$23.05 Million Jury Verdict in School Bus Crash for Injured Minor

Gabriel Goncalves, a 12-year-old boy who was on the autism spectrum, was riding a school bus driven by Mark Hudovenko. During the bus ride, Hudovenko swerved at 45 mph, which was 15 miles over the speed limit. This caused the bus to leave the road and collide with a tree.

Gabriel suffered serious injuries in the crash, including brain hemorrhages, a skull fracture and various lacerations.

Gabriel has been diagnosed as having a traumatic brain injury, which has led to negative behavioral changes, sensory hypersensitivity and memory loss.

He had been attending a public school but was unable to continue. He is now enrolled in a behavioral program, which will potentially limit his residential options in the future. Gabriel’s medical expenses were approximately $129,000.

Gabriel’s mother, individually and on his behalf, sued Hudovenko and his employer, Worhunsky Corp., alleging that Hudovenko chose not to maintain the 30-mph speed limit and control the school bus.

The lawsuit also named Utica Mutual Insurance, Hudovenko’s liability carrier and the uninsured motor carrier for the school bus passengers.

Hudovenko argued that the driver of another vehicle on the road had crossed the centerline and that he had swerved the bus in order to avoid a crash with the other vehicle.

The jury signed a verdict for $23.05 million apportioning liability at 74% to Hudovenko and 26% to the driver of the vehicle that was alleged to have crossed the centerline.

The attorneys successfully handling this case for the Goncalves family were Michael D’Amico and Jeremy D’Amico.

Goncalves v. Utica Mutual Insurance Co., Undisclosed Docket.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling head-on vehicle crash lawsuits, school bus accident cases, traumatic brain injury cases and truck accident lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Lombard, Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, Berwyn, South Holland, Cicero, Joliet, Elk Grove Village, Chicago (Edgewater, Uptown, Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Lincoln Park, River North, Hyde Park, South Shore, Bronzeville, Englewood, Gage Park, Little Village, Near West Side), Oak Park, Villa Park, Bridgeview, Hickory Hills, Oak Lawn and Alsip, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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