Lawsuit Filed in Fatal Miami International Airport Bus Crash

Lawsuit claims negligence in crash that killed two, injured several others

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    Law enforcement officers watch as a bus which hit a concrete overpass at Miami International Airport is hauled away, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 in Miami.

    One of the passengers who was injured in the deadly bus crash at Miami International Airport has filed a lawsuit against the bus company and driver, her lawyer said Friday.

    The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Miami-Dade, claims Miriam Lorenza Machado was seriously injured when the chartered bus slammed into an overpass at the airport Saturday.

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    Dr. Nicholas Namias, medical director of Ryder Trauma Center, spoke about special procedures Jackson Memorial Hospital has in place to deal with patients from religious groups. The hospital treated about a dozen patients after a bus carrying a Jehovah's Witness congregation slammed into an overpass at Miami International Airport. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012)

    Police say driver Ramon Ferreiro drove the 11-foot bus, which was carrying 32 members of a Jehovah's Witness congregation from Miami to West Palm Beach, into an 8-foot-6-inch overpass.

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    The driver of the bus that crashed into an overpass at Miami International Airport over the weekend was told not to go that way, survivors Maria Sanjines and Luis Jimenez said. Meantime, Violeta Cornejo was counting her blessings after she didn't make the trip. "I don't understand why we always have to lose the good ones," said Penelope Narvaes, who was friends with Castillo. The bus' driver, Ramon Ferriero, could not be reached for comment. (Published Monday, Dec. 3, 2012)

    The impact killed 86-year-old Serafin Castillo, and another church member, 56-year-old Francisco Urana, died at the hospital.

    Several passengers were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, including Machado, who has been in the ICU, according to the lawsuit.

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    Luis Jimenez, one of the 32 passengers on the private bus, was home recovering Sunday, still coping with the crash a day after it happened. (Published Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012)

    As a result of the crash, Machado sustained "multiple injuries and fractures with resulting pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, expense of hospitalization, medical, nursing care and treatment, loss of earnings, loss of ability to earn money, and aggravation, activation or acceleration of a previously existing condition."

    Survivor of Fatal Bus Crash: 'I Tried to Help Others'

    Her attorney, Stephen Rossman, said she sustained serious injuries to her face, ribs, spine and spleen, and needed life-saving surgery to control internal bleeding. The suit claims negligence on the part of Ferreiro and the company and seeks damages in excess of $75,000.

    Besides Ferreiro, the lawsuit names the owners of the bus, Miami Bus Service Corp. Neither could be reached for comment Friday.

    Ferriero, who police said was lost, hasn't been charged or cited in the crash. ON Thursday, Ferreiro expressed his "deepest sympathy" to the crash victims in a statement sent by a relative and obtained by the Miami Herald.

    I know there are no words of comfort for what happened, but my family and I are praying for all those affected and their loved ones," Ferriero wrote in Spanish. “I’m emotionally and physically very shocked by what happened, and for this reason I ask you to respect my family’s privacy during this difficult time."

    "This story is tragic and mind-boggling,” Rossman said in a statement. "This is a clear case of driver inattentiveness. Issues of lack of qualifications, inadequacy of training and insufficient trip planning are common errors we see in these large commercial vehicle crashes."