Orange Unified School District reaches $10 million settlement in 2014 bus crash

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
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The Orange Unified School District reached a $10 million settlement with the families of five students who suffered devastating injuries in a 2014 school bus crash.

ANAHEIM HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- A school district has agreed to pay $10 million to the families of children injured in a tragic school bus crash in Anaheim Hills back in 2014.

The Orange Unified School District reached the settlement with the families of five students who suffered devastating injuries after three years of legal wrangling.

California Highway Patrol said Gerald Rupple was driving 11 students home from El Rancho Charter Middle School when he passed out on April 24, 2014.

The bus veered off the road and crashed into several trees, causing extensive damage.

CHP said Rupple was arrested for failing to tell the school district about a medical condition that causes blackouts.

Darren Aitken's law firm represented two of the students. His client Tyler Tiang's family received $4 million of the settlement.

The teen suffered a brain injury that may require long-term care.

"Great relief for them, primarily because now their son can be taken care of and get the help he needs," Aitken said. "Getting the medical care he needs to be able to resume his high school career. We hope and expect he has a bright future ahead of him, but it's going to take a lot of work."

While the families sued the school district for negligence, Aitken said the families had forgiven Rupple.

"He made a mistake, he made a misjudgment. All we ever asked is that the school district take responsibility," Aitken explained.

Rupple faces charges of child endangerment, inflicting great bodily injury and lying to authorities about his medical condition. His trial is scheduled to begin on Feb. 17.

In a statement to ABC7, the school district said in-part, "We pray for the continued recovery of the students involved and know that no amount of money will make up for the injuries, both physical and emotional, that the students and their families suffered."