Court rules that injury victim has a right to jury trial with regard to bus driver's alleged gross negligence
Emma and Hydrian Elliott sued Donald Gaby and his employer, Mass Transportation Authority, after Gaby made a left turn directly in front of Emma and caused her serious injuries. Since Gaby worked for a governmental entity, his attorneys sought summary disposition, arguing that he was guilty only of negligence--not "gross negligence," the standard required to hold a governmental actor liable for causing an injury. The plaintiff argued that the proofs showed Gaby's actions to have met the standard applied to define "gross negligence" under Michigan law, because he completely failed to stop or check for traffic prior to turning at a busy intersection. The trial judge agreed, ruling that the plaintiffs had created a question of fact for the jury.
The defendants appealed the judge's refusal to grant summary disposition. The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court, ruling that the proofs created a question of fact for the jury.