A D.C. Superior Court jury awarded $476,000 yesterday to a Washington woman and her two young sons who were injured when the car the woman was driving was struck by a Metrobus in a Northwest intersection two years ago.
The jury also awarded $65,000 to two teen-agers whose mother, one of five passengers in the car, was fatally injured in the collision, which occurred at 11:30 p.m. at 12th and O streets NW May 9, 1976.
Another $2,978 was awarded by the jury to cover medical and funeral expenses for the dead woman, according to De Long Harris, an attorney for the woman's family.
In addition, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Principal defendant in the lawsuits, has agreed to pay another $111,500 to five other persons who were injured in the accident and whose damage claims were settled out of court, according to attorneys in the cases. Three of those injured persons were passengers on the bus, the attorneys said.
The jury deliberated 3 1/2 hours before awarding the driver of the car, Brenda E. Jones, a government clerk, $61,000 for hospital bills incurred as a result of the accident.
Jones' son Nathaniel, now about 7 1/2, who according to testimony at the trial suffered permanent brain damages as a result of the accident, was awarded $365,000 by the jury, according to Jones' attorney, Samuel Intrater.
A second son, Walter, now about 9 years old, was awarded $50,000 Intrater said. The child has since recovered from brain injuries resulting from the accident Intrater said.
Two other passengers in the car, Mabel Bland, 48, who is Jones' mother, and Bland's son, Antonio Kimbrough, 18, settled damage claims against WMATA outside of court for $95,000 and $5,000 respectively, according to their attorney, Samuel Lowe.
Lowe said that Bland suffered a fractured hip during the accident and that her son received facial lacerations.
Three male passengers on the bus who incurred less serious injuries settled damage claims out of court for a total of $11,500, their attorneys said.
The jury, which heard the case in two parts, first determined that the bus driver, Alvin Quinto Porch, then 24, was responsible for the accident.
According to lawyers in the case, the jury determined that while Mrs. Jones may have been negligent for not seeing the bus when she moved her car into the intersection, the bus driver was the principle cause of the accident because he did not attempt to stop the bus when he saw the car ahead of him.
That decision is based on the legal doctrine known as "last clear chance" which means, in this case, the bus driver had the last opportunity to avoid the accident, attorneys said.
When the question of liability was resolved, the same jury then heard testimony at a second trial about the amount of damages owed to the Joneses and the family of the dead woman Sarah Walltower, who had lived at 907 R St. NW. Judge George Herbert Goodrich presided at both trials.
WMATA attorneys said yesterday that they have not yet decide whether to appeal the jury awards.