A 12-year-old male was struck by a church van and sustained severe injuries, including a broken femur, facial fractures, facial scarring, collapsed lung, and a profound brain injury that necessitated special services. Medical expenses exceeded $150,000.00. The driver of the church van was an elderly man with corrective lenses.
The challenges presented included the presumption under Oklahoma law the a child under the age of 14 is not capable of negligence. Although the presumption can be overcome, the proof required is challenging. Furthermore, the Plaintiff’s accident reconstructionist testified that the driver had ample time to react and stop and that the driver’s evasive measures essentially insured the incident would occur.
Stressing the theme that the case was about every driver’s worst nightmare, the defense was able to persuade the jury to set aside sympathy for the child and return a defense verdict.