Many of our readers may be familiar with the concept of the "party bus," even if they've never ridden on one. It's a trend that has become quite popular in recent years. A group of partygoers rent a coach bus that has been retrofitted to accommodate a party atmosphere. Alcohol is often consumed on the buses, and drivers are often asked to travel from one bar to another. Party buses are especially common among young people, who often use them to celebrate a 21st birthday.
Party buses are generally viewed as a safe, if a bit raucous, way to get to bar and home again without driving drunk. One Los Angeles party bus, however, was recently the scene of a tragic death when one of the passengers was ejected while the bus was moving.
The victim, a 24-year-old man, was apparently standing at the front of the bus, attempting to change the music. When the driver made a sudden turn, however, the man fell and was thrown out the door. He was immediately hit by several cars, which caused his death.
The legal issues in this case are similar to those of premises liability - that is, the area of the law that defines the responsibilities a premises owner has towards his or her customers. Premises liability often applies to injuries such as falling accidents on slippery floors or other dangerous premises, or violent incidents caused by inadequate security.
In this case, details are still sketchy, but it appears the bus must have had some defect that allowed the passenger to fall out of the door while the vehicle was underway. Police say they have not yet made any arrests, though their investigation is still ongoing.
Source: The New York Daily News, "California man, 24, killed after being thrown from party bus onto highway" Philip Caulfield, Oct. 01, 2013