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Lawsuits & Litigation

School Bus Company, Driver Named in Wrongful Death Suit Involving a Student

— March 16, 2020

Apple Bus company was recently hit with a wrongful death suit over the January death of 15-year-old Kahi Augustin.

Apple Bus company, its driver, and the dispatcher were all named in a recent wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of Kahi Augustin, a 15-year-old New Harmony High School student who suffered a seizure on his school bus and died. According to the suit, Kahi suffered from the seizure disorder, Epilepsy. The suit alleges the child died because the “driver and dispatcher failed to take action that could have saved their child’s life.”

Gavel; image courtesy of bloomsberries, via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0, no changes made.

When talking about his son, Cori Augustin said, “He was funny, he was sarcastic, he was curious about everything and he loved Legos, oh he loved Legos, he would build Legos for hours.” 

Kahi’s mother, Darcea Augustin, was nervous about him riding the school bus because of his Epilepsy, but she and her husband agreed to let him “ride the bus because they say they had an emergency plan in place should Kahi have a seizure on the school bus.” That plan included “life-saving steps that were supposed to be taken,” but weren’t. Additionally, the suit claims the driver and dispatcher assigned to Kahi’s school both signed a document acknowledging “they had received a copy of the transportation emergency care plan.” Mrs. Augustin said, “I was so scared to let him ride the bus by himself or you know do those types of things. So, this year I was like alright I’m going to do it, he was so excited.”

Unfortunately, on January 31, 2020, her worst nightmare happened. According to school bus video footage that captured the incident that began around 6:20 a.m. Kahi’s seizure lasted for “nearly seven minutes before anyone came to his aide.” His older brother, Kyren, was also on the bus and called their father when he realized what was happening.

When commenting on the incident, Mr. Augustin said:

 “I watched them get on the bus and 10 to 15 minutes later I got a call from Kyren saying ‘Daddy Kahi had a seizure. I’m panicking and I’m trying to get there and I’m yelling where is the bus driver and he kept saying he’s standing there, he’s just standing there. It wasn’t until I actually saw the tape, when I saw the tape and I watched the adult, the only adult on the bus stand there, he didn’t even put hands on him, he kept asking my other son is he breathing and he said to him yes I think so, he still didn’t come over.”

The couple’s attorney, George Vourvoulias III also chimed in and said:

“The bus driver did none of the requirements, none of the steps that were agreed to by him and the company concerning an event of a seizure of Kahi Augustin and as a result, the child died, it’s as simple as that. He suffocated and was declared brain dead at the hospital. He was deprived of oxygen roughly 10 to 15 minutes according to the doctors.”

As a result, the couple filed the wrongful death suit, arguing that Applebus company, the driver, and the dispatcher all failed to “follow the emergency plan that included performing CPR on Kahi.”

In response to the lawsuit, Apple Bus company issued the following statement:

“Apple Bus Company is deeply saddened by the loss of Kahi Augustin and our condolences go out to the Augustin family and New Harmony High School during this difficult time.

The safety of our passengers is the number one priority of Apple Bus Company. While the active litigation prevents us from presenting all of the facts at this time, based on our internal investigation we believe the evidence will show that Apple Bus Company employees acted appropriately during this tragic situation.”


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