$1,600,000 Settlement for Brooklyn Bus Passenger Injured in Rear-End Collision
Our client was riding a NYCTA bus on her way to work when the bus she was riding rear-ended another NYCTA bus. The violent impact caused our client, who was seated in a side-facing seat, facing the middle of the bus, to rock back and forth and strike her right shoulder on a partition. Plaintiff injured her neck and back in this collision. She underwent years of therapy, multiple epidural injections, and two spine surgeries: a one-level cervical spine fusion (at C5/C6) and a two-level lumbar fusion (at L3-L5). Represented by BOM Partners David Scher and Stephen Murphy, she received a $1,600,000 settlement.
Court and County
Description of Plaintiff
Plaintiff is a life-long Brooklyn resident and a married mother of five. She was 35 years old on the date of incident.
Description of Case
This case stems from a collision in which one New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) bus rear-ended another NYCTA bus. The collision happened on New York Avenue between Herkimer and Fulton Streets in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Our client, who was on her way to work, was a seated passenger on the rear bus.
Plaintiff was sitting in a side-facing seat, facing toward the middle of the bus. As a result of the impact, her body was rocked back and forth violently, causing her right shoulder to strike a partition in the bus. Sitting in such a position during a rear-end impact exposes a person to significant risk of a spine injury; even in a collision that is not particularly high-speed. The impact between the two buses was very significant and sent multiple passengers to the hospital; in fact, our client was one of eight passengers who were treated by EMS at the scene.
Description of Injuries/Damages
Our client experienced pain immediately and was taken by ambulance to Kings County Hospital.
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One week later, she began a course of treatment at a medical center where she reported radiating neck and back pain, with numbness and tingling in upper and lower extremities.
Diagnostic tests showed cervical spine disc herniations at the C5/6 and C6/7 levels as well a left lateral herniation at L3/4 displacing the nerve root. After almost a full year of therapy and chiropractic treatments failed to alleviate her neck pain, Plaintiff was referred to a doctor who recommended a series of spinal injections.
After failing therapy and injections, our client underwent neck surgery consisting of hemi-vertebrectomy and anterior discectomy with fusion at the C5/6 level. Her neck continued to be a major problem post-operatively. For example, she had a spasm so severe that she was taken to the Emergency Room where her neck pain was noted as “unbearable.”
After a delay in her treatment caused by an unrelated health issue, Plaintiff resumed treatment for her debilitating lumbar pain. She ultimately underwent a two-level lumbar fusion surgery at the L3 to L5 levels. The surgery also involved laminectomy, facetectomy and foraminotomy.
Plaintiff still has daily radiating neck and back pain. She regularly does home exercises, uses a bone stimulator and takes medications, doing all she can to control the pain and live her life.
The defense argued that this impact was very minimal and also pointed to a prior accident Plaintiff had been involved in. In that prior accident, Plaintiff had also injured her neck and back, had undergone MRI studies and treatment including injections. The defense argued that Plaintiff was still treating for her prior spine injuries up until very shortly prior to the subject bus accident. Thus, the defense contended that all of Plaintiff’s claimed spine injuries pre-existed the accident. The defense also pointed out that Plaintiff had ceased medical treatment years prior to the settlement.
This case settled for $1,600,000.
This matter was handled by Partners David Scher and Stephen Murphy.
Skilled Litigation in Bus Accident Lawsuits
If you’ve been injured in a serious bus accident, whether as a passenger, other motorist, pedestrian, or cyclist, it’s important to understand your legal rights in this scenario. The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy are here to help. Our lawyers have dedicated their careers to fighting for the rights of injury victims. To date, we’ve recovered well over $1.5 billion in recoveries. Select results in bus accident lawsuits include:
- $9,500,000 settlement for a pedestrian who was crossing the street within the crosswalk when she was struck and dragged by an MTA bus in Homecrest, Brooklyn
- $6,000,000 recovery for a bus passenger who suffered knee, shoulder, and spinal injuries after the bus collided with another vehicle in City Line / East New York, Brooklyn
- $3,500,000 settlement in a Brooklyn case for a public bus operator who was rear-ended by a sanitation truck owned by the City of New York