Ohio State University announced that it will pay $500,000 and provide undergraduate tuition to a former student who lost his leg as the result of being victim to a truck accident in September 2012. The 18-year-old student was riding his bicycle along Woodruff Avenue when he was struck by a 71-year-old dump truck driver, causing the student to lose his right leg and suffer serious injuries to his spine and pelvis. The student and his family named the university, the driver and other university contractors liable for the accident in a lawsuit that alleged the parties were negligible regarding student safety.
On Dec. 12, 2014, the Ohio Court of Public Claims approved a settlement stemming from the lawsuit that relinquished the university from further litigation by the family in addition not admitting any wrongdoing in the agreement. As an employee of Gilbane Construction Company, the truck driver worked on the site of the Chemical Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry building, which students often passed through to get to class or return home.
Court documents alleged that the accident was foreseeable, yet Ohio State took no action to prevent such occurrence. After a four-month investigation conducted by the university, it concluded that the driver should not face criminal charges because the student was riding his bicycle along the sidewalk instead of in the street. Police believed that the student was riding in the driver’s blind spot at moment of the crash.
Inattentive driving and avoidable truck accidents happen on a daily basis, sometimes causing irreparable damage to victims as a result. It is often the responsibility of the plaintiff to prove negligence on behalf of the at-fault driver or driver’s employer in order to claim that the accident was avoidable.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch , “Ohio State to give tuition, $500,000 to student hit by dump truck“, December 20, 2014