A verdict was rendered regarding the case of a 15 year old boy who died after being hit by a car at a dangerous crossing while heading for the school bus stop. The jury awarded the guardian of the boy $20 million for her losses.
The 15 year old high school sophomore was on his way to his designated school bus stop which required him to cross an uncontrolled five-lane highway. This bus stop was designated by the school system and was the only stop that the young man could use to get to school. During his attempt to cross the highway, the boy was struck by a vehicle and suffered catastrophic injuries. This young man slipped into a coma and died from his injuries 15 days later.
The guardian of the boy filed a wrongful death suit naming several defendants. When the case went to trial, the school district and the driver of the vehicle that hit the young man were the only defendants left on the case.
The boy’s attorney stated that the school district had created a dangerous condition of public property. To prove this allegation, they showed that several years prior to this accident, the school district had a bus stop on the other side of the road which eliminated the need for the children to cross the busy highway. By this careless elimination of the bus stop, the children had to cross this dangerous road where vehicles moved at rates of speed from 56 to 71 miles per hour. Therefore, by eliminating the bus stop, they created a dangerous condition of public property.
The School District denied all allegations and stated that there was a different bus stop that the boy could have used that would have eliminated his need to cross the major highway. They believed that they were not at fault and that the driver of the car should be held at least 50 percent responsible for the accident and that their responsibility, if any, should be shared with the decedent. This basically stated that they believed the boy was at least partially at fault for the event.
It was soon discovered that the school district had hidden many documents that they were supposed to produce to the Court. When they were produced, it was discovered that they were aware of their responsibility for the death of the young boy due to their elimination of the bus stop. It was also discovered that the bus stop that they claimed was available for the young man to use and not have to cross the street was not designated a stop until after the death of the boy. The Court found that the school district was 100 percent liable for the wrongful death of the boy because they created a dangerous condition of public property.