Jury Awards $14M for Victim of Pa. School Bus Crash

State cap would allow only $500,000 of ruling to be rewarded

A jury decided Monday to award millions to a Pa. woman who lost part of her leg after she was hit by a school bus outside her Bucks County high school nearly five years ago.

A jury awarded 21-year-old Ashley Zauflik $14 million for pain and suffering resulting from the crash that occurred outside Pennsbury High School in January 2007.
Zauflik’s family filed a lawsuit against Pennsbury over the crash that left Zauflik, then 17, in a medically induced coma.

Her leg and hip were crushed when a bus lurched into a group of about 20 students waiting outside the school. Her leg was eventually amputated just above the knee.

Pennsbury officials have acknowledged liability in the crash, which the National Transportation Safety Board attributed to driver error.

The family wanted at least $3 million in damages from the district but the district had offered $500,000, the capped amount allowed by Pennsylvania law.

Zauflik's lawyer, Thomas Kline, says he hopes to negotiate a settlement with the district or appeal the 1980 cap to the state Supreme Court.

Zauflik testified last week the accident left her “disfigured” and struggling with depression.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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