Bus company involved in I-565 accident to be sold

Bus company involved in I-565 accident to be sold

Switching hands in a business transaction 84 days since the I-565 school bus tragedy.

Laidlaw International, Incorporated is going through some changes.

Laidlaw owns the bus that went off the interstate.

It is also the focus of civil litigation filed by victims, friends, and family, many who put up signs of support at an on-site memorial.

Add another sign, FOR SALE.

The sale of Laidlaw the focus of this WAFF 48 Investigators Report.

If you log onto the Internet and type in  www.laidlaw.com, you'll find a recorded conference call of a Friday meeting of shareholders discussing a $3.6 billion dollar deal.

It is the sale of Laidlaw International, Incorporated, the same Laidlaw that owns bus 5037, the bus that plummeted from an I-565 overpass.

Attorney Doug Fees represents some of the 40 riders.

"I don't know one way or the other," he says. "It could be just coincidental. My guess would be that this was a transaction that has been in the works for a year or longer."

In a news release, Laidlaw's CEO says, "Our goal for the past four years has been to develop, demonstrate, and deliver shareholder value. We believe this transaction is the epitome of that goal..."

But what impact does that sale have on what happened right where that bus landed after it flew off that overpass, right where four students died in the hands of a company about to switch hands.

Multiple lawsuits target Laidlaw International, Incorporated, but what if Laidlaw no longer exists?

"I don't anticipate this being a major issue in this case," he says.

Fees says it likely won't matter.

Usually large sales include both assets and liabilities.

Plus, Laidlaw's insurance company still exists and the State of Alabama allows claims against successor companies.

A British transit company called FirstGroup is buying Laidlaw.

The sale is not yet final.

It still requires shareholder and regulatory approval.