Award against BISD finalized a year after verdict

David Yates Apr. 5, 2010, 10:00am

A year after a Jefferson County jury found a Beaumont Independent School District bus driver responsible for causing an automobile collision, the verdict has been officially entered.

As the Southeast Texas Record reported last April, the civil trial of Tina McDaniel vs. BISD began April 1, 2009, in Judge Milton Shuffield's 136th Judicial Court and ended the following day, with jurors finding both parties partially negligent in causing the wreck.

The jury awarded McDaniel $2,700 for past medical expenses, but nothing for her future medical expenses, lost earnings or mental anguish.

On April 5, the jury verdict was officially entered. A court official told the Record that neither party offered any opposition to the verdict.

McDaniel filed her suit in Jefferson County District Court in June 2007, claiming one of the school district's bus drivers clipped her vehicle and dragged it several feet before stopping.

Court papers show that on May 24, 2006, McDaniel was driving her daughter to school. She had entered the school drop-off zone when "a school bus came at a high rate of speed and turned, striking McDaniel's automobile on the right side and dragging her about 15 feet with it."

"During the collision, the school bus caused McDaniel's vehicle to jar and her steering wheel twisted and gave a severe jarring to her neck," the suit states. "McDaniel suffered injuries to her back and neck."

In her suit, McDaniel alleged the BISD driver was negligently failed to make a proper turn and stay in his lane.

She was seeking damages for past and future medical expenses, lost earnings and mental anguish.

McDaniel was represented in part by Beaumont attorney Clay Dugas.

BISD was represented in part by attorney Melody Chappell of the Wells, Peyton, Greenberg & Hunt law firm.

Case No. D179-343

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