The Washington Court of Appeals, Division 1, today affirmed the verdict in favor of two teenage bus passengers who had been attacked and beaten aboard a Metro bus by a group of youths in May of 2005. The December 6, 2007 jury verdict awarded in excess of $250,000 to plaintiffs Carmen Rollins, represented by Ken Friedman, and Will Hendershott, represented by Andy Schwarz. In its appeal, King County claimed that the victims were themselves to blame. The Court rejected this claim finding that no evidence supported this argument. To see a copy of the Court’s decision click here.
From a legal perspective, the Court of Appeals decision made important clarifications to the doctrine of joint and several liability in Washington. Indeed, the appeal drew amicus briefs from the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers, the Washington Transit Insurance Pool, Pierce Transit, as well as the Washington Association for Justice (f/k/a Washington State Trial Lawyers Association). Thankfully, the Court of Appeals reached the correct decision. The victim’s awards were affirmed and vexing legal uncertainties were finally put to rest.
The jury trial and resulting verdict were well covered by the SEATTLE TIMES in 2007. The story was featured on the front page during trial and after the verdict. It was also the subject of a lead editorial the week following the verdict. See the following links to the Seattle Times stories:
Story # 1: Beating on a bus: Driver didn’t see or didn’t act?
Story #2: Metro must pay victims of beating on bus
Editorial: Bad night on bus results in justice