More than four years after a Prince George's County teen died after getting hit on her walk to school, her family was awarded tens of millions of dollars in a wrongful death suit, but the legal battle could be far from over.
The morning of Sept. 1, 2009, a Lincoln Continental hit 13-year-old Ashley Davis as she crossed Brinkley Road to get to her school bus stop. Some of her classmates watched in horror.
The car then struck a minivan and a 17-year-old boy.
“She was on her way,” her mother, Nycole Davis, said. “She was doing the right thing. She was going to school. She was a good girl. She didn’t deserve this.”
Ashley, a Crossland High School freshman, suffered catastrophic injuries and died two weeks later. Her parents sued the Prince George’s County School Board.
“The school board was negligent,” said John Costello, the lawyer for the family. “They had adopted a policy to provide for safe transportation. The policy was they were going to pick up Ashley on her own side of the street. They never did. They forced her to cross the street. She got killed crossing the street.”
“If she didn’t have to cross the street … she’d be graduating this year,” her mother said. “She’d be going to prom this year.”
At the end of the civil trial, a Prince George’s County jury awarded Ashley’s family a verdict of $90 million in damages plus medical expenses and funeral costs.
“I didn’t ask anyone to give me any money or anything like that,” her mother said. “I just want someone held responsible for what happened to my daughter.”
Prince Georges County Public Schools emailed a statement to News4 saying, “No judgment has been entered in this case. It is still under litigation.”
Some cap a verdict or limit it in the neighborhood of $100,000 when there is a lawsuit against a municipality or school system, so this case could be far from over.