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Idaho Supreme Court Affirms $3.5 Million Award in Drivers-Ed Suit

In its ruling handed down Monday morning, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled that the school district "was found to have acted recklessly," and "the limitation on non-economic damages in Idaho Code did not apply."

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The Idaho Supreme Court ruled March 30 that a $3.5 million judgment was appropriate when a Wood River Valley Family successfully sued the Blaine County School District for damages after their 15-year-old son, Austin Hennefer, was killed in a driver's ed crash in October 2010.

In May 2013, a Blaine County jury said the school district was "100 percent at fault" for the incident in which a student was practicing a three-point turn in a Carey School driver's-education car on an icy U.S. Highway 20. The driver's-ed car was struck by another car, killing Hennefer.

The school district appealed the verdict, and even asked for a new trial. But a district court denied both motions.

In its ruling handed down Monday morning, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled that the school district "was found to have acted recklessly," and "the limitation on non-economic damages in Idaho Code did not apply."

Idaho's high court said that the "jury was properly instructed on what constituted reckless misconduct and that the evidence supported the verdict." You can read the full ruling on the appeal here.

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