Note:  The names of the clients in these case summaries have been omitted in order to protect their identity.

Our client was a junior in high school.  On the morning  he was injured, he had exited a city bus and was crossing the road in front of his school in order to get to school.   As he crossed the road, a dump truck coming from the opposite direction hit him and drug him 91 feet before coming to a stop.  The city bus, unlike a school bus, was not equipped with a stop sign or flashing lights which would have required vehicles on both sides of the road to stop for the students.  Witnesses stated that the student stepped from behind the bus into the path of the dump truck.  The student suffered orthopedic injuries and a traumatic brain injury.  He was not able to return to school that year and never fully recovered from his injuries.  Claims were brought against the driver, the driver’s company, and the school system.  Through discovery it was learned that the driver had several accidents and traffic violations on his record and had been reported by a concerned citizen about a year before for speeding in another school zone.  Through the use of accident reconstruction experts, we were able to prove that the driver was speeding on this occasion.  An exhibit was created that showed all of the various school, bus stop, and pedestrian warning signs that the driver would have had to pass prior to hitting our client.  We also created an exhibit which showed the stopping distances for the dump truck at various speeds.  The school system was also found to be responsible for our client’s injuries.  The school system had given the student vouchers to ride the city bus even though the school principal knew that the city bus was not equipped with the warning devices that are required on school buses, that motorists are not required to stop for a city bus as they are for a school bus, and that the section of road where the accident happened was at the bottom of a hill and at the end of a curve.  And although there were off-duty police officers at the school at all times, the school provided no crossing guard to help the students safely cross the street.  We were able to overcome claims of the student’s contributory negligence raised by the company and the school system,  and recover damages that fully compensated the student over the remainder of his life for the damages he suffered.

Plaintiff Attorney:  Guy Crabtree, Esq., Pulley, Watson, King, Lischer, PA, P.O. Drawer 2600, Durham, NC  27701

Putting the Brakes on Unsafe Trucking Companies