Where the trial court found in a bench trial that plaintiff was 20% at fault for a motor vehicle accident and the bus driver was 80% at fault, that ruling was affirmed based on the testimony of the witnesses and findings of fact of the trial judge.
In Cook v. Jefferson County, Tennessee, No. E2022-01537-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 12, 2023), plaintiff was seriously injured and totaled his car when he crashed into a bus on a foggy morning. The accident occurred in a school zone, and the bus was stopped across two lanes of traffic, blocking both lanes, as it attempted to turn left out of the school exit.
Defendant presented testimony from an accident reconstructionist who opined that plaintiff had been traveling 15-20 miles over the 25 mile per hour school zone speed limit when he first began braking, and that plaintiff was the cause of the accident. On cross examination, however, the expert admitted that, due to the foggy conditions, plaintiff would not have been able to stop in time to avoid an accident even if he had not been speeding.