In February 2017, Duluth attorney Stephanie A. Ball won a $28.6 million jury verdict for Paige Anderson, a quadriplegic victim of a 2009 school bus and car crash.
It may be one of the largest personal injury verdicts in Minnesota, prompting colleague Joseph Mihalek to nominate Ball as an Attorney of the Year.
The result was particularly significant because a 2012 jury trial in a wrongful death case related to the same crash found zero fault on the part of the school bus driver, Mihalek wrote.
For Ball, of Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick, P.A., Duluth, the case was primarily about the Ely school district and the bus driver not accepting any responsibility for the 2009 accident, forcing the 2017 trial, she said. And it was about Anderson’s voice being heard, she added.
“Paige needed for her voice to be heard and her loss to be recognized, and that wasn’t going to happen without a trial because one party wasn’t taking responsibility,” said Ball.
The jury in the 2017 trial did find the bus driver 10 percent at fault. The insurance company of a youthful driver of the car in which Anderson was a passenger had accepted responsibility for the accident.
“With this particular verdict, [Paige’s] voice was heard and her loss was recognized,” said Ball.