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May 20, 1999 - Lawsuit Filed Over School Bus Wreck

The family of a 9-year-old boy who was left comatose by a school bus accident has filed an $8 million negligence lawsuit against the Lebanon Special School District, the bus driver and the city. Justin Key was injured when the bus ran a red light last Sept. 1 and smashed into a car driven by the boy's grandfather, Ronald Key, according to the lawsuit. Justin was thrown from the back seat and landed under the bus.

A Wilson County grand jury in October indicted bus driver Pharriest Moore, 35, of Lebanon on charges of felony reckless endangerment, reckless driving and running a red light. She has since lost her commercial license. The lawsuit alleges Moore, who had driven for the school district for three years, was negligent in running the light and the school district was negligent for not properly training her.

The lawsuit also accused the City of Lebanon was responsible for not fixing a traffic light that was malfunctioning at the time of the accident. The Plaintiff's seek $6 million for Justin, who must be cared for around the clock; $600,000 for his brother, Jesse Key, who also was injured in the accident; and $1.2 million for Justin's grandparents, who provide care for him.

Superintendent Andy Brummett said he had not seen the lawsuit but would refer it to the Tennessee School Board Liability Trust. Efforts to contact Moore and Lebanon City Attorney Peggy Williams were unsuccessful.

In all automobile accident cases it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and to enable physicians or other expert witnesses to thoroughly evaluate any injuries. If you or a loved one is a victim of an automobile accident, call now at or CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A SIMPLE CASE FORM. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don't delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.

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