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Tour bus company in fatal CA crash has history of federal maintenance violations

Written by Steve Gursten Posted February 4th, 2013

Tour bus accident, operated by Scapadas Magicas LLC, kills eight and injures 38 and has 59 maintenance violations in two years

California tour bus crashOur sincere condolences and prayers go out to the families of at least eight people killed and 38 injured yesterday in California. A tour bus operated by Scapadas Magicas LLC went out of control and flipped while carrying passengers to Tijuana, Mexico.

A  USA Today article, Highway Patrol: 8 dead in Calif. tour bus crash, states that Jordi Garcia, the manager the company that ran the trip, told reporters that the bus was filled with people on a skiing trip to Big Bear. “The information that we have is that the bus’ brakes failed and the accident occurred,” he said.

If true, this is not surprising. Investigation by the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable — operated by the law firm of Fried, Gursten & Leizerman — reveals that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shows a history of deficient vehicle maintenance for Scapadas Magicas:

    • During the past two years, its three buses have had a total of 59 violations for federal regulations relating to bus maintenance.
    • Nine of these violations were severe enough to be categorized out-of-service, meaning that the violation was dangerous enough that the bus could not legally be driven until the problem was fixed.

The most severe violations included:

  • Power steering violations,
  • Inadequate tires and tire tread depth,
  • Inoperative headlights,
  • Taillights and turn signals;
  • And a general brake violation.

In the past six months, Scapada Magicus has been identified in the top quarter of interstate motor carriers with 21-100 inspections that have maintenance safety concerns.

This exceeds the FMCSA’s intervention threshold, which means the tour bus company was prioritized over other motor carriers for government intervention.

Related information:

A look at trucking industry regulations

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About Steve Gursten

Attorney Steven Gursten is president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association and past president of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. He has been named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leader in the Law" for his efforts to prevent truck accidents and promote national truck safety. Steve was also a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Lawyer of the Year" for a record settlement in a truck accident case. He has received the top reported truck accident jury verdict and top reported truck accident settlement in Michigan for multiple years, according to published year-end compilations of all jury verdicts and personal injury settlements by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He has been named a "Top 50 Super Lawyer," by SuperLawyers, is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and has been awarded an AV-rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating for legal ability and ethics. Steve speaks to lawyers throughout the country on truck accident litigation. He is a founding member of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable, head of Michigan Auto Law, and has dedicated his legal career to making our roads safer.
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