The Beaumont Independent School District is gearing up to defend itself in court this week, as the civil trial of Tina McDaniel vs. BISD is set to begin on April 1.

In June 2007, McDaniel filed her suit in Jefferson County District Court, alleging one of the school district's bus drivers clipped her vehicle and dragged it about 15 feet before stopping.

According to her suit, 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 its answer to McDaniel's' suit, BISD denied "every allegation" and asserted that it is a political subdivision of the state of Texas and therefore has governmental immunity.

However, Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th Judicial District, allowed the litigation to proceed.

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

She is suing the district for exemplary damages, plus past and future medical expenses, lost earnings and mental anguish.

She is represented by Beaumont attorney Clay Dugas.

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

Case No. D179-343

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