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Jeff Brody
Litigators Inc.

Man with Cerebral Palsy Left Overnight on Freezing Bus

A private bus attendant in New York is facing criminal charges for leaving a young man with cerebral palsy on a freezing bus overnight.

Edwin Rivera, an adult with cerebral palsy, spent his New Year’s Eve sitting in a bone-chillingly cold bus at a New York transportation depot.  He was carelessly left on the privately run school bus by the bus’s attendant, Linda Hockaday.

Man Left in Freezing Temperatures

Rivera was found by his family the following morning after enduring a night of temperatures that dipped as low as 15 degrees.   Rivera’s sister, Leslie, noted that when they found him he was, “cold, very cold.  His fingers were blue.”

Bus Attendant to Face Criminal Charges

Hockaday, the bus attendant, knew Rivera was sleeping in the back of the bus but failed to inform the driver of this fact.  The criminal complaint filed against Hockaday alleges that:

  • She made a conscious decision not to inform the bus driver that Rivera was in the back of the bus.
  • She did so because she was worried she would miss an appointment due to the extra time it would take to drop off Rivera at an appropriate location.

Hockaday faces criminal charges, including:

  • Charges of first- and second-degree reckless endangerment
  • A maximum of 7 years in prison if found guilty

The bus driver was apparently oblivious and not directly responsible for Rivera and therefore will not face criminal charges.

Bus Company Claims to Cater to Those with Special Needs

Ironically, the company that owns the bus Rivera was left on, Outstanding Transport, prides itself in its ability to cater to the needs of the elderly and handicapped.

According to its website the company declares itself as, “New York City's leader in meeting the transportation needs for the elderly and for handicapped adults.  While some companies use old school buses, OTI maintains a high quality fleet of specialized vehicles suitable for their special-needs clients".

Rivera’s family told reporters that they want to move past this incident and intend to focus on helping him recover from his dangerous and traumatic experience. "He is doing much better," explained Leslie Rivera. "He perked up. He started singing."

(Source: CNN)

Do you have a family member living with cerebral palsy? If so, contact a cerebral palsy lawyer for more information and resources regarding your legal rights.

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