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UI student struck by Cambus files lawsuit against driver, university, state

BY CASSIDY RILEY | APRIL 01, 2013 5:00 AM

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A University of Iowa nursing student has filed a lawsuit against the UI, the state of Iowa, and the Cambus operator who was involved in the accident at the intersection of Madison and Washington Streets at 10 a.m. on Sept. 22, 2011.

According to court documents, Rebecca Segriff was walking east inthe crosswalk when a Cambus heading south struck her.

UI student Peter Leahy was operating the bus when the incident occurred. The collision resulted in the Cambus windshield being cracked; Segriff was removed from the scene in an ambulance.

At the time of the accident, officials told The Daily Iowan that Segriff sustained significant injuries.

On March 26, 2012, Segriff filed a complaint with the State Appeal Board against the state and Leahy. The board failed to make a disposition within six months, and Segriff withdrew her claim on March 21, 2013, just prior to filing the lawsuit.

At the time of the incident, Cambus manager Brian McClatchey told The Daily Iowan that Cambus accidents are rare and occur less that once a year.

Leahy declined to comment on Sunday evening. UI spokesman Tom Moore also refused to comment on this specific case and said he was unsure if the UI has ever been sued for a Cambus accident in the past.

Segriff is claiming in the lawsuit that Leahy failed to keep a proper lookout, to keep the vehicle under proper control, and to yield the right of way to her. She is also claiming he was driving the Cambus at an excessive speed and that he failed to sound his horn or otherwise warn her of his presence.

Segriff is seeking compensation for, among other things, disfigurement, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and medical services. She is demanding a trial by jury.

David Baker, an adjunct lecturer in the UI College of Law, said it is hard to predict the future of this case.

“The issue is simply whether or not the Cambus driver was exercising reasonable care, and that is ultimately — should it get that far — a jury question,” he said.

Baker said most cases, in general, settle outside of a trial, but it’s impossible to speculate on the outcome of this specific case.

“Without even knowing what defenses [the defendants] might raise, it’s really hard to predict what will happen,” he said. “There is any number of factors that would lead to a settlement or not having a settlement.”


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