After a party, Vivence Bugilimfura drove seven of his friends home in his employer’s van. He had been drinking. He crashed the van into a concrete highway divider. All but one of the passengers who were in their early 20s were ejected from the van. Two of the passengers suffered fatal injuries, and the others’ injuries ranged from a bruised lung to multiple fractures. The medical expenses of those who survived ranged from approximately $26,300 to $496,100.
The lawsuit on behalf of the injured and deceased passengers alleged that Bugilimfura and his employer, All Citizens Transportation, were liable for the crash. The plaintiffs argued that All Citizens negligently entrusted the van to Bugilimfura, who had only recently received his driver’s license. The plaintiffs also maintained that Bugilimfura was driving while intoxicated. The lawsuit did not claim lost income.
The jury signed a verdict for the plaintiffs who were either injured or killed in the amount of approximately $15.4 million finding the defendants joint and severally liable. Essentially, the verdict means that All Citizens Transportation could pay the entire amount of the jury’s verdict.