Riso v. Brunswick County Board of Education (Lawyers Weekly No. 030-001-16, 21 pp.) (Philip Baddour, Deputy Commissioner) I.C. No. TA-21944
Holding: Under the applicable version of G.S. § 8-58.1, since plaintiffs introduced the minor plaintiff’s medical bills at trial and defendant failed to rebut the reasonableness of the medical charges, the reasonableness of the amount of the medical bills has been conclusively established.
Defendants shall pay damages in the amount of $82,833.73 to the minor plaintiff’s parents for the medical expenses they incurred from the child’s treatment. Defendant shall pay damages for the minor plaintiff’s personal injuries in the amount of $175,000. Because plaintiff Griffin Riso is a minor, such payment shall be made to the Brunswick County Clerk of Court to be held in trust for Griffin, subject to an attorney’s fee.
This action arose before the General Assembly enacted N.C. R. Evid. 414 and amended G.S. § 8-58.1. This case is governed by § 8-58.1 as it existed before the recent amendments.
Under the collateral source rule, defendant is not entitled to reduce its liability to plaintiffs because some of Griffin’s medical bills were paid and/or contractually adjusted by plaintiffs’ health insurance company.
Defendant’s bus driver acted negligently when, after letting children off the bus, she retracted the bus’s walking arm, accelerated the bus forward and hit Griffin as he was attempting to cross the street in front of the bus.
There is no evidence that Griffin’s mother, who was standing on the side of the street waiting for him, was negligent and the proximate cause of injury to Griffin. There is also no evidence that any alleged negligence by Griffin’s motion was reasonably unforeseeable to the bus driver. Defendant failed to prove its affirmative defense of intervening and supervening negligence.
Plaintiffs showed that the accident caused orthopedic and psychological injuries to Griffin. However, plaintiffs failed to prove that the accident resulted in traumatic brain injury or incontinence.
Judgment for plaintiffs.