Boy Suffers Brain Injury After Jumping From A Moving Pickup Truck

A 10-year old boy and a friend asked an 18 year old man to drive them into town in his pickup truck. The driver agreed, and the two boys climbed into the bed of the truck. When the truck was on the highway, the driver spotted a police officer and allegedly told the boys to jump out. They boys jumped from the moving truck, one struck his head on the road.

He suffered massive brain injuries that left him with spastic quadriplegia. He is unable to walk or talk and must be fed through a gastric tube. His cognitive function has also been affected, although he has some level of cognitive ability and is able to show emotion. His past medical bills totaled $2.9 million.

They boy's mother sued the driver, alleging he was negligent in permitting the boys to ride in the back of his truck and in ordering them to jump out.

The defendant argued that the boys had climbed onto the back of the truck without his knowledge and denied having given them permission to ride or ordering them to jump out.

The plaintiff offered evidence that the present value of the boy’s future life-care costs was $11.9 million, while the defense contended that the present value of such costs was $4 million.

The jury awarded $32.2 million, finding the driver 80 percent liable and the boy 20 percent responsible. After apportionment of fault, the verdict totaled about $25.7 million.

The parties subsequently settled for a confidential amount.