A northern Minnesota woman who was paralyzed in a crash has been awarded $28.6 million by a jury.
Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick, P.A. – a law firm in Duluth – released a statement Thursday saying the Itasca County jury made the decision in favor of 23-year-old Paige Anderson following a seven-day trial last month.
“Awards this large are very rare in Greater Minnesota," said Anderson's attorney Stephanie Ball. "But this was a unique and heartbreaking case.”
According to WDIO, the driver of the car Anderson was in – another teen at the time – has been ordered to pay 90 percent of that. However, Ball told the station Anderson might not end up getting the full award because the driver simply might not ever have that much money.
The multimillion dollar award includes damages for past and future medical expenses; past and future pain, suffering, disability, disfigurement, emotional distress; as well as loss of earning capacity.
The crash happened 2009 when Anderson was 16 years old in Coleraine, Minnesota – that's in Itasca County.
The law firm says Anderson was a passenger in a car that was being driven by another teenager.
According to a 2009 article from the Duluth News Tribune, the 18-year-old driver pulled out in front of an Ely Public School District bus. The vehicles collided and the bus dragged the car about 100 feet. Another teenage passenger was killed in the crash, and Anderson has been quadriplegic ever since.
One person on the bus was slightly injured.
The Minnesota State Patrol reconstructed the crash and determined that both drivers involved were partially at fault – the bus driver had been speeding and the teen driver pulled out too soon.
The jury found the bus driver to be 10 percent at fault and the other driver to be 90 percent at fault.