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Latest Deadly Casino Bus Crash Renews Calls for Safety on Casino Buses

Another fatal bus crash in Texas involving a casino bus raises serious questions about charter bus safety and whether the gaming industry is doing enough to ensure the safety of its patrons.

Earlier in May 2016, The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson won a combined $10.9 million jury verdict after a Dallas jury agreed that the Choctaw Nation was negligent and responsible for a very similar charter bus rollover crash that occurred in Irving, Texas, in 2013. Three died in that crash and dozens more were injured.

“It’s incredible tbus seatshat we have another one of these crashes within two weeks of the verdict,” says Dallas trial lawyer Frank Branson. “Because of their rural locations, casinos like Choctaw and Kickapoo are dependent on these buses bringing in patrons. However, the casino business is driven by the bottom line, so these casinos are more concerned about whether their buses are full than they are about the safety record of the bus company and driver. These casinos have the responsibility to vet any charter bus bringing patrons to their facilities.”

Testimony in the recent Choctaw trial revealed how casinos rely on these buses to bring in business. For example, Texas patrons generate 75 percent of the Choctaw Casino Resort’s revenue, and 85 percent of the bus passengers who arrive at the Choctaw Casino Resort come from Texas. According to trial testimony, the Choctaw Casino Resort expected a charter bus carrying 45 passengers to generate $15,000 to $22,500 of revenue. At trial, the Choctaw Casino Resort sought to claim that safety was solely the charter company’s responsibility, but trial testimony showed that the casino had ultimate control over the bus, the driver and the trip.

Authorities in South Texas confirm that all eight passengers who died on the charter bus in route to the Kickapoo Casino on Saturday had been ejected from the bus after the driver lost control. Seat belts and laminated safety glass – long recommended by safety experts and required on new buses sold today – may have prevented those passenger ejections from occurring and likely would have saved lives, says Branson.

For more information, contact Robert Tharp at 800-559-4534 or