Pennsylvania Record

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Driver sues Watson Friendship Academy after students allegedly force their way onto her bus

State Court

By Charmaine Little | Aug 16, 2019


PITTSBURGH - A bus driver allegedly injured when students forced their way onto her bus filed a lawsuit alleging negligence against The Watson Institute Friendship Academy in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County.

Elizabeth A. Miller and her husband, Roy Miller, also sued Watson Friendship and Allegheny Transportation Services, Inc./AKS Transportation in July.

Elizabeth Miller, a bus driver for First Student, took a student described as disabled to Watson Institute, the suit says. Once at Watson, she realized the doors were closed, so she waited with the student because she didn’t want to leave him on the bus alone, the suit says.

Shortly after, an AKS bus pulled up and dropped students off, the suit says. That bus driver pulled away after students exited that vehicle, the suit says.

The students, seeing the academy was closed, “forced their way” onto Miller’s bus “by pushing the closed doors open,” according to the lawsuit.

She tried to keep the door shut, but the students were able to enter anyway, injuring Miller’s neck, back, right shoulder, arm and hand, she said.

She said the school was negligent by not having the doors open to let students be dropped off, and not letting the bus drivers know the school wouldn’t be open. She added that the school should have security outside of the building if students weren’t going to be able to get inside.

She also sued AKS for negligence, saying the other bus driver should not have let the students off the bus considering they couldn’t access the school.

“As a direct and proximate result of defendant’s negligence and carelessness as specifically set forth above, plaintiff missed time from work, incurred lost wages, has incurred out-of-pocket medical expenses, and may incur same in the future. In addition, plaintiff will never be able to return to her job, and given her age of 63 years, she has a permanent impairment of her earning capacity,” Miller said in the lawsuit.

Miller allegedly suffered embarrassment, anxiety, PTSD and emotional distress.

She’s suing for $35,000 in damages and wants a trial by jury.

Roy Miller is suing for loss of consortium for $35,000.

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Organizations in this Story

Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny CountyWatson Institute Friendship Academy