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Parents Blame School Bus Company for Teen's Death


(CBS/AP) A judge has thrown out a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the estate of a slain Waterloo, Iowa, girl against a school bus company.

Judge Jon Fister says the company, First Student, had no way of knowing 13-year-old Donnisha Hill was about to be killed when the driver let her off at the wrong stop on Oct. 27, 2006.

Hill's body was later found in Illinois.

Fister on Tuesday ruled in favor of the company's request for a directed verdict. Hill's father, Adonnis Hill, says they will appeal.

Adonnis told the WCF Courier newspaper, "It's terrible. If the laws were designed to protect the children, we weren't protected. Donnisha wasn't protected."

Leneaka Johnson, Donnisha's mother, said, "I feel like all the blame was placed on Donnisha."

The WCF Courier reports the parents and the girl's estate claim the bus service ignored safety procedures after Donnisha Hill climbed on the wrong bus home from Logan Middle School Oct. 27, 2006. Donnisha got off at the wrong stop as part of a plan to meet with David Damm, a neighbor who had been accused of sexually abusing her.

Damm had promised to run away with her to Chicago. However, he took her to Bruce Burt, who drove her to rural Jo Daviess County, Ill., and killed her to cover up allegations of sexual abuse.

Damm was convicted in Illinois of murder and sentenced to death. Burt pleaded guilty in Illinois to murder and is serving a life sentence.