Supreme Court rules in favor of Bluffton crash survivors
Tue, 28 Dec 2010 16:19:43 GMT —
The Ohio Supreme Court says a university's insurance coverage extended to a charter bus that crashed, killing five student baseball players and two others.
The 5-2 ruling issued Tuesday is a victory for families and crash survivors that have tried to bring claims against Bluffton University's insurance policies over a deadly 2007 bus crash in Atlanta.
The insurers had argued they could not be liable because the university in northwest Ohio did not own the bus, and they claimed the bus company was responsible for the driver. Lower courts agreed.
However, the state's highest court says the driver was indeed covered under the school's insurance because the university in northwest Ohio hired the bus and had granted permission to the driver.
Ohio schools are concerned about fallout from the decision.
At central Ohio's Otterbein University, athletic director Dick Reynolds called the decision "scary" and potentially disastrous for schools that send groups to athletic and other events.
An Ohio State University spokeswoman told The Columbus Dispatch that Ohio's largest university is reviewing whether its insurance or transportation programs need changes in light of the ruling.
Five Bluffton baseball players and two others died in the crash in Atlanta.