Michigan School Bus Death Leads to $5.96M Award

Michigan School Bus Death Leads to $5.96M Award

A Michigan man whose wife was struck and killed by a school bus carrying 38 students has been awarded a settlement of $5.96 million.  The settlement comes from insurance companies of the Bay City Public School District.

The bus struck the woman, Michele Gunther, 37, on September 10, 2003 as she walked across a street.  Investigators turned up information that said the bus driver should have seen Gunther and should have responded by stopping or avoiding her.
The settlement award also includes a trust fund for the Gunther’s three daughters.
The award almost reached the Michigan State cap on liability of $6 million.  The School District Attorney, William Schulz, commented that he thought the family could have got more money in a trial lawsuit.  Schulz stated that in order to save taxpayer money and to avoid an extensive emotional ordeal for the Gunthers, they agreed to settle.

The bus driver, Sue Ann Janasik, pleaded no contest to a charge of attempted negligent homicide.  The crime is a civil infraction that carries a maximum $100 fine and court costs.  Janasik is under a one-year probation after which time she may reduce her plea to responsible to a charge of careless driving.


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