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State court decision impacts damages injured persons may get

There are few things more troubling to Pennsylvania residents than the thought of a child being injured. Worse yet is when injuries occur to a child on the way to or during school.

This unfortunately was the case for one child who was run over by a school bus. The student suffered

accident injuries that resulted in the student’s leg being amputated. The case has now made headlines in Pennsylvania after the state Supreme Court issued a decision limiting the girl’s ability to collect compensation for her injuries.

The decision involved a cap placed on the damages a plaintiff can collect against political subdivisions, including school districts. The cap, which was set at $500,000, was much lower than the $14 million verdict the girl received in the verdict in the case. However, the Supreme Court affirmed the cap, which effectively means the girl can only collect $500,000 for her injuries.

The case does not appear to impact all cases, as the issue specifically revolved around the defendant being a governmental entity that was protected by the damages cap. In addition, the Supreme Court urged legislators to take up the issue and potentially raise the cap to a higher level to more reasonably compensate injured plaintiffs.

Accordingly, it remains to be seen what the state of the damages cap will be in the future. For now, however, it is an issue injured individuals should be aware of, as there can be laws that impact a person’s case in certain situations. When individuals are injured by governmental defendants, the injured person should understand how the damages cap may or may not apply to their case, and what it means in terms of finding a solution that provides relief for the person.

Source: The Legal Intelligencer, “Pa. Supreme Court upholds governmental damages cap,” P.J. D’Annunzio, Nov. 21, 2014

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