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One day in the Bronx, a man rode his bicycle on a narrow, one-way street. He was hit from behind by a 26,000 pound box truck, which ran over his body, and he suffered two to three minutes of unimaginable pain before passing away on the street. The box truck that killed our client had little room to maneuver around two moving trucks parked illegally outside their associated moving company warehouse. Represented by Block O’Toole & Murphy, the victim was awarded $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 17 1/2 years before he died. The decedent had two children, ages 15 and 8, at the time of his death.

Description of Case
Our firm represented the Estate of the 38-year-old cook, who was riding a bicycle on a narrow, one-way street with a bend to the right in the Bronx. The bicyclist was riding past a warehouse—owned by a moving company—when he was hit from behind by a large box truck. The box truck weighed 26,000 pounds. The truck ran over the bicyclist and stopped while the bicyclist was pinned underneath the rear passenger’s side tire. Importantly, two moving trucks were parked outside the warehouse at the exact time that the box truck hit the cyclist. One of the moving trucks was doubled-parked, blocking approximately half of the narrow street. The other moving truck was parked partially on the sidewalk and partially in the street, facing the wrong direction.

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 if 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 in order 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.

Injuries and Damages
The bicyclist was traumatically asphyxiated by the 13-ton box truck that hit him. He passed away a few minutes after being struck. 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, pre-impact terror, and impending death and conscious pain and suffering.

Settlement Amount
The case settled shortly after a private mediation for $2,300,000.

Handling Attorneys
The Estate was represented by Partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue and Associate Kristian Krober.

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