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Expert Witness Brings Lessons from Case Law to STN EXPO PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeanette Reveles   
Monday, 18 August 2014 16:47

bluth-session-stnDr. Linda Bluth presented “Lessons from Case Law” to a full house at STN EXPO last month in Reno, Nevada. The workshop provided information regarding legal issues involving transportation departments and potential ways to avoid them.

Bluth is a former president of the National Association for Pupil Transportation, a consultant for the Maryland Department of Education, and is often called on as an expert witness during court cases involving school transportation and special education.

During the information session, Bluth discussed issues and examples in case law that can help student transporters avoid problems in the long run, as well as the importance of informed decision-making.

Bluth started off by reminding attendees that the yellow school bus is perhaps the most visible emblem of the education system outside of school grounds.

“You’ve got a service that is highly visible. Do you think about that day in and day out?” she asked, “We underestimate the visibility of the service that we provide.”

She later touched on the definitions of negligence and liability, discussing a few examples of each, such as contributory negligence.

Bluth also cited examples of issues that, from the perspective of an expert witness, can often cause liability issues for school districts and/or transportation departments.

  • Failure to address bullying in a timely manner
  • Failure to implement an individualized education program (IEP) and/or provide Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
  • Leaving students behind on the bus
  • Lack of training by qualified personnel

She also stressed the importance of documentation for prevention of future issues or as proof in a potential court case.

“If something is not in writing, it is hearsay in court,” Bluth stated. “You should never stop writing things up.”

Last Updated on Monday, 18 August 2014 17:21