The parents of Vanessa Mark, the Brandeis student who tragically died in a bus crash last November, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Joseph’s Transportation of Medford and Jean Michael Fenelon, the bus driver, in Suffolk Superior Court on Aug. 18. 

According to the lawsuit, Fenelon was traveling 54 mph at the time of the crash — in a 30 mph zone. The bus jumped the curb, went airborne, and struck several trees. The lawsuit also alleges that Fenelon was overworked and violated the rule against working more than 70 hours in a week at the time of the crash. 

Furthermore, Joseph’s Transportation allegedly failed to obtain a signed duty statement from Fenelon that provides the total time on duty in the preceding seven days, which is required by law. The suit also files a complaint against Joseph’s for neglecting to evaluate Fenlon’s qualifications, including competency, accident history, drug screening, medical certification, training, and prior experience. 

"Joseph’s Transportation either didn’t know or didn’t care that its driver violated hours of service laws, disregarded safety rules, and drove recklessly,” the family’s attorney Clay Robbins III said in a statement. “If they had performed simple due diligence, the driver never would have been allowed behind the wheel, and Vanessa Mark would still be alive today.” 

In addition to Mark, 26 other passengers were injured, including the driver himself. Mark’s parents filed the lawsuit, calling the crash “entirely preventable.”