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Teen Knocked Down, Crushed by Turning Bus

Verdict: $ 12,335,000

An 18-year-old college student was struck by a public bus. The incident occurred on 70th Street, near its intersection at Eighth Avenue, in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn. The busstruck the left side of her body, and she was knocked onto the pavement. As she was attempting to crawl away, the bus rode over her right leg. She sustained crushing injuries.

 

FACTS & ALLEGATIONS

An 18-year-old college student was struck by a public bus. The incident occurred on 70th Street, near its intersection at Eighth Avenue, in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn. The busstruck the left side of her body, and she was knocked onto the pavement. As she was attempting to crawl away, the bus rode over her right leg. She sustained crushing injuries.

The plaintiff sued the bus’s driver and the bus’s operators, the New York City Transit Authority and the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority. She alleged that the driver was negligent in his operation of the bus and that the remaining defendants were vicariously liable for the driver’s actions. The plaintiff claimed that the incident occurred in a crosswalk of 70th Street. She contended that the driver was executing a slow, wide right turn.

The driver contended that the plaintiff was not walking within a crosswalk. Thus, defense counsel argued that teh plaintiff was liable for her injuries.

 

INJURIES/DAMAGES

Debridement; degloving injury: leg; physical therapy: scar and/or disfigurement, leg; skin grafts

The plaintiff sustained a degloving injury of the full length of her right leg. She was placed in an ambulance and transported to the emergency room of Lutheran Medical Center, in Brooklyn. She underwent three surgeries that included debridement of necrotic tissue. After four weeks had passed she was transferred to New York-Presbyterian Medical Center, in Manhattan. She underwent another debridement procedure and the application of skin grafts. The latter hospitalization lasted five weeks. She also underwent more than two-and-a-half years of physical therapy.

The plaintiff claimed that she suffers gross, painful disfigurement of her right leg. She contended that the injury produces a limp, that she requires the assistance of a cane and that her pain necessitates her use of painkillers. She also claimed that her injury caused a one-year long interruption of her education. She sought recovery of her past and future medical expenses and damages for her past and future pain and suffering.

 

RESULT

The jury found that the defendants were liable for the accident, but the plaintiff was assigned 20 percent comparative negligence. The jury determined that the plaintiff’s damages totaled $12,335,000, but the comparative-negligence reduction produced a net recovery of $9,868,000.

The plaintiff was awarded:
$335,000 past medical cost
$500,000 future medical cost
$4,000,000 past pain and suffering
$7,500,000 future pain and suffering

Total: $12,335,000