BISD on trial for bus driver’s collision

By David Yates | Feb 19, 2013

A Jefferson County jury will decide whether or not the Beaumont Independent School District negligently entrusted a bus driver who caused a collision two years ago.

Plaintiffs Cynthia Barrett and Kensley Barrett Jr. filed suit against BISD and Devin Garza on Aug. 31, 2011, in Jefferson County District Court.

Jury selection for the case began Tuesday, Feb. 19 in Judge Gary Sanderson’s 6oth District Court.

According to the lawsuit, on Oct. 28, 2010, the Barretts were stopped at a stop sign at the intersection of Highland Avenue and Garland Street in Beaumont when Garza, who was attempting to turn onto Garland, turned short and struck their vehicle.

Court records show BISD answered the suit on Sept. 30, 2011, asserting a general denial and arguing it had immunity from the plaintiffs’ negligent entrustment claim.

At the plaintiffs’ request, Judge Sanderson dismissed Garza from the suit on Oct. 3, 2011.

The Barretts will ask jurors to award them damages for their alleged past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment, disfigurement and lost wages.

Provost Umphrey attorney James Payne of Beaumont represents them.

Attorney Isidro Castanon of the Palacios law firm Allen, Stein & Durbin represents the district.

Case No. B190-799

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