A group of Canadian tourists who were injured in a July 18 bus crash near Rochester, N.Y. are suing the Quebec-based bus operator and tour company in the U.S.
Lawyers involved in the case told the Toronto Sun that plaintiffs were likely to receive fairer compensation through the U.S. court system than they would by filing their lawsuit in Canada, where $326,000 is the most in damages they can expect to see from a case.
The tour bus, owned by Fleur de Lys, was subcontracted by JaimonVoyage.com to take a group of 56 passengers from Quebec to New York City. The vehicle was traveling south on Interstate 87, also known as the Adirondack Northway, when it veered off the road around 8 a.m., jumping a guardrail and flipping onto its side as it slid down a grassy embankment.
One passenger, 14-year-old Chelssy Mercier, was partially ejected from the bus and killed. Chelssy was traveling to New York City for a weekend with her mother. Several other passengers suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.
A lawyer representing the bus crash victims said told the Toronto Sun that it’s common for drivers to fall asleep on the long, straight stretches of I-87.
“That’s exactly what happened in the Fleur de Lys crash,” the lawyer told the Toronto Sun, adding that there have been several similar crashes on the same highway in recent years. His experience in handling such cases has driven him to become an advocate for passenger safety belts on buses and reduced driving hours for drivers.
Police continue to investigate the crash. No charges have been filed against the Fleur de Lys tour bus driver.