Yesterday a Richmond, Virginia jury awarded $8 million in damages to a research librarian who worked at the Library of Virginia. Meikiu Lo, 34, won the full amount sought by her lawyers after she was hit by a GRTC Transit System bus and severely injured two years ago.
Lo suffered serious spinal and shoulder damage and multiple hip and pelvis fractures in the bus accident. The injuries have resulted in chronic pain. She was walking across the street when the GRTC bus, which was making a right turn, struck her.
Lo’s attorney, Jason W. Konvicka of the Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen law firm in Richmond, said, “She is a wonderful person who is a native of Hong Kong and will endure the consequences of the collision for the rest of her life.”
Konvicka reported that the seven-person jury deliberated for one hour before they determined the award. The damages were the only issue in the two-day trial.
Attorneys for GRTC had offered to settle the case for $1.8 million, but the settlement offer was rejected.
The bus driver was fired after the accident. John Lewis, CEO of GRTC, did not comment on the award. Attempts to reach attorneys for the bus company have been unsuccessful.
Konvicka told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the decision will not affect the GRTC bus company’s balance sheet or bus fares because the award will be covered by insurance. However, the award is problematic for GRTC. The bus company is not only in the process of terminating some current routes but also still dealing with the aftermath of another recent high-profile pedestrian collision. A GRTC bus killed Loucendia Reed Lambert, 55, on September 30 as she crossed a street. Lambert worked at the Virginia Department of Health. In the most recent accident, the bus driver, Teresa Jones, 46, of Richmond, will face charges of reckless driving in the Richmond General District Court next week. No civil actions have been filed in this case at this time.
In the Lo case, jurors heard medical testimony that Lo suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after her injury – and that Lambert’s recent death had caused a renewal of anxiety and emotional distress.
Lo did not attend her trial, according to Konvicka, because she is having a difficult time dealing with what happened to her. Lo was introduced to the jury at the beginning of the trial and returned after the trial to hear the verdict.
“When we left the courthouse, I walked her up the street,” Konvicka said. “She wanted to get right back to work.”
Lo could not be reached for comment. Konvicka said that Lo is extremely shy and has studied at the University of North Caroline as well as the State University of New York. She is originally from China, and her family is still in China.
Atlanta was recently ranked as one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, contact an Atlanta bus accident attorney as soon as possible. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation.