Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

California Pays $1.25 Million for Woman Crushed by State Prison Bus

A Ventura County, California jury
awarded $1.25 million on August 6, 2002 for the wrongful death of an 88 year-old woman who was run over by a full sized state prison bus as it was turning right out of the Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility in Whittier, California.

Ms. Absemis was a 12-year volunteer worker at the Nelles Youth Correctional Facility. As she was leaving work in the afternoon, she was fatally struck by a departing state prison bus. At trial, plaintiff alleged Absemis was in the crosswalk and the cause of the accident was the prison bus driver's negligent failure to look in his right-side mirror before turning. Defendants countered that it was Ms. Absemis, not the driver, who was inattentive, alleging she stepped into the street against the "Don't Walk" signal and that the bus had already commenced its turn before she entered the street. Defendants further contended that the 88 year-old victim "jogged into the rear wheels of the turning bus."

Plaintiff was represented by Los Angeles attorney Matthew McNicholas. The jury found the State of California vicariously liable for the actions of its prison bus driver, and assessed defendants 100% liability for Absemis' death. Absemis is survived by eight adult children, two of whom live in the Philippines. See: Absemis v. State of California, Ventura County Superior Court No. VC 033190. g

Source: National Jury Verdict Review and Analysis

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Absemis v. State of California