A lawsuit filed by two New Jersey men against a Wilkes-Barre-based bus company for injuries they suffered in a crash on a snow covered highway was moved from Luzerne County Court to U.S. District Court in Scranton.
Derrick Burroughs, of Hamilton, and Kwame Featherson, of Passaic, through their attorney, Gregory E. Fellerman, of Kingston, filed the suit in county court in August against the Frank Martz Coach Co., FH Family LP, Patrick Graham and Liang Tian.
Attorneys for the Martz Coach Co. and Tian had the suit transferred to federal court this week.
Burroughs and Featherson were passengers on the Martz Trailways Bus, driven by Graham, when it struck a 2002 Buick Century on Interstate 380 in Clifton Township, on March 6, 2011.
The two men said they suffered severe and permanent personal injuries, according to the suit.
According to state police at Dunmore:
The highway was snow- and ice-covered when Tian, a native of China, lost control of his Nissan Murano and stopped in the middle of the road, where it was struck by the Buick, driven by Lamont Phillips.
After that crash, Phillips got out of his car and stood alongside the passenger side when he and his vehicle were struck by the bus, which had swerved to avoid hitting the Nissan, state police said at the time.
The bus then struck a guide rail and flipped onto its passenger side, sliding at least 113 feet on its side before it stopped.
Phillips was pronounced dead at the scene, state police said.
There were about 30 passengers on the bus, which was traveling to Scranton from New York City, according to a Martz Trailways spokesperson at the time.
Those passengers who were injured were either taken to Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg and Geisinger-Community Medical Center in Scranton.
The suit claims Graham was driving recklessly and too fast for conditions in violation of the federal motor carrier safety regulations.
The estate of Phillips in June 2011 filed a wrongful death suit against the bus company, Graham and Tian in county court where it remains open.