a police officer loaded with people on top? You know the cops directing traffic at the games had to have seen them all acting a fool on the top of it hundreds of times, yet how many officers just let them keep going? If its against the law to ride in the back of a pick up, boat or on a jet ski as you move from the boat ramp to your camp ground, then maybe it should be against the law to ride on top of a bus.

jafs 5 years ago

If the gun was manufactured with a defect that caused the discharge, then yes. Not the pilot's fault, but certainly the fault of whoever made the defective parachute. If he hydroplaned because of a defect in the car, then yes. If it was due to his own negligence in operating it, no.

William McCauley 5 years ago

  1. Skydivers sign a waver and give up ALL legal rights to sue by agreeing that you can die by jumping out of an airplane,even if everything works right, it's a well known fact. 2. By law skydivers wear two parachutes in case the main one don't work. 3. tossing out some nylon and strings into 120 mph wind, it's a 50/50 deal at that point if it will work even if built correct & packed correct, see #2. 4. you choose to jump from an airplane or other aircraft in flight you assume the risk for your own life, any fool who tries say they didn't know they could die doing it is lying or retarded. (fact 95% of skydiving deaths are skydiver error, not equipment failure)

You climb on top of a moving bus where there are NO seats or NO seat belts to comply with state law, 1. Clearly means you shouldn't be up there when moving 2. you should be bright enough to understand you could be hurt or killed by riding on top of said bus without seats or restraints should you fall off or be hit by something over hanging the roadway, bridges, tree limbs, powerlines etc...... you pay your monies, you take your chances!

Clearly having a college degree dosen't make a person smart.

jafs 5 years ago

Does that absolve parachute manufacturers of the responsibility to manufacture products that work as advertised?

It's hard to believe your "50/50" chance idea, especially if the 95% figure is correct).

William McCauley 5 years ago

Seems your not to up to speed on high risk sports, yes all parachutes have a warning label on them stating that you could die if you use this parachute and you assume ALL risk should you jump out of an aircraft and try to use it. Also in the USA parachute's built have to meet FAA TSO standards and are tested to that standard before being approved for use. While modern designs are more reliable then in the past, anytime to you deploy any parachute it is a 50/50 deal, it might work or it might not for a number of reasons, even being made wrong, this is why we carry reserves to use only in the event of the main will not working for any reason, regardless it is still a risk one MUST assume should you wish to jump out of an aircraft.

If you would like go skydiving I would be happy to train you, once you sign the waver of assumed risk agreement and fully understand that you could DIE doing it, you would be welcome to take it to your lawyer for his review before signing it. FYI- they hold up in a court of law and this why skydiving schools are operating in the country, your family can still sue and they will lose.

Again you pay your monies and you take your chances, you climb up on top of a bus that clearly in not made to ride on while driving (no seats or seat belts) and you die doing it, that is all on your dumbass for doing it, famous last words "hey hold beer and watch this" comes to mind!

It's called personal responsibility for your own actions!

jafs 5 years ago

I'm not at all interested in sky-diving.

Again, if it's a 50-50 chance, why are the other statistics not similar? You claim that 95%of accidents occur due to operator error.

That would imply that only 5% are due to mechanical failure, which in turn implies a much greater success rate than 50%.

There are other instances in which people sign waivers that aren't in fact enforceable, for example in hospitals.

This one may be.

Do you know of any suits involving defective equipment that were lost by families of the dead?

William McCauley 5 years ago

(quote)I'm not at all interested in sky-diving.(quote) Thats good you sound like the type who try to sue should you get hurt or have your family sue should you die doing it.

Parachutes like to work, sometimes they don't most of the time it's due to operator error not failure or defect, yet like anything man made item can & will fail as well.

Malpratice is nothing like assuming the risk for dangerous activitys like skydiving. No one gets an operation thinking the doctor might remove the wrong arm or other body parts.

The bus was not defective it drove down the road, stayed in its lane, stopped at lights etc, nor was the driver other then not having a class B CDL with passenger, he stated no one told him people shoudn't be up there when driving, BECAUSE non stupid people would understand that due to the lack of approved seats and belts to comply with the traffic laws of the state of kansas!

The defective part of this was the morons who thought it was a bright idea to ride on top of it. As for lawsuits involving defective skydiving equipment, no each time the assumed risk waver has held up in court because you have be a total moron to fail to understand the contract and the fact that jumping out of an airplane might get you killed.

No matter how well the someone tries to help you understand "personal responsibility" you seem clearly dense to the idea and want to point blame towards another party, I bet you would sue should someone in your family do something just as stupid as Mr. Green did that day..... Yes it sucks he is dead and his little girl will never know him, however he and he alone choose to climb the ladder and ride on top of the bus, standing up and not paying attention to what was going on around him, his actions were foolish and dangerous to him, it cost him his life. Playing the stupid card trying to say "no one told us we couldn't or shouldn't ride up there" is no excuse for your stupidity or lack of good judgement, as in this case. The surviors should have been cited for seat belt violations.

BruceWayne 5 years ago

“Our big objective is that Addison know who her dad was,” John’s father, Jim Green, said. “He was the greatest kid ever. He would’ve been strict with Addison, but there would have been a lot of love. He would’ve been there for his child, the same as I was for him.”

and how much money will it take for her to "know who her dad was"? this accident is a terrible tragedy...I feel for the family. Greed and hearse chasing lawyers will not bring him back. Briggs is guilty of nothing.

yankeevet 5 years ago

So these people are sueing Briggs who did not own the bus when this accident happened??? This is purely an act of greed; and money would make the family feel much better; what a bunch of crap.........the victim should of been sitting down........just that simple....case closed...no money; get lost....

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

Hey - is this there for the jury to see? If not, I believe it's your responsiblity to make sure it is!

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

Whoops! I thought you had actually footage of the Cat Tracker en route to the accident! Guess not!

thebigspoon 5 years ago

It looks like the bus only had a platform on top. No seats and or seatbelts. That would lead me to believe that it was meant to be used while the bus was not moving. If a police officer saw people on top while it was moving they should have pulled it over. After all there was a seat belt law in Kansas at that time wasn't there ? I am sure the bus had to have been seen by a police officer that morning before it got to the bridge on Iowa...

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

Bummer - the primary seat belt law only took effect July 1 of this year. And, to top that off, it only applies to front seat passengers.

And, it never did apply to "flying carpets" attached to the top of school busses.

thebigspoon 5 years ago

What about the law about riding in the back of a pickup truck ? I know that is against the law and has been for a long time . Does the same law apply here ?

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

Yes, a series of laws in fact. They are referred to as the laws of physics.

mom_of_three 5 years ago

I feel for the family - I really do. This was a tragic accident. The driver shouldn't have let people on top of a moving bus - common sense. But people should not ridden on top of a moving bus - common sense. People need to have responsibility for their own actions. The victim was responsible for his own actions, which took his own life. It's tragic, its heartbreaking, but suing everyone because your family member made a bad decision is also a bad one.

ksjayhawk74 5 years ago

Briggs sold an unsafe vehicle. If Briggs had sold the Cat Tracker people ANY other vehicle, that man would most likely be alive today.

Would anyone buy this vehicle now? Would anyone want to drive people around the city in it now? No? Why wouldn't someone want to drive this vehicle around a city with people any more? Is it because it is known to have killed someone and it would very easy for the situation to happen again?

thebigspoon 5 years ago

The vehicle made numerous other trips and never had any issues. The people who decided to stand on top of it while it was moving and went under a overpass are to blame not the vehicle or who sold it... I am sure it will be driving around again this fall when football season starts back up. Like I stated earleir there were no seats and or seatbelts on the top so why were they up there when it was in motion ????

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

"why were they up there when it was in motion?

For the thrill of doing something dangerous.

bad_dog 5 years ago

Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

Well then, they were up there for the view, maybe?

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

Well, after reading some more of the comments, I think I was right about my posting a while back - if the posters are representative of the jury, it's going to be a tough case for the plantiff to win.

All 12 jurors have to agree to establish liability, rght? And, what is the likelihood that this case will go into appeal?

Does Mrs. Green want to go through this all over again? And are her lawyers willing to take the case on contingency again?

monheim 5 years ago

If Briggs' only role in this was modifying the bus and selling it, then they don't bear any responsibility for this. At least, no moreso than Chevy or Ford would bear responsiblity for someone falling out the back of a moving pickup truck. It's not a manufacturer's fault if you misuse their product in an unsafe fashion. It was the driver's/driver's company's job to recognize that this bus was clearly never meant to have people on top of it while it was moving (no seats or anything). Sounds like that end of things is already settled up, and I don't think they've got a good case against Briggs.

thebigspoon 5 years ago

People are boating and the driver hits a big wake and throws some of the passengers out of the boat and they are killed. Is it the boat manufacturers fault ?

Rebecca Valburg 5 years ago

Out of curiosity, does anyone know exactly how this bus was "modified?" I somehow don't see seatbelts being a part of the modifications, which should have been a huge red flag for everyone up there (as well as the driver) that it wasn't exactly legal to be up there while the bus was in motion.

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