$2,250,000 Settlement After Bus Hits and Kills Pedestrian Crossing the Street

In a wrongful death case, a 68-year-old retired school teacher was crossing the street within the crosswalk in Bronx, New York when she was struck by a bus that failed to yield right of way. She was rushed to the hospital where she tragically died from multiple blunt impact injuries.

Court and County
Supreme, Bronx

Plaintiff Description
Decedent was 68 years old at time of death and not employed. Her daughter, the Plaintiff, is 41 years old.

Description of Case

On February 14, 2019, the decedent was a pedestrian crossing the street at the intersection of Havemeyer Avenue and Story Avenue in Unionport, Bronx. At the time of the accident, the decedent was walking within the pedestrian crosswalk on her way home. There was a stop sign governing traffic at the intersection. While decedent was crossing the street, Defendant bus operator in the course of his employment with Defendant Company, entered the crosswalk while the decedent was still crossing the street and struck her. The bus driver left the scene of the accident, claiming that he did not know that the accident occurred. He was later identified by police and arrested for leaving the scene of the accident. The accident was captured on the home surveillance video of a nearby resident.

The NYPD responded and investigated the accident, finding that the Defendants' vehicle was traveling southbound on Havemeyer Avenue and stopped at the stop sign of the intersection of Story Avenue; that at this time the pedestrian was crossing Havemeyer Avenue from west to east on a marked crosswalk located on the north side of the intersection; that the vehicle then proceeded and collided with the pedestrian knocking her down to the pavement. The NYPD officer attributed the accident to the Defendant bus operator's Failure to Yield Right of Way and Driver Inattention/Distraction.

Injuries/Damages

The autopsy report revealed that decedent suffered a subdural hemorrhage; a subarachnoid hemorrhage; skull fractures; bilateral fractures to several ribs; comminuted fracture of the first thoracic vertebrae; comminuted pelvic fractures; comminuted left femur fracture; and bilateral comminuted fractures of the fibulae, tibiae and patellae. These injuries were consistent with her being struck, pulled under the bus and dragged for a distance. A witness at the scene gave a statement that decedent was conscious and coughing up blood at the accident scene before paramedics arrived.

When paramedics arrived at the scene six minutes after the accident they found her unconscious and her pupils dilated. She was taken by ambulance to Jacobi Medical Center where they attempted to resuscitate her but she never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead. Cause of death was ruled to be multiple blunt impact injuries.

Plaintiff's expert pathologist would have testified that the decedent experienced pre-impact terror and several minutes of conscious pain and suffering after the impact. Plaintiff made claims for pre-impact terror and conscious pain and suffering on behalf of the Estate of the Decedent. The decedent's surviving adult child made claims for loss of parental guidance and support.

There was no claim for economic damages since the decedent was a retired school teacher and not earning any income at the time of her death.


Settlement Amount

This matter settled for $2,250,000 less than 7 months after the accident and before depositions were held.


Attorneys

This case was handled by Partner Daniel P. O'Toole and Senior Counsel Frederick C. Aranki.