According to the Courthouse News Service, Greyhound Lines will pay $6 million to settle passenger claims after a court-ordered sleep study detected obstructive sleep apnea in a bus driver who had been involved in a crash. The plaintiffs’ attorney said that the settlement “will bring needed awareness to the catastrophic consequences of untreated obstructive sleep apnea in commercial drivers.”
On Sept. 14, 2013, a Greyhound bus flipped over after the driver was alleged to have fallen asleep at the wheel. According to the plaintiffs, a month before the crash a U.S. Department of Transportation medical examiner had recommended an overnight sleep study and a 3-month limitation on the driver’s certificate due to suspicion of sleep apnea. However, the plaintiffs argued, Greyhound never had the driver tested for sleep apnea prior to the crash. Following a subsequent sleep study ordered by the trial court, it was determined that the driver has moderate-to-severe sleep apnea.
“Our hope is that these rulings will help prevent future fatigue-related collisions by encouraging bus and trucking companies to be more proactive when screening for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders that, when untreated, place passengers and the motoring public at serious harm,” the plaintiffs’ attorney said.