$2.3 Million Settlement for Bicyclist Killed by a Truck
Our client, a 38-year-old cook, was riding his bicycle on a narrow, curved street in the Bronx when he was hit from behind by a large box truck. The truck had to stop in the middle of the road to go around two illegally parked moving trucks, causing the box truck to hit and crush the bicyclist. The bicyclist was pinned underneath the truck and died from traumatic asphyxiation. He left behind a wife and two young children. The family of the bicyclist sued the moving company and settled for $2.3 million.
Court and County:
Supreme Court, Bronx County
Age and Occupation of Plaintiff:
The decedent was a 38-year-old cook at a deli in Manhattan. He immigrated to America from Mexico, where he met his wife. They were married for over 17 years before he died. The decedent had two children, ages 15 and 8, at the time of his death.
Description of the case:
A 38-year-old cook was riding a bicycle on a narrow, one-way street as he passed a warehouse owned by a moving company. As he made his way down the slightly curved street, he was suddenly hit from behind by a large box truck. The truck ran over the bicyclist and stopped while the bicyclist was pinned underneath the rear passenger’s side tire. The massive box truck weighed 26,000 pounds, comparable to the weight of a standard school bus.
As the victim remained pinned under 13 tons of excruciating mass, two moving trucks sat illegally parked outside of the warehouse. One of the moving trucks was doubled parked, blocking approximately half of the narrow street. The second moving truck was parked partially on the sidewalk and partially in the street, facing the wrong direction. The man took his final breaths as he was crushed under the box truck, killed by traumatic asphyxiation.
The victim’s family wisely pursued legal action against the moving company for the wrongful death of their loved one in the wake of this devastating tragedy. Our firm argued that both moving trucks were illegally parked and caused the accident which killed the bicyclist. Block O’Toole & Murphy successfully argued that a jury would only need to determine whether the moving trucks’ parking was a substantial factor in bringing about the accident. Our firm established that the box truck that hit the bicyclist had to stop in the middle of the roadway before reaching the illegally parked moving trucks and drive slowly around the illegally parked moving trucks to proceed forward down the street.
The driver who double-parked the moving truck denied that he did so. However, he admitted at his deposition that double parking a moving truck was improper and would obstruct the flow of traffic because the street where the accident occurred was very narrow. The driver also admitted that double parking a moving truck could create a dangerous condition for other vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists traveling down the street because the street would be even narrower than it already was.
Ultimately, partners Jeffrey. A Block, S. Joseph Donahue, and associate Kristian Krober of Block O’Toole & Murphy successfully represented the estate of the victim by maintaining that the illegally parked vehicles created a dangerous environment on the roadway, which led to the tragic demise of our clients’ loved one.
Injuries and damages:
The bicyclist was traumatically asphyxiated by the 13-ton box truck that hit him, which robbed him of his life for several agonizing minutes. Block O’Toole & Murphy argued that the bicyclist suffered up to two to three minutes of unimaginable pain and suffering. His injuries included blunt trauma of the torso, abrasions and contusions, a sunken and misshapen right lateral chest and flank, several fractured ribs, a lacerated lung, esophageal transection, contained aortic transection, mesenteric lacerations, hemothoraces in both the right and left chest, traumatic herniation of the small intestine, pelvic fractures, and a transected spleen.
The bicyclist also had tire tread marks on his body from the 26,000-pound truck pressing against his body. He left behind a wife and two young children. The damages in this case included loss of parental guidance and support for the two children, the loss of wages which the decedent would have earned for his family over the course of his life expectancy, pre-impact terror and impending death, and conscious pain and suffering.
The case settled shortly after a private mediation for $2,300,000.
The Estate was represented by partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue and associate, Kristian Krober.