School Bus Company Pays $11.5M in Lawsuit Settlement

Attorneys accused the company of ignoring mechanic reports and violating vehicle safety standards.

A school bus company settled a lawsuit involving the San Francisco Unified School District for $11.5 million on May 25.

Under the settlement, two mechanics that accused the company of lying about bus safety will receive $8 million and the district will receive $3.5 million.

Records show that officials from the school bus company First Student Inc. violated safety standards and misrepresented the safety of the company’s vehicles, according to

Attorneys for the plaintiffs, who filed the lawsuit in SFUSD’s name, found that the company failed to meet vehicle inspection standards hundreds of times over one nine-month period and ignored mechanic reports about hazards with the buses.

Although some hazards involved vehicle braking systems and tire quality, District Spokeswoman Gentle Blythe says she’s not aware of any accidents that resulted from the problems.

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“When the district heard the allegations, we met with First Student and demanded proof that they were maintaining our buses,” Blythe says. “First Student assured us that these allegations were untrue and, based on our records, we have not been made aware of any safety incidents related to these allegations.”

First Student Inc. has not commented on the settlement.

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