More than a year after James Daniel Hughes was run over by a dump truck on Ohio State’s campus, an accident that left him without his right leg, the Hughes family is pursuing legal action against the university and other companies.
Hughes, who is from South Point, Ohio, was struck by a construction truck Sept. 5, 2012, while riding his bike to class near a construction site on Woodruff Avenue. The then-first-year student was taken to Wexner Medical Center following the accident and has had more than 13 surgeries in the months since that day.
According to Stephen Crandall, the Hughes’ lawyer, the former OSU student’s recovery has been a fight. Hughes attends physical therapy several days a week and is still waiting to undergo more operations.
The accident left Hughes without his right leg, right hip and most of his pelvis, totalling about one-third of his body.
Crandall also said Hughes’ has nerve damage in his left leg, is unable to walk or transport himself, and is on “massive doses of pain and nerve medication.”
While Hughes is focusing on recovery, Crandall said, he wants to someday continue with his education.
“He’s hopeful to attend school. He has a desire to and he wants to online,” Crandall said. “He will never be able to go into a classroom setting with his disabilities.”
In a Thursday email, Crandall said Hughes’ goal “appears a long way off despite his positive attitude and desire to do so.”
Two separate lawsuits relating to the accident are making their way through the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. Crandall said suits were filed in December, and more than 15 dispositions have been filed against the private entities, which include CT Corporations Systems, Gilbane Building Company, Gilbane Development Company, Gilbane Inc., Bert Hill, Pelli Clarke Pelli, Monesi Trucking & Equipment Repair Inc., Baker Concrete Constructions Inc. and Baker Concrete Structures LLC.
Of the six lawyers listed as attorneys for the defendants, one declined to comment on the situation, four did not return requests for comment and one was unable to be reached Thursday.
Crandall said they have not yet filed a formal demand for specific compensation from the university or other companies.
A trial date for this case is set for May 2014. After that case is seen in court, the suit against OSU will begin to be heard.
Gayle Saunders, assistant vice president for media and public relations, sent The Lantern a university statement on the pending lawsuit in a Sept. 9 email.
“Our thoughts continue to be with Daniel Hughes and his family. The Ohio State University Police Division conducted a thorough investigation to ascertain the facts of this case and has shared the investigative report. The safety of our students remains our highest priority. Due to litigation, we are not at liberty to provide any additional comment,” the statement said.
University Police did a four-month-long investigation on the incident which concluded no criminal charges would be filed. The report is hundreds of pages long.