$5,000,000 Verdict in Indianapolis, IN
A 17 year-old bicyclist was struck by a privately owned school bus while pedaling on his way to high school in the early morning.
Broken leg and degloving injury to the lower leg. Multiple operations and lengthy hospital stay.
The school bus driver, the investigating police officer, an accident reconstructionist hired by the defense, an eyewitness and the school bus company's own internal investigators all placed fault upon the bicyclist for causing the crash.
But, we were able to locate internal company documents that showed the school bus driver was late on her way to school, was not following her assigned route and had been instructed previously to not ever follow a slow-moving vehicle of any kind in the same lane of travel. The bus driver admitted in court all of those allegations on examination by Attorney Jeff Shaw.
The jury found the bus company negligent and awarded $5 Million in damages (reduced by 25% fault assigned to the bicyclist).
Upheld by verdict in the Indiana Court of Appeals, Durham School Services, Inc. eventually paid $4,400,000 to satisfy the judgment a year and one-half later.