Two individuals injured in a Megabus crash are refuting responses from Bridgestone America's Tire Operations (BATO) and Megabus in their St. Clair County lawsuit.
According to the complaint filed on May 30, Maurine Stellhorn and Freancisco Miranda were riding in a 2011 Van Hool double-decker bus on Aug. 2, 2012, southbound on I-55 near mile marker 57. The bus allegedly left the road and collided with a concrete bridge support pillar after experiencing an unexpected front tire blowout while traveling along the interstate.
According to media reports, defendant Preston L. Taylor, who was driving the bus, was a 25-year-old rookie whose trainer had accompanied him on the route.
The complaint alleges that the tires on the bus had inadequate bonding, inadequate belt edge protection, a propensity for tread separation, lacked adequate warnings, were improperly tested and were prone to an unreasonable risk of puncture and deflation.
Coach Leasing is also named a defendant because it owned the leased bus at the time of the accident.
Stellhorn and Miranda filed an opposition to Bridgestone’s motion to transfer venue on Oct. 15 through attorney Kevin A. Sullivan of Sauter Sullivan LLC in St. Louis, arguing that the venue is proper because St. Clair County is the proper county of residence for any defendant.
“The corporate defendants in this action are a ‘resident’ of St. Clair County if the defendant has its registered office in St. Clair County, has an ‘other office’ in St. Clair County, or ‘is doing business’ in St. Clair County,” the response states.
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot granted defendant Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations’ motion for leave to file an answer to plaintiff’s complaint on Sept. 17.
On. Oct. 18, Lopinot scheduled a motion hearing for Oct. 30 at 9 a.m. involving Bridgestone’s motion to transfer venue.
John W. Patton, Jr., John A. Ouska, and C. Zachary Vaughn of Patton & Ryan LLC in Chicago is representing Coach Leasing, Inc.
John P. Cunningham of Brown & James, P.C. in Belleville; and Colin P. Smith, Thomas R. Woodrow and Suzanne E. Rollier of Holland & Knight LLP in Chicago represent Bridgestone America’s Tire Operations, LLC.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 13-L-269