Hearing for Fatal Bus Crash
BISMARCK, ND (WDAZ)—It was a day some parents will never forget.
A school bus collided with a train, killing one student, the bus driver, and injuring nearly a dozen other kids.
Lawyers representing the families of the victims of the Larimore school bus crash took this case all the way to the state's Supreme Court today.
According to the documents, because of state law, the school district has a 500 thousand dollar cap on the money they can pay those families.
The victims’ lawyers argue that limit is unconstitutional—families say the fight isn’t about the money.
Each passing train is a reminder of an afternoon that people in the town will never forget.
“You lose a child—there’s probably nothing like it. Can’t bring them back,” said Attorney Adam Fleischman.
While Larimore Attorney Adam Fleischman isn’t representing the families at the state supreme court, he’s watching the case closely—for reasons both personal and professional.
“It was a very big deal—very emotional for the community. Everyone really knows each other,” said Fleischman.
"It would strike down the statutory limit on damages as far as the state is concerned,” said Fleischman.
Larimore Public School District set aside 5 hundred thousand dollars in insurance money to be divided for the families involved.
But the families say that's not enough—some of them say they are even struggling to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
"I don't think there's an intent by the families here mining for gold,” said Fleischman.
Now it’s up to five justices to decide the constitutionality of the statute—and it could have long-reached implications.
"They want to move on but they also want to see justice and be sure something like this doesn't happen again,” said Fleischman.
Parents I talked to say that money will likely be divided between all of the families for medical bills and legal fees as well as the insurance companies.
We reached out to the superintendent via cellphone and never heard back.