The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Double-Decker Bus Tragedy Spurs Another Lawsuit

It's a truly awful story (Tribune). A group of fraternity brothers from Eastern Illinois University were partying atop a double-decker bus -- the kind with an open-air top deck -- when suddenly two of the taller men who were standing suffered fatal head injuries when the bus drove under a low overpass.

Twenty-two-year-old fraternity brothers Justin Sleezer and Cameron Chana, 6-foot-2 and 6-foot-3 respectively, were pronounced dead the next morning. Several lawsuits sprang from the unfortunate incident, including a pair of wrongful death suits against multiple parties by the families of Sleezer and Chana (JG-TC Online).

Now bus passenger and fellow fraternity mate Michael McKenna has filed suit (Daily Eastern News) for mental and psychological injuries suffered as a result of the May 30 tragedy that took place just outside of Charleston, Ill.

McKenna's lawsuit holds Lincoln Springs Resort, the Graywood Foundation and other parties liable for negligence allegedly leading to his mental injuries. Lincoln Springs Resort rented out the bus, which was insured by the Graywood Foundation, to the group of current and past members of EIU's Sigma Pi fraternity.

Similar to the other suits, McKenna's complaint holds the parties responsible for not properly training the driver, failure to provide verbal warnings to the men about the low overpass and failure to monitor the upper deck. Chicago injury attorney Terrence Quinn is representing McKenna.

Discovery could take as long as two years to complete, according to an attorney for Chana's family cited in the Daily Eastern News article.

But I can't think of many other experiences that would cause that level of mental anguish. Losing your friends in a tragic accident is difficult enough, but seeing it happen?