$2,056,656 Awarded by Jury To A Brooklyn High School Teacher Who Was Struck by a City Bus

Court
Kings County

Date of Verdict
March 8, 2012

Facts and Allegations
Plaintiff, a 47 year old public high school English teacher from Brooklyn, was a pedestrian, who was struck by a New York City Transit Authority bus while she was crossing Boerum Place at its intersection with Livingston Street in Brooklyn. The bus continued driving after the impact, and no bus driver ever acknowledged being involved in the accident. The defense contended that the accident never occurred, and that if it did occur, it was solely the result of Plaintiff's negligence. Following a liability trial, the jury found the Defendant to be negligent and 100% responsible for the accident.

Injuries/Damages
Plaintiff was pushed forward, but did not fall to the ground as a result of the impact from the bus. She reported the accident to the police the night of the accident, but not seek medical attention until the following day. She eventually began experiencing neck and low back pain, with pain and tingling into her left arm and hand. Plaintiff ultimately underwent a neck surgery consisting of an anterior cervical discectomy with fusion at C5/6.

Defendant contested the damages claims, pointing to the fact that Plaintiff did not fall to the ground from the impact, and only began making neck complaints 3 days after the accident. Defendant also highlighted certain negative MRI findings, arguing that Plaintiff's alleged cervical spine condition could not have been the result of the accident. Finally, Defendants argued Plaintiff's injury, if any, was a mild cervical sprain that had resolved prior to her surgery. In this respect, Defendants pointed out that Plaintiff missed only one week of work after the accident and immediately returned to her 6 day per week gym routine, which including weight lifting and cardio.

Plaintiff acknowledged being able to carry out her work and normal daily activities, but that she was forced to do so with ongoing neck and back pain. Plaintiff claimed damages for pain and suffering, as well as past and future medical expenses.

Following the damages trial, the jury awarded Plaintiff $2,056,656 in damages.

This matter was handled by David L. Scher and S. Joseph Donahue.