FedEx is being sued by the mother of a 17-year-old honors student
who was among 10 people killed on April 10 when a FedEx tractor-trailer slammed into a bus
carrying a group of high school students on a visit to California's Humboldt State University.
The suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Rosa Rivera, the mother of Dorsey High School student Jennifer Bonilla, who reportedly had earned a college scholarship before the fiery crash ended her life.
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The negligence suit, which is seeking $100 million in damages, is the first to be filed in connection with the Orland, Calif., freeway crash, according to the plaintiff's attorney A. King Aminpour, The Associated Press reported
"She had her whole future before her," Aminpour said of Bonilla. "She was the first in her family to ever go to college."
Of the more than 40 students who were on board the bus at the time of the crash, most were able to escape through windows before a series of explosions engulfed the bus and trailer in a fiery inferno. Five students, three chaperones and both drivers were unable to get to safety before the blasts occurred.
The cause of the crash has yet to be determined.
The Memphis, Tennessee-based package delivery service issued a statement this week in response to the lawsuit.
"Our heartfelt condolences remain with everyone affected by this tragic accident," the statement read. "We remain focused on providing support to those affected and cooperating with the authorities as they conduct their investigation. This is not the time for us to discuss potential litigation."
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In addition to suing FedEx, the lawsuit also names the bus company, Silverado Stages, as well as the FedEx driver as defendants. The suit reportedly claims that the bus lacked adequate exit doors, forcing the students to jump from windows to escape the flames.
Though Silverado Stages has yet to respond directly to the lawsuit, the bus company posted a statement on its website in which it said that it "continues to cooperate with all of the agencies investigating the collision," adding, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this tragedy."
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