Court of Claims Approves $500,000 Settlement for Ohio State Student Hit By Dump Truck
The Ohio State University has agreed to pay $500,000 and provide free undergraduate tuition to a former student who lost a leg after being run over by a university contractor’s dump truck in September 2012.
The Ohio Court of Claims on December 12 approved the settlement between Ohio State and James Daniel Hughes and his family. Hughes was an 18-year-old freshman at the time of the accident and filed lawsuits against the university, the construction companies working on a campus project, and the driver of the dump truck that hit him as he rode his bike to class.
In exchange for the money and the tuition, Hughes and his family agreed to drop all pending claims and not file any future claims involving the accident. Ohio State does not admit any wrongdoing and no part of the settlement agreement can be used against OSU in any other legal proceeding.
The accident occurred as Gilbane Construction Co. and nine other contractors began work on the new $126 million Chemical Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry building on Woodruff Avenue. According to the lawsuit, OSU had told contractors the site was in “one of the most pedestrian orientated and densest areas” of campus. A vehicle construction gate was left open and construction vehicles were allowed to go in and out without any security personnel or sufficient barriers or signage to protect pedestrians using the sidewalk.
Hughes was crossing the sidewalk near the construction site when dump truck driver Isaac Hinton hit him, crushing his pelvis and leading the amputation of his left leg. He suffered spinal injuries leading to nerve damage. In the lawsuit, Hughes argued he “sustained and will sustain past and future medical expenses, great pain and suffering, permanent injuries, temporary and permanent disability, humiliation, embarrassment, loss of enjoyment of life and future lost wages.”
In addition to suing OSU in the Court of Claims, Hughes and his family filed a lawsuit against Hinton and the contractors. That suit was settled in Franklin County Common Pleas in September 2014.
The Court of Claims is given original jurisdiction to hear and determine all civil actions filed against the State of Ohio and its agencies.
To access information on other cases visit the Court of Claims website.
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