Greene Broillet & Wheeler Attorneys Representing Hero Survivor of Deadly FedEx Crash File Lawsuit

A team of attorneys led by Christine Spagnoli, a partner at the Santa Monica firm Greene Broillet & Wheeler, announced a lawsuit on behalf of the heroic student who survived the fiery crash between a FedEx truck and a tour bus.

Spagnoli, along with fellow partner Geoff Wells and associate Christian Nickerson filed the suit against FedEx and Silverado Stages, the San Luis Obispo based operator of the bus, seeking unspecified damages.

18-year-old Miles Hill was seriously injured trying to escape the fire that consumed the bus and killed 10 people. The April 10 collision happened in Orland, CA when the FedEx truck crossed the center median of the 5 Freeway and struck the bus head on, according to witness accounts. Hill was among a group of Los Angeles area students on a college visit to Humboldt State University.

"Something happened with the driver that caused that loss of control and crossing over the median," Spagnoli said. "That's negligence."

Miles Hill has been commended as a hero for his actions. He recalls kicking out a window to make his escape. Several other students survived by following him through the exit path he created.

"I should have died," Hill said at a news conference announcing the lawsuit. "What happened was nothing short of a miracle. I should not be here."

Hill suffered a broken collarbone as well as burns to his face, hands and leg among other injuries.

Hill, an accomplished violinist, was hospitalized for several days and will undergo skin graft surgery. Doctors say the break in his collarbone may keep him from ever playing the violin again.

"I'm kind of heartbroken and my soul is pretty much crushed," Hill said.

The suit alleges Silverado Stages, "failed to ensure that emergency evacuation procedures were in place" and the company "failed to instruct and/or inform passengers on the subject bus of emergency evacuation procedures."

"Miles remembers passengers being trapped at the emergency exits, unable to open them," Wells said. "He believes if passengers were told how to use the exits, lives could have been saved."

The attorneys also filed a petition to consolidate what are likely to be many lawsuits resulting from the deadly crash.

"Consolidating the suits under one judge is the most efficient way to litigate these cases," Nickerson said. "It allows one judge to examine similar evidence across all of the cases and make consistent rulings. Ultimately it expedites the complicated trial process and saves taxpayers money."

The case is filed in Los Angeles Superior Court as case number BC544928.