$9,950,000 Settlement for Pedestrian Hit by Vehicle in Parking Lot

$9,950,000 For A Buffalo Social Worker Hit By A Van, Suffering An Above-The-Knee Amputation Of Her Left Leg


Supreme Court, Erie County


The Plaintiff was a 28-year-old woman who lived in Buffalo, New York, where she was employed as a social worker. She was standing in her office's parking lot, loading groceries into her car to bring to clients -- poor families in need. She was suddenly struck from behind by a commercial van, which had careened into the lot after colliding with another vehicle on the adjacent street. Both vehicle operators and owners were sued.


Plaintiff suffered a traumatic above-the-knee amputation of her left leg, after two emergency surgical attempts to salvage her leg failed. One such surgery, a vein harvesting procedure, left a large and permanent scar on her right leg. About two months later, she underwent a debridement procedure to her stump. Plaintiff completed a course of rehabilitation and was fitted with a prosthetic leg. Plaintiff made great strides prior to the settlement; she was able to continue living on her own, drive and she resumed many travel and leisure activities. However, she continued to suffer with pain and discomfort, including phantom limb pain at nighttime, and required daily use of several pain medications. At the time of settlement, Plaintiff was preparing to resume her career. Plaintiff made claims for substantial future medical costs, pain and suffering and a reduction of her otherwise expected future earnings due to the anticipated functional challenges of amputees as they age.


Following a private mediation, and approximately two months prior to the scheduled trial date, the case settled for $9,950,000. Notably, this is the largest known result of its kind in New York State history.


This case was handled by firm Partners Stephen J. Murphy and David L. Scher.