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After Ruling, Penn. Judge Calls Statutory Cap ‘Unfair and Unjust’

Updated on: 11/11/2019

Following the ruling of a serious personal injury case in Pennsylvania on Thursday, Bucks County Court Judge Robert Mellon acknowledged that the current statutory cap on damages in the state created an “unfair and unjust result” for the victim in the case.

Victim Awarded Huge Payout

The victim, 22-year-old Ashley Zauflik of Fairless Hills, PA was awarded more than $14 million by a jury after a four-day trial that recounted the incident that caused her to lose her left leg; Zauflik was one of approximately 20 students run over by an out-of-control school bus in 2007.

The school district claimed responsibility for the accident, but because of the state’s cap on damages that upholds a liability limit for school districts and municipalities, the payout was reduced from $14 million to just $500,000.

“There is no dispute that the circumstances of this case create an unfair and unjust result,” said Mellon. “Reevaluation of the constitutionality of the statutory cap on damages … is necessary. “

Unconstitutional Loopholes

Judge Mellon’s comments about the cap came immediately following his ruling that Zauflik’s award be reduced to just a small fraction of what a jury of her peers thought was sufficient. Mellon also added that, had the bus been owned by an outside contractor rather than the school district, Zauflik likely would have been entitled the full amount awarded by the jury.

The school district reportedly also had an $11 million insurance policy, but the state cap blocked use of that source of funds as well.

Personal Injury Attorneys in Seattle, WA

Davis Law Group helps accident victims get financial compensation for their injuries and lost wages. We work closely with the criminal prosecutor to make sure that all avenues, both criminal and civil, are being pursued. If you have been the victim of negligence and sustained personal injury, contact Davis Law Group at 206-727-4000.

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