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ARTICLE ID 186989

$________ – MOTOR VEHICLE NEGLIGENCE – AUTO/PEDESTRIAN COLLISION – TEEN WHO LOST LEG IN BUS CRASH MAY COLLECT ONLY FRACTION OF DUE TO STATE CAP – AMPUTATION OF THE LEFT LEG ABOVE THE KNEE.

Bucks County Court of Common Pleas

In this matter, a 17-year-old girl lost her left leg after being struck by an out-of-control school bus. The matter was tried to verdict in Bucks County, Pennsylvania resulting in a jury award of over $14 million to the plaintiff.

On January 12, ________, the plaintiff, a student in the Pennsbury School District, was standing on a sidewalk when a bus suddenly accelerated from a stopped position onto the sidewalk, running over her with both its front and rear passenger tires. She suffered multiple fractures, including a fractured left femur and a crushed pelvis, and ultimately required the amputation of her left leg above-the-knee. Several other students suffered minor injuries.

Suit was filed on behalf of the plaintiff, now 21, by her family in the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas for product liability and municipal liability, naming as defendant the Pennsbury School District, and the four companies involved designing and manufacturing the bus and its braking and acceleration systems. Confidential settlements were reached pretrial with the companies, leaving the municipal defendant when the case reached trial.

Shortly before trial, the school district stipulated to liability, and a four day trial was subsequently held on the question of damages. The defendant also stipulated that plaintiff had more than $________ in recoverable past medical bills. The plaintiff presented testimony from four experts: Steven M. Schorr, P.E. (accident reconstruction); Guy W. Fried, M.D. (physical medicine and rehabilitation); Betsy H. Bates, R.N. (life care planner); and David L. Hopkins, ASA, MAAA (actuarial economics).The plaintiffs also called an eyewitness to the accident, the plaintiff, and her parents. The defense called one witness, a prosthetist, Richard Riley, C.P., from Reno, Nevada.After four hours deliberation, the jury returned a $14 million verdict for the plaintiff, awarding $11.1 million in non-economic damages, $________ in past medical expenses, and $________ for future medical costs, including future prosthetic needs.

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