Wrongful death lawsuit filed by family of girl killed at bus stop

Maryana Kranz was killed on Monday, February 10, when a pickup truck came up on the right hand...
Maryana Kranz was killed on Monday, February 10, when a pickup truck came up on the right hand side of the school bus she was waiting to board in Waushara County, sheriff's officials say (photo provided)(WBAY)
Published: May. 4, 2020 at 12:51 PM CDT
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A wrongful death suit has been filed against a Plainfield man and an insurance company in the death of a six-year-old girl as she waited to board her school bus.

The defendants, meanwhile, are asking for the suit to be dismissed by the court.

A lawsuit was filed March 20 in Waushara County Circuit Court related to the February collision that killed Maryana Kranz, a student in the Tri-County School District.

On Feb. 10, Maryana and her sister were hit by a pickup truck driven by Carl Mullenix. It happened as Maryana was about to board a school bus along State Road 73 in the town of Oasis.

Plaintiffs are listed as mother Shannon Kranz and Maryana's sister, who is a minor. Wisconsin Department of Health Services is listed as an involuntary plaintiff.

The defendants are listed as State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and Carl Mullenix.

The wrongful death suit claims that Mullenix was negligent in causing the death of Maryana Kranz.

The suit states that Shannon Kranz arrived at the scene within minutes and "personally witnessed the severe injuries and ultimate death inflicted to her daughter due to the negligence of Carl Mullenix."

It states Shannon has "sustained severe emotional distress."

Kranz is also looking for damages related to medical and burial expenses.

The suit says Maryana's sister, 4, was also hit by Mullenix's vehicle and suffered injuries. She was treated at a hospital and released.

Waushara County Sheriff Wally Zuehlke said after the crash that it appeared Mullenix was driving on the shoulder of the road when his Chevy Silverado hit the girls.

The sheriff said the school bus had stopped to pick up Maryana and the required lights were flashing.

The suit does not describe the alleged negligence.

On April 28, State Farm and Carl Mullenix's attorneys filed their response to the lawsuit. They have asked the suit to be dismissed with prejudice. They are also looking for relief for costs and attorneys fees.

The response states that based on the information the defendants have at this time, they "lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the matters asserted" by the plaintiffs.

In Wisconsin, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff in civil cases.

The defendants ask for the right to amend their response should they get information that would allow affirmative defenses, or justifications for the allegations.

Should the case not get dismissed, the defendants ask for a jury trial.

No criminal charges have been filed against Mullenix in the case.

A court hearing in the civil case is scheduled for May 13.