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Plaintiff Held Mostly Liable After Tort Action Against BOP Backfires

Kentucky resident Carolyn Eichler and others brought a federal tort action in 1997 against the United States after a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) bus collided with their vehicle. Various plaintiffs alleged damages and the court determined that Eichler, the driver of the plaintiff's car, was responsible for 65 percent of the damages incurred.

Eichler was driving along a highway in Louisville in 1995 when a BOP bus driven by BOP employee Ronnie Mauldin switched lanes, colliding with her vehicle. Eichler allegedly incurred medical expenses totaling $64,821.98. She brought the action under the Federal Tort Claims Act for $1 million and the other plaintiffs, their spouses (claiming loss of consortium), and the BOP's insurance carrier alleged losses and damages totaling over $500,000.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, after reviewing witness statements and applicable state law, held that Eichler was responsible for 65 percent of the damages and that Mauldin was responsible for the rest. A damages hearing was scheduled. See: Eichler v. United States, USDC, W.D. Ky., Case No. 3:97 cv 745 S (Dec. 12, 2000).

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Eichler v. United States

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