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$8,000,000 Settlement for a Pedestrian Struck by Transit Authority Bus

Our client, a 64-year-old man was struck by a NYC Transit Authority bus while crossing the street in the Bronx. The bus made a right-hand turn at an excessive rate of speed and struck the man, who was outside the crosswalk but had the right of way. The man suffered a traumatic amputation of his right leg and multiple fractures to his left leg. He was awarded $8 million in a settlement.

Court and County
Supreme Court, Bronx County

Age and Occupation of Client
At the time of the accident our client was 64 years old and was unemployed.

Case Summary
At the time of the accident, our client was a pedestrian on East 149th Street in the Bronx. He had just exited a store on East 149th Street, near the intersection of Prospect Avenue, and was crossing the street when he was struck by a New York City Transit Authority Bus.  Upon exiting the store, our client walked eastbound on the sidewalk of East 149th Street, when he entered the roadway in an attempt to cross East 149th Street.  When he entered the roadway, he had a walk signal, however he was approximately 30 feet outside the crosswalk.  At the time he stepped into the street, there were no vehicles travelling in his direction on East 149th Street.

While our client was crossing the street, the New York City Transit Authority Bus made a right-hand turn, from Prospect Avenue onto East 149th Street, and struck our client as he approached the middle of the roadway, near the double yellow line. The impact occurred at the front passenger door of the bus. After the impact, our client fell to the ground and under the bus and the bus came to a stop, with our client near the rear wheels of the bus. The bus then moved forward a short distance, with the rear tires of the bus running over our client’s legs. The bus operator never saw our client before the impact.

The accident was captured on a video surveillance camera from a nearby building, which we secured during our investigation into the accident. The video clearly showed that our client was in the roadway prior to when the bus began to make its turn onto East 149th Street and that our client was visible, and, although he was outside the crosswalk, had the right of way. The video and the black box data also showed that the bus made the turn at an excessive rate of speed.

The defendants claimed that our client was at fault for the accident because he entered the roadway outside the crosswalk, in a dimly lit area at night while wearing dark clothing, and that he failed to observe the bus while he was crossing the street.

Injuries/ Damages
Our client suffered a traumatic amputation of his right leg, above the knee, and multiple fractures to the left leg. He was taken by ambulance to Lincoln Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to amputate the right leg above the knee. An external fixator was placed to the left leg, to stabilize the fractures, followed by an Open Reduction and Internal Fixation surgery to the left leg.  He remained at Lincoln Hospital for several weeks to recover from the surgical procedures.

Following his discharge from Lincoln Hospital, our client was transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation center where he underwent extensive physical and occupational therapy. Initially, he was wheelchair bound, but eventually he was fitted for a right leg prosthetic. Unfortunately, due to the residual short stump that remained following his amputation, the prosthetic failed, and he was unable to ambulate using the prosthetic.

As a result, our client went to Hospital for Special Surgery for consultation with a physician specializing in limb lengthening and complex reconstruction surgery. He was found to be a candidate for an Osseointegration Surgery, where a rod is implanted into the remaining femur bone, which allows the prosthetic limb to be attached to the femur. The surgery was successful, and our client can ambulate with a prosthetic device.

Settlement Amount
The matter was settled at a mediation prior to trial for $8,000,000.

Handling Attorneys
Partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue handled this matter

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