Thursday, July 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Pennsbury appeals $14 million verdict

Lawyers for former student who lost leg in 2007 bus crash seek sanctions against district.

Pennsbury appeals $14 million verdict

Ashley Zauflik
Ashley Zauflik

The Pennsbury School District has appealed last week's $14 million verdict for the former student who lost her leg in a 2007 bus crash, while lawyers for the Fairless Hills woman have requested sanctions against the district.

The district, in papers filed Wednesday, said that $338,540 for Ashley Zauflik's medical bills should be reduced from the jury's award, because Pennsylvania Blue Cross/Blue Shield has covered those costs. The balance of the award should be reduced to $500,000, based on a state cap that limits liability for school districts, the appeal said.

Zauflik's lawyers on Thursday filed a motion asking Judge Robert Mellon to strike the cap defense as punishment for the district's failure to disclose a $10 million umbrella insurance policy. The district did not supply the information until four days after the verdict.

The young woman's lawyers also filed routine motions asking that $1.8 million in interest be added to the final award because of delays in the case, and that the state cap be ruled unconstitutional.
No hearings on the motions have been scheduled.

About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at cpalmer@phillynews.com, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at bfinley@phillynews.com, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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