On September 23, 2019, Jill Bollwerk, along with co-counsel, James Eason, began a jury trial for an 8-year-old little girl (now 12 years old) who was struck by a car while crossing the street after alighting from her school bus. The minor, B.J., had exited the bus as she did every other day. The little girl and her siblings would cross the street in front of the bus each day, as the bus driver extended the stop sign on the driver's side of the bus. On October 8, 2015, B.J. was the last one to cross the street, but the bus driver had already pulled in the stop sign for oncoming traffic, so when she crossed the street, she was struck by a car driven by I.H. She suffered a badly broken leg which caused her to go through two years of surgeries and therapy. She is now 12 and still protects her leg, as she is in fear of re-breaking her leg.
A lawsuit was brought against the driver who struck the little girl, I.H, along with the school bus company, First Student. Jill and James alleged that the driver who struck the little girl failed to keep a careful lookout, given the fact that a school bus was in the area, along with children walking on the sidewalks. They also alleged that First Student's driver failed to follow the company's rules by pulling in the stop sign before all students had crossed.
The driver who struck the little girl, I.H., claimed that the bus' stop sign was not out, and the little girl just darted out from the front of the bus. She claimed that she didn't have time to do anything to avoid the accident.
First Student's bus driver, M.A. claimed that the little girl did not cross the street with the rest of the children, but instead, stayed on the same side of the street with her uncle, so the bus driver thought that she was going home with the uncle, and that is why the driver pulled in the stop sign. These facts were challenged by Jill and James.
On the third day of trial, the insurance carrier for the driver who hit the little girl finally offered to pay their maximum insurance policy limits of $50,000. As a result, I.H. was no longer in the case, and the trial continued against First Student only.
On September 25, 2019, a jury rendered a very large verdict for the little girl-- $2 million. The jury assessed 10% of the fault to First Student, so the net verdict was $200,000, which is still far more than the bus company had ever offered. The little girl was awarded fair justice by the jury.