Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in an interesting personal injury case involving a student who ran over the feet of another student while engaging in what the court characterized as horseplay. The opinion is an interesting one and raises several issues that are relevant to Virginia car accident plaintiffs, including under which circumstances punitive damages may be available.
The plaintiff was a teenage girl who was the manager of the school’s baseball team. The defendant, a senior at the school, was a player on the team. One day, before the team boarded a bus to go to an away game, the defendant went to move his car so that he would be closer to the bus stop once the team returned.
Once the defendant reached his car and was on his way to re-park it, he saw the plaintiff walking in the parking lot. He approached the plaintiff from behind, and the plaintiff stepped aside to avoid being hit. However, the defendant’s 1.5-ton truck ran over both of the plaintiff’s feet. Another student lifted the plaintiff into the defendant’s truck to get medical attention. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant told her he was “sorry” and that he “only intended to bump her.” The defendant denied making this statement.