$1,750,000 Settlement in Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Pedestrian Was Killed by Bus
The victim in this case, a 62-year-old mother of two adult children who represented her estate, was crossing the street when she was struck and killed by a bus driver from the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA). On behalf of their deceased mother and grandmother, our clients made claims for conscious pain and suffering, fear of impending death and other economic damages. Represented by Block O’Toole & Murphy, the case settled for $1,750,000.
Court and County
Supreme, Kings (Brooklyn)
In this matter, we represented the two adult children of the deceased woman. At the time of her untimely death, she was working as a room attendant at a local hotel.
Description of Case
This tragic accident occurred when the victim was walking within a crosswalk with the pedestrian walk signal in her favor at the intersection of East 17th Street and Avenue Z in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. While she was crossing the street, a bus operator from the Transit Authority attempted to make a left turn and struck the victim, causing severe bodily trauma and ultimately death.
The question of how much conscious pain and suffering the victim experienced was rigorously contested by the Defense. There was a critical six-minute window between when the accident occurred at 5:55 PM and when emergency services arrived, by which time the victim was unconscious. Sadly, she never regained consciousness.
The Defendant’s pathology expert speculated that the severe blunt force trauma the victim suffered may have caused a basilar skull fracture and fatal cardiac arrhythmia, rendering her unconscious within 1-6 seconds after impact. However, no internal autopsy was performed due to religious reasons, and thus the exact nature of her injuries and state of consciousness could not be definitively ascertained.
Our client’s pathology expert did not agree that such a small window of consciousness could be concluded and estimated that the victim was conscious for two to three minutes. Due to the lack of an autopsy and the lack of proof regarding her consciousness in the six minutes it took for EMS to arrive, no definitive conclusion could be reached, and this would have been a point of contention at trial.
On behalf of their mother, our clients made claims for conscious pain and suffering, fear of impending death and other economic damages. They also made claims for their own loss of parental guidance and support which they suffered due to the untimely and tragic death of their mother.Our client’s expert economist would have testified about the economic losses caused by the loss of wages, retirement pension income, and social security retirement income which the victim would have been entitled to. To rebut these claims, the Defendant’s expert economist would have argued against the inflation rates cited by our client’s expert economist.
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Paramedics arrived roughly six minutes after the accident occurred, finding the victim unconscious. She was rushed to Coney Island hospital where resuscitation was attempted. Unfortunately, she never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead soon thereafter.
This matter settled for $1,750,000 during jury selection.
This matter was handled by Partners Frederick C. Aranki, Michael J. Hurwitz, and Daniel P. O’Toole.