A jury in Montgomery County, Alabama, returned a $1.3 million verdict last month in a case involving a school bus crash. The victim, Michael Duey, says that he hopes his ordeal leaves an impact on other drivers as he continues a lengthy recovery from his injuries. He added that his life changed in a split second on Jan. 16, 2013, when he collided with a school bus. The crash was caused by the driver of another vehicle.
Duey sued the “distracted driver” and his employer. On the day of the accident, Duey was driving on Highway 231 in Montgomery County, hauling building materials to Illinois for work. The other driver, Gregory Moore, was driving a rented box truck ahead of him and was making calls for work and failed to stop for a bus that was unloading children with its lights flashing.
Onboard bus video showed the accident sequence. Moore swerved at the last second in an effort to avoid a collision but clipped the rear of the bus. Duey was behind Moore and unaware that there was a school bus stopped up ahead since he couldn’t see around the truck. With nowhere to go and no time to react when Moore suddenly swerved, Duey hit the back of the stopped school bus.
Cell phone records show that Moore, who was working for McKelvey Mechanical, an HVAC company in Tuscaloosa, was making calls to subcontractors for a government bid at Fort Rucker. Moore’s own expert testified that he had nine seconds and almost 1,000 feet of stopping distance. Moore contended that the calls from his phone were inadvertent “butt dials.”
Duey broke both of his knees in the crash, as well as his hip and his left arm in several places. He suffered permanent nerve damage in both legs. He spent 31 days in a coma, 47 in the hospital and is still having troubles. Duey, who is from Eufaula, was represented by Myron Penn and Shane Seaborn of Penn & Seaborn, LLC and Mark Andrews a Dothan laywer with Morris Cary Andrews Talmadge and Driggers, LLC. These lawyers did an outstanding job for their client.