Lawsuit filed against ARC after deadly wreck
by Rachel Davis
Oct 31, 2013 | 3857 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A lawsuit stemming from the May accident that killed three local men has been filed in Walker County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit was filed in late June by Carolyn Biddle, who is the administratrix of her brother, Phillip McGuff’s estate. McGuff was one of three ARC of Walker County clients who was killed when the ARC bus they were riding on crashed into a tree off of Ridgewood Road. Today marks five months since the accident, but no final accident report or cause for the accident has been released. The driver of the bus, Crystal Pigg, was transported to UAB Hospital after the wreck where she was treated and released for injuries sustained in the crash.

In the filing, Biddle lists the defendants as the ARC and other defendants, listed as “Ficticious Defendants A-J,” which includes the driver, those who manufactured and maintained the van and others involved with the van and employment of the driver.

The lawsuit requests a jury trial as well as unspecified monetary amounts in excess of $10,000.

At the time of the accident, the Jasper Police said they would conduct a full investigation with the assistance of the Alabama Department of Public Safety’s Traffic Homicide Division, which is common practice in traffic-related deaths. Jasper Police Chief Connie Rowe said at that time that the number of victims would lengthen the investigation.

In its response, ARC of Walker County answers the 24 questions from the plaintiff’s interrogatory but denies any wrongdoing in the accident, including charges of negligence or wantonness, negligent entrustment and negligence relating to the repairs and maintenance of the vehicle, among others. The ARC also puts forth 26 defenses in which it claims the suit fails to state a claim against the ARC, fails to provide proof of the claims made and that any punative award would be a violation of constitutional safeguards, among other defenses.

Calls to the parties named in the lawsuit were not returned Wednesday afternoon.

The Daily Mountain Eagle could find no record of any lawsuits being filed pertaining to the estates of the other two men, Thomas Jones and Raymond Austin.