Girl Locked in Bus Suffers Frostbite, Sues

Girl Locked in Bus Suffers Frostbite, Sues

The family of a five-year-old girl who was locked in a school bus for three hours has filed a lawsuit against the bus driver and the company the driver worked for, claiming the girl suffered physical injuries as well as psychological distress as a result of their negligence.

The girl stayed on the bus for 3 hours as the temperature crept into single digits. She suffered frostbite in her fingers, which has resulted in a loss of feeling.

“She wouldn’t get on the bus now unless her mother accompanies her,” said the lawyer for the girl and her mother, Kenneth Baren. “She cries whenever she gets on a bus.”

The Incident

According to the 24-count lawsuit, Ananya Allison boarded a Webster Head Start school bus at 7:45 p.m. During her ride, she fell asleep and did not wake up when the bus arrived at the Webster center about half an hour later, the suit claims. At this point, the bus driver, Pamela Harris, failed to walk down the aisle to ensure that no children had stayed onboard.

There was also no monitor on board, as is required by Head Start policy. “They were supposed to inspect and walk in every aisle to make sure no students were there. In addition, they were to have one monitor on the bus in addition to the bus driver. On that day, there was no monitor,” said Baren.

Baren said he named Head Start as a defendant in the suit because they hired drivers who were unfamiliar with proper safety procedures.

The Suit claims that Harris and Head start both negligently breached their obligation to provide the students with “reasonable and ordinary care.”

“But in my opinion, the more egregious thing was the bribery. Once she was out of the bus, (Harris) offered her candy to keep her quiet,” said Baren.

The Damages

The suit seeks $50,000 in damages each for the child and her mother plus legal costs. In addition the injuries, the mother fears this event may have an impact on her daughter’s education, as it is a struggle to get her on the bus every day.

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