Government Fleet Top News

Boy Hit by City of Detroit-Owned Vehicle Gets $15 million

January 7, 2009

DETROIT - A Detroit child struck by a city-owned vehicle while crossing the street recently won a $15-million verdict in what might be the steepest jury verdict ever awarded against the city, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Dallas Tyus was 11 when he and some friends were crossing McNichols at Ardmore on the City's west side in an unmarked crosswalk during daylight hours on Easter Sunday 2005.

After stopping at the midpoint of the road to wait for a vehicle and then proceeding after the driver waved them along, another vehicle driven by a Detroit Police Department evidence technician struck Dallas, said Jeffrey Danzig, who with Geoffrey Fieger represented Dallas during a four-week trial at Wayne County Circuit Court.

Dallas suffered massive brain injuries, was hospitalized for three months, underwent 18 surgical procedures, and has the brain function of a 5-year-old, Danzig said.

His family is satisfied with the verdict, Danzig said, adding that the award will pay for the round-the-clock care Dallas needs, compensate him for the physical pain and suffering incurred and lost earning capacity.

"That's really what the money's for — to take care of Dallas," he said.

A message seeking comment left for Kathleen Leavey, the city's interim corporation counsel, was not returned.

Daniel Cherrin, spokesman for Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr., said he needed to speak with Leavey to learn more about the case before commenting.

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