It was only a few months back when a garbage truck driver hit a pedestrian who was crossing the street in a designated crosswalk in downtown Portland. While making an illegal right-hand turn at an intersection in the early morning hours of March 16, 2015, the truck driver turned his garbage truck into the pathway of 57-year-old Scott Busch, which caused significant injuries.
Busch had just stepped off a local area bus just moments before the accident occurred before crossing the road. The incident severed one of the victim’s legs that required on-site treatment with a tourniquet applied by an officer at the accident scene prior to the arrival of medical emergency staff. Scott was transported to a local area hospital for surgical care and treatment. The truck driver,44-year-old Eric McChesney of Battle Ground Washington, remained at the scene of the accident to assist and was cited immediately afterward for failing to obey a traffic signal and failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
At the beginning of September, McChesney pled no contest to two crash traffic violations associated with the accident. The judge in the case ordered the driver to pay a fine, lose his license for a year, and complete 150 hours of community service. While pleading no contest and accepting the court’s decisions and orders to resolve all of McChesney’s criminal charges, the truck driver still faces civil action filed by the victim that needs to be resolved.
Victim Files a Lawsuit
In May 2015, the 57-year-old victim filed a $37 million lawsuit claiming McChesney illegally turned into him, which resulted in his left leg being amputated just above his knee. The lawsuit states that the incident occurred prior to 6 AM in March 2015 when the truck driver, employed by Allied Waste Systems, made an illegal turn from Southwest Fifth Ave. near the historic Pioneer Courthouse and Macy’s onto Morrison Street.
The lawsuit says the truck driver is responsible for the accident because of various factors claiming that he was operating the garbage truck without proper licensing, was allegedly traveling too fast and failed to obey the traffic light, failed to stop, and failed to remain stopped outside of the intersection to allow the pedestrian to cross the road. The lawsuit also contends that Allied Waste Systems is also legally responsible for damages because it allegedly failed to provide proper training to McChesney and allegedly failed to “perform routine audits to ensure that employees are licensed to drive commercial vehicles.”
After the incident, McChesney was issued three citations by Portland police that allege careless driving, failure to obey the traffic light, and operating the garbage truck without proper driving privileges. So far, the lawsuit lists the owner and operator of the garbage collection company and the driver as defendants in the case.
According to lawsuit documents, Busch has suffered numerous injuries to his person other than his amputated leg that includes broken ribs and injury to his torso, chest, and leg. His personal injury attorneys seek to obtain up to $15 million from all defendants to cover Scott’s medical bills, lost wages from time away from work, and the expenses of hiring others to assist him with his activities of daily living.
In addition, the attorneys seek to obtain as much as $20 million to cover Busch’s non-economic damages including suffering, pain, and the loss of enjoyment of living. Also, Scott’s wife Deanne Busch is seeking to obtain $2 million to cover her damages including the loss of support, loss of service, loss of society, and loss of consortium and companionship.
As of yet, no date has been set for trial in civil court.