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The jury is in: Plaintiffs receive $1.3 million less than demanded in school bus crash case

Gotta Go Express Trailways Inc.
August 22, 2013

The facts.

The 236th District Court in Tarrant County issued a roughly $1.3 million final judgment for five plaintiffs against Gotta Go Express Trailways and the driver of its vehicle, which crashed en route to a Colorado ski trip with 46 children aboard.

The trial.

Plaintiffs alleged negligence and gross negligence causes of action and sought damages, including exemplary damages. The trial took two weeks and the jury deliberated for two days. The jurors eventually issued a roughly $700,000 verdict, finding the defendants were negligent but not grossly so.

The winning argument.

Lead defense counsel, Aaron Pool, believed the jury considered a particular plaintiff witness’ testimony about seat belts. The testifying witness told the court that she did not use a seat belt on the ride. Mr. Pool believes jurors could have interpreted that lack of seatbelt use as evidence that the bus driver’s handling of the vehicle prior to the accident was not fear-inspiring, despite the plaintiffs’ allegations to the contrary.