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Jury awards $14 million to victim of Pennsbury bus crash

Verdict expected to be changed to $500,000 to comply with state liability cap for schools and municipalities.

A Bucks County jury awarded $14 million Monday to Ashley Zauflik, the former Pennsbury High School student who was run over by a bus in 2007, resulting in the loss of her left leg.

The jury of eight women and four men voted unanimously to award the Fairless Hills woman $2.9 million for past and future medical costs and $11.1 million for pain, suffering and disfigurement.

Minutes after the verdict, Zauflik stood on her right leg and hugged relatives, friends and her lead lawyer, Thomas Kline, while she smiled through her tears.

But there's no guarantee the 21-year-old woman will collect $14 million, because of a $500,000 state cap limiting the general liability for school districts and municipalities.  The verdict will probably be appealed by the school district in the next few days, Kline said, and Judge Robert J. Mellon will institute the cap amount.

"We're on the road to the Superior Court and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania," Kline said after the four-day civil trial. "There's no more worthy a case than a youngster, an innocent victim in a schoolyard accident, decided by a conservative jury. They considered the verdict down to the pennies."

Pennsbury's lawyer, David Cohen, has declined to discuss the case throughout the trial.