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Bluffton Bus Crash Start to Finish

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ohio State Bar Association




                                                                       NON-PROFIT ORG.




                                                                                                  Columbus, Ohio
                                                                                                  Permit No. 603
                                                                        U.S. POSTAGE

                                                                                    PAID
In the early morning hours of March 2, 2007, a bus
carrying players and coaches of Bluffton University’s
baseball team was traveling to a baseball game in


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bluffton Bus Crash:
Florida when the driver apparently mistook an exit
ramp off of Interstate 75 near Atlanta, Georgia for
the roadway and the bus flipped off an overpass onto


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Start to Finish
the roadway below. The result was that five Bluffton
players, the bus driver and his wife were killed in the
accident and numerous other players and coaches
were injured. This is the story of the litigation that
followed, from start to finish.


Course planners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           CLE
                                                                  Ohio State Bar
                                                                         a s s o c i at i o n
                                                                                         cle
                                                                                                Columbus, OH 43216-6562
Janine Avila; Connelly Jackson & Collier LLP; Toledo




                                                                                                                          Return Service Requested
Steven Collier; Connelly Jackson & Collier LLP; Toledo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          May 31



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                                                                  Bluffton Bus Crash:




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                                                                  Start to Finish


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                                                                                                                                                     May 31, 2012



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Bluffton Bus Crash: Start to Finish                                                                                                                        Registration                                                                     12-163
8:00   Registration                                                              •	Three	layers	of	coverage	totaling	$21	million	dollars                   OHIO ATTORNEY NUMBER                                                      ADMISSION DATE

8:30   Setting the Scene: Litigation Strategy                                    •	Difference	between	liability	and	insured
                                                                                                                                                           NAME
       This segment will focus on the initial efforts taken to preserve          •	Who	is	an	insured?
       the evidence, determine potential defendants, identify                    •	The	legal	argument                                                      FIRM
       insurance coverage, filing the initial complaint and organizing
       a plaintiffs’ group to focus on a strategy for litigation and             •	Where	and	when	to	file
                                                                                                                                                           ADDRESS
       claim resolution.                                                         •	Appellate	process:	a	cooperative	effort
       •	The	tragedy
                                                                                 •	The	brief                                                               CITY                                           STATE                       ZIP
       •	Multiple	claims—multiple	attorneys
                                                                                 •	Oral	argument:	Supreme	Court	of	Ohio
       •	Preservation	of	evidence                                                                                                                          PHONE                                                              FAX

       •	Jurisdictional	issues	on	liability	and	coverage	cases                   •	Motion	for	reconsideration
                                                                                                                                                           E-MAIL
       •	Determining	potential	defendants                                        Steven R. Smith; Connelly Jackson & Collier LLP; Toledo                                                                                        o NEW ADDRESS
       •	Identifying	insurance	coverage                                          Adam S. Nightingale; Connelly Jackson & Collier LLP; Toledo               Select location
       •	Strength	in	numbers
       •	Organizing	plaintiffs’	group                                     11:00 Resolution Without Revolution                                              May 31            o Akron           o Cleveland              o Columbus
       •	Division	of	tasks	liability	overage                                     After an additional $21 million dollars in insurance coverage became                        o Dayton          o Perrysburg
       •	Filing	complaint                                                        available, the job of resolving multiple claims still existed. This
                                                                                 segment will describe how agreement as to all injured parties through
       •	Tolling	agreement                                                       varying distributions was reached.
       Steven P. Collier; Connelly, Jackson & Collier LLP; Toledo
                                                                                                                                                           Select tuition
                                                                                 •	The	approach
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Member           Nonmember
       Jennifer Smith; Connelly, Jackson & Collier LLP; Toledo                   •	Mediation	preparation
                                                                                                                                                                      Pre-registration:          o $185           o $231
                                                                                 •	Paralegal	involvement:	coordinating,	corralling	and	constant		 	
9:15   Setting the Scene: Litigation Strategy                                      collector                                                                      Walk-in registration:          o $210           o $256
                                                                                 •	Total	payout	and	distribution                                                       Gov’t attorneys:          o $157           o $231
       Within the first two years, a partial resolution of the case was
       reached with the direct insurers for the bus company as well              Steven P. Collier
                                                                                                                                                                  o Group Discount
       as the Georgia Department of Transportation. The focus will               Jennifer Smith
       be on how this was accomplished, while preserving the ability
       to proceed with other aspects of the litigation.
       •	GDOT $3 million dollars: statutory limit
                                                                          11:30 Questions and Discussion                                                   Not attending?
                                                                          11:45 Program Concludes
       •	Bus	company	$5	million	dollars	coverage                                                                                                           Order the DVD/Book or Course Book
       •	Individual	driver	policy:	coverage	case
                                                                                                                                                           o $100 DVD/Book                 o $55 Book
       •	Damages	exceed	initial	coverage
       •	Partial	settlement	and	crafting	of	release                       Webcast                                                                          (Payment includes 6.75 percent sales tax and $5 shipping.)

       •	Division	and	distribution	of	$8	million	dollars	without			       Registration online ONLY
         mediator                                                         www.ohiobar.org/webcasts to register (for self-study CLE credit)
                                                                                                                                                           Payment options
       Janine T. Avila; Connelly, Jackson & Collier, LLP; Toledo
                                                                                                  Member        Nonmember                                  Total Amount:        $_________________
10:00 Break                                                                                       $215           $261
                                                                                                                                                           o Check         or      o Credit Card
                                                                                                                                                           Payable to: Ohio State Bar Association
10:15 Second Wave: Bluffton University Insurance Policies                 Cancellation policy                                                              o Mastercard             o VISA         o Amer. Exp.
       The first wave of settlement did not provide sufficient funds
                                                                          Cancellations received by 5 p.m. the business day prior to the program will      Account No._____________________________ Expiration Date _________
       to fully compensate the wrongful death and personal injury
                                                                          be refunded less a $25 office fee. Those not attending will receive the course
       claims arising out of the crash. This segment describes the                                                                                         Signature ___________________________________________________
                                                                          materials in full consideration of tuition paid.
       story of the insurance coverage litigation that ultimately was
       resolved by a decision of the Supreme Court of Ohio.

				
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