$8.2 million Awarded By Travis County Jury For Austin Car Accident Involving Metro Bus
November 2. 2011 12:50 by
An eight day trail ended with a verdict awarding $8.2 million the family of a young child that sustained severe brain injuries in an Austin car accident
involving a Capital Metro bus and a day care facility’s suburban. The car accident
happened in 2008 at the intersection of Far West and Hart Lane
. The jury placed 35% liability on the Capital Metro bus driver for driving 38 mph in a 30 mph zone and entering the intersection on a yellow light and 65% on the day care employee for running a red light. The day care previously entered into a confidential settlement prior to the trial. The question now is whether Metro Capital is on the hook for the judgment against its driver, which totals approximately $3 million? Because of statutory capes limiting liability against Metro Capital to $100,000, Capital Metro was left out of the suit and only the driver was named. Capital Metro’s insurer, however, may still be liable for the jury award.
While this $8 million verdict is substantial, estimates of future care for the injured child reach as high as $20 million. The child had numerous surgeries following the accident and has permanent disabilities, such as loss of senses and antisocial behavior. One of the qyestions a case like this raises is whether caps on damages are fair and just? Why should Metro Capital not have to be fully accountable for the injuries a jury held its employee caused? Is it fair that a family, through no actions of their own, are now forced to deal with economic ruin because a law states that Metro Capital, no matter how egregious their actions, cannot be held liable for more than $100,000? It is hard to see the fairness in that.