Zehl & Associates Becomes The First Personal Injury Law Firm to Successfully Compel a Bus Driver to an Overnight Sleep Study
The personal injury attorneys at Zehl & Associates recently obtained a court order (Court of Appeals Fifth District of Texas at Dallas No. 05-15-05572-CV) compelling a Greyhound bus driver to submit to a sleep study (known as a polysomnography) to determine if the driver had obstructive sleep apnea.
Zehl & Associates is believed to be the first firm in the country to successfully obtain a court order requiring a commercial bus or truck driver to undergo an overnight sleep study.
Fatigued Greyhound Driver with Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea Flips Bus After Losing Control on the Highway
The case arose from a catastrophic bus accident caused by a fatigued Greyhound driver with undiagnosed Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Just a month before the crash, a Department of Transportation doctor examined the driver and recommended that he undergo an overnight sleep study sleep apnea because of concerns that the driver had Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a condition that, when untreated, causes excessive or chronic fatigue and substantially increases the risks of a fatigue-related crash.
Greyhound, however, ignored the recommendation and continued to allow the driver to stay on the road. Less than one month later, the driver lost control after reports that he had fallen asleep at the wheel, causing the bus to flip over and injure over 20 of the passengers onboard.
Bus Accident Lawyers Win $6 Million Settlement for Injured Greyhound Passengers
When Greyhound refused the request for the sleep study, our Bus Accident Lawyers filed a motion asking the court to order that the driver undergo an overnight sleep study to evaluate him for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Ryan Zehl and Kevin Haynes argued that the test was warranted because the driver presented multiple signs of sleep apnea at the time of the crash, placing his medical condition squarely in controversy. Further, Mr. Zehl and Mr. Haynes presented testimony from Greyhound’s own Safety Director admitting that a sleep study was the only way to determine if a person has sleep apnea.
The argument persuaded the trial court to grant Plaintiffs’ motion to compel. Greyhound immediately appealed the trial court’s ruling. However, the Dallas Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s ruling and allowed the sleep study to go forward.
The case settled for $6 Million, one of the largest settlements in Greyhound’s history, just 3 weeks before trial.