Music school says bus company supplied defective tour buses with 'incompetent' drivers

By Jim Boyle | Nov 25, 2014

A Lehigh County-based music school says a transportation company breached a contract

when it supplied a fleet of buses with defective parts and drivers who could not properly operate them, according to a breach of contract suit filed at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Representatives from Youth Education in the Arts (YEA) seeks damages in excess of $75,000 against Executive Coach, Inc., for its alleged failure to uphold a contract to provide busing services for the school's 2013 national tour.

According to the complaint, on April 15, 2013, the two parties entered into a written agreement that had Executive Coach providing four new touring coaches, one entertainer coach, and qualified and experienced drivers for YEA's Cadets 2013 Summer Tour.

In exchange for the transportation services, the plaintiffs were to make installment payments in the sum of $194,000. YEA made an advance payment of $94,800, but the plaintiff feels it is entitled to a significant refund after Executive Coach fell short of its agreement, the claim says.

The complaint says that the drivers sent by Executive Coach were incompetent and did not know how to operate the vehicles, with one driver causing an accident and acting unprofessionally and another physically incapable of fulfilling the duties for the duration of the tour.

According to the suit, one driver almost tipped the bus over while backing up, eventually ramming a utility pole, while another hit a toll booth and damaged the bus, but never reported it. The complaint says that the young students informed YEA of the incident. At a certain point, a YEA volunteer took over the operation of the bus, even though the music school had paid for the services.

The complaint says that Executive Coach sent replacement drivers, but they took eight days to rendezvous with the tour. When they arrived, the claim says, they did not have bags or gear and were otherwise unprepared.

YEA also says the buses themselves also had mechanical problems, primarily malfunctioning or underperforming battery packs. One of the on-board refrigerators would not cool properly, forcing YEA to replace it with a dorm fridge at its own expense.

One of the coaches dropped its drive shaft while traveling, requiring service and maintenance and nearly causing an accident for the coach following it. Another coach became inoperable for days, forcing YEA to squeeze cadets into only three coaches.

"Plaintiff was forced to pay for certain repairs required of the coaches, rental fees for numerous replacement coaches, fuel costs associated with the replacement coaches, and wages, costs, and travel expenses associated with substitute drivers, including both its own personnel and hired third party replacements," the suit says.

YEA is represented by attorneys with Gross McGinley LLP in Allentown.

The federal case ID is 5:14-cv-06704-EGS.

More News

The Record Network