A victory for the good guys… courtesy of the NC Court of Appeals.

In a unanimous decision, the Appeals Court agreed with our position that the North Carolina Industrial Commission was wrong when it dismissed our client’s case involving a school bus, and a young child who was killed while crossing a rural highway in the pre-dawn hours to trying to get to his ride.

Sometimes it takes a while, but occasionally the good guys have a good day in Raleigh.  Such a day occurred earlier this week when the North Carolina Court of Appeals handed downed a well-reasoned and well-written opinion establishing jurisdiction within the NC Industrial Commission for a case involving a horrible pedestrian accident killing a 7-year old boy while he was trying to cross a rural highway to get to his school bus.

A case in search of a home…and this is it!
(The NC Industrial Commission building)

The case is Burns v. Union County Board of Education and it involves the wrongful death case of young Jonathan Beegle, who, as the opinion describes it… was waiting on the east of Medlin Road in Union County about six to ten feet from the roadway… At approximately 6:50 a.m., the bus… was travelling southbound…  As (the child) began to cross the street, a vehicle driven by a third party…was traveling northbound towards the stopped school bus. Before (the child) could reach the bus, he was struck (and) died later that day as a result of the trauma suffered in the accident.”

Just an unspeakably sad and awful loss.  (With her permission, I have written in this blog before about the very brave mom who is taking this tragedy as an opportunity to help others cope with their losses.)

Almost two years ago, we filed a claim under the State Torts Claims Act in the North Carolina Industrial Commission, based on a long standing statute giving that body jurisdiction to decide almost all school bus crashes.   But we received immediate opposition from the Attorney General’s office that the NCIC lacked any authority to decide the case or render any award to the child’s estate.  Basically, because we were upfront in saying we thought the case was more about negligent route design than driver error, the AG took the position that it was beyond the NCIC’s purview.

The Industrial Commission agreed with the Attorney General, but we appealed that decision to the Court of Appeals.  In essence, and Judge Robert C. Hunter (along with Judges Calabria and Robert N. Hunter) decided, they were wrong and we were right!

Big kudos to co-counsel SAM MCGEE for crafting an erudite, concise and clever brief that obviously did the trick with the Court!

Like I said, let’s hear it for the good guys!

(You can read more in an upcoming LEGAL TRENDS, ODDS & ENDS newsletter.)

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About Mike Daisley - Civil Litigation Attorney, Mediator, Writer, Licensed Lay Preacher (Episcopal Church, Diocese of North Carolina)

Mike Daisley is a civil litigation attorney and Certified Mediator in Charlotte, North Carolina, and owner and president of "DaisleyLegal" a virtual law firm focused on helping victims of drunk driving injuries and other careless individuals and corporations. He devotes a significant time of his practice as a mediator in North Carolina's Superior Courts, using his 35 years of litigation experience to counsel and assist opposing parties to resolve their disputes and lawsuits cooperatively, avoiding the high expenses and time commitments involved in going to trial. In addition to his commitment to Civil Trial Advocacy and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mike is also an avid writer, and has a wide array of interests outside of his legal practice, including stints as a columnist for The Charlotte Observer, political analyst for WCNC-TV and WBT Radio. Mike’s biggest passion outside the law is learning and writing about theology, and especially the role doubt plays in faith, the role faith plays (or should play) in politics, and (as he puts it) the “beauty and deep mystery” of the liturgy. Mike is a lifelong Episcopalian, and often jokes that means "I am a raging agnostic at least two or three days a week.” In 2019, he was appointed by the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina as a licensed Lay Preacher in the Episcopal Church. (A sample of Mike’s preaching can be heard here: http://www.stmartins-charlotte.org/content.cfm?id=2245&download_id=269#attached_content) To discuss the possibility of teaching, lecture, sermon or interview requests (or to make any comments or suggestions about the “WithGladness” blog) you may contact Mike at any Office email : Mike@DaisleyLegal.com Personal email: MikeDaisley@outlook.com Office voicemail: (704) 554-2306 Mike Daisley & Associates, LLC 1515 Mockingbird Lane, Suite 400 Charlotte, North Carolina 28209
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