Seven people were treated for minor injuries this morning after a school bus collided with a van on Hylan Boulevard in Dongan Hills. It is believed that the accident occurred at 7:30 am. It happened between Bath and Reid, said officials from the Fire Department.

Staten Island University Hospital in Ocean Breeze treated an adult and six children for “green tag” minor injuries.

Brooklyn-based Academy Transportation is the company operating the buses that were involved in the crash. This a different company than Academy Bus LLC, a charter bus service.

school bus accident

On the same day, a jury awarded $14 million in a ruling for a damages case relating to a school bus accident. A Bucks County resident was injured during a school bus related accident. A law was upheld by the Commonwealth Court that boasts a total of $500,000 for damages lawsuits against town and school areas.

A 23-year-old woman Ashley Zauflik had one of her legs amputated after the bus collided with her in 2007 in the Pennsbury School District. The court ruled in her favor during the case and awarded her the $14 million as compensation for the injuries she suffered.

Judge Robert J. Mellon of Bucks County Court brought the award down to $500,000 in May 2012 due to the cap on the charge for school areas and towns.

Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer claimed that the law has been held up in court a number of times before. During the ruling on Wednesday, she said that although the “tragic circumstances of this case weigh heavily on this court,” the court did not have the authority to change the law.

“It is the role of the General Assembly, not this court, to make the difficult policy decisions and enact them into law if such decisions receive the support of the necessary majority,” she told the press.

Another judge, Rochelle S. Friedman, wrote a disapproving view, claiming that she deemed the cap on the charge as unconstitutional.

An appeal is being made by the attorney for Zauflik, Thomas Kline. He declared the cap a “manifest injustice.”

“I am hopeful that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will grant a review to look carefully again at the unfair limitation on damages,” he said.

Previously, the cap had been upheld by the high court in 1981 and again in 1986.


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