Amputee files $37M lawsuit after garbage truck crash

Police cited the driver for failure to obey a traffic control device and operating a vehicle without driving privileges

A garbage truck hit a pedestrian at SW 5th and Morrison in Portland, March 16, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
A garbage truck hit a pedestrian at SW 5th and Morrison in Portland, March 16, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A 57-year-old man whose leg was severed after he was hit by a garbage truck, whose operator was making an illegal turn, according to police, has filed a $37 million lawsuit.

Scott Raymond Busch was in a crosswalk March 16 at SW 5th and Morrison. He was walking northbound on Southwest 5th when the garbage truck driver, 44-year-old Eric Arthur McChesney, turned right from SW 5th Avenue onto SW Morrison, striking Busch and severing one of his legs, according to Portland Police.

There is a posted “No Turns” sign at the intersection. Police cited McChesney for failure to obey a traffic control device and operating a vehicle without driving privileges.

The first officers on scene applied a tourniquet to Busch’s leg and then rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said. He suffered injuries to the muscles, tendons, nerves, bones, and soft tissues of the leg, chest and torso, the lawsuit states. His left leg was amputated above the knee. He also suffered multiple broken ribs. McChesney, police said, remained at the scene and was cooperative.

Among other things, the lawsuit alleges that McChesney, and the company he was working for, were “negligent” by:

  • Failing to maintain a reasonable lookout
  • Failing to maintain reasonable control of their truck
  • Driving too fast under the circumstances
  • Driving a commercial truck without a license
  • Failing to create a safe collection route that does not incorporate illegal and unsafe turns
  • Failing to properly train, perform audits on employees to ensure they are licensed

The $37 million lawsuit was filed Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Court records show that McChesney has entered a not guilty plea to the traffic citations. He is scheduled to appear in traffic court for trial later this summer. Calls and emails into the garbage provider and McChesney have not been returned.

When reached by phone Monday, Busch declined to comment. His attorney, John Coletti, via email, declined to comment, pending litigation.

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