City of Shreveport, CPSB deny liability in student's wreck - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

City of Shreveport, CPSB deny liability in student's near-fatal wreck

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On the road to recovery, Stuti had to re-learn how to walk and talk. On the road to recovery, Stuti had to re-learn how to walk and talk.
Stuti's SUV hit a utility pole on January 15, 2012 after sliding on an icy patch on the 3132 Inner Loop near Line Avenue. Stuti's SUV hit a utility pole on January 15, 2012 after sliding on an icy patch on the 3132 Inner Loop near Line Avenue.
Before the wreck: Stuti was a healthy, active high school senior at Byrd. Before the wreck: Stuti was a healthy, active high school senior at Byrd.
Stuti has recovered enough to attend her senior prom, and a year after the wreck, she's completed her first semester at Centenary College. Stuti has recovered enough to attend her senior prom, and a year after the wreck, she's completed her first semester at Centenary College.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

The defendants in a lawsuit filed by the family of a Byrd High School senior critically injured in a crash while driving to school in icy roads say they're not at fault.  

Stuti Jawahar has made a dramatic - and some say miraculous - recovery from the injuries she suffered that morning on the morning of January 15, 2012.

Stuti's SUV hit a utility pole after sliding on an icy patch on the 3132 Inner Loop near Line Avenue.

The accident left her in a coma with a serious brain injury, and she nearly died. Doctors feared she would be restricted to a wheelchair and possibly never talk again. Since then, she has learned to walk and talk again. She recently completed her first semester at Centenary College, finishing with a 3.5 GPA.

In the 21-page lawsuit filed in late December against the Caddo Parish School Board, the City of Shreveport and the Louisiana Department of Transportation in late December, Jawahar's family claims the school district should have canceled classes due to the icy weather. They also allege the city and DOTD should have cleared the road of ice or closed it.

The suit asks for the defendants to pay medical and legal expenses, lost wages and earning capacity and other damages.

Not long after the suit was filed, Stuti's father, Ajay Jawahar told KSLA News 12, "You know, a lot of times, somebody says, 'An accident is an accident, it was not preventable.' Accidents will happen, but whatever we can do to prevent an unfortunate event like this from happening should be done without consideration of how finances will be prioritized."

The family and their attorneys have since declined to directly comment on the suit.

The City of Shreveport filed their response to the suit in Caddo District Court this week denying all liability, saying in court documents that "The accident was caused by the plaintiff's own fault including, but not limited to, the following: Stuti Jawahar's negligence for failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to see what should have been seen, traveling at an unsafe speed and other acts which may be shown at trial. It is further alleged, Ajay Jawahar was at fault for allowing an inexperienced driver to operate a vehicle, failure to require Stuti Jawahar to use the public transportation available and in other ways which will be shown at trial."

Reggie Abrams, attorney for Caddo Parish schools, says the district is protected by state law, which says that a school cannot be held liable for a discretionary decision such as canceling school - or choosing not to.

The DOTD has declined comment.

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