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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed In Chicago, Illinois Fatal Bus Accident

A May 4 entry on this blog relayed the unfortunate news of a pedestrian death involving a bus.

Now, the family of the woman killed by the bus has filed a Wrongful Death lawsuit, according to a Chicago Tribune article of May 17 titled “Lawsuit filed by family of woman killed by bus.”

The Wrongful Death lawsuit argues that the bus company should not have hired the driver.

The bus driver, David Soto, is currently jailed on aggravated DUI charges in the death of Justyna Palka, 24. Officials say Soto, 47, had cocaine in his system at the time of the May 3 accident at the intersection of Illinois and Columbus Drive.

The Wrongful Death lawsuit argues that Pontarelli Group Charters should not have hired Soto, given an investigative alert and two prior convictions, and should have known of the alleged cocaine use.

“Pontarelli’s utter failure to ensure that its professional drivers were appropriately qualified resulted in a truly unnecessary loss of life,” said an attorney involved in the lawsuit. The suit was filed May 17 in the Cook County court system.

In the days following the accident, Pontarelli’s co-owner said he didn’t know about Soto’s criminal history until after the accident. At the time, the co-owner didn’t say whether Soto had gone through a background check before hiring.


People who are involved in bus accidents should consult with attorneys. At Elman Law Group, we concentrate in cases involving vehicle accidents in the Chicago area. At Elman Law Group, we will guide you through the legal process and make sure that you are thoroughly represented in order to maximize any potential monetary recovery.