$12,500,000 RECOVERY – PLAINTIFF PEDESTRIAN STRUCK BY BUS TURNING LEFT FROM BEHIND HIM AS PLAINTIFF WAS IN CROSSWALK – NYCTA’s INVESTIGATION TEAM CONCLUDED THAT PLAINTIFF WALKED INTO SIDE OF BUS SOME 70 FEET FROM CROSSWALK – PLAINTIFF OBTAINED TRANSCRIPT OF INITIAL CALL BETWEEN DRIVER AND NYCTA THROUGH STATE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAW, IN WHICH DRIVER INDICATED THAT INCIDENT OCCURRED AS BUS WAS TURNING – PLAINTIFF WOULD HAVE ALSO POINTED TO OBSERVATIONS OF INDEPENDENT EYEWITNESS WHO WAS NOT REFERENCED IN NYCTA REPORT
Queens County, NY
The plaintiff pedestrian, 40 at the time, contended that as he was crossing in the crosswalk, the defendant driver of a NYCTA bus made a left turn from behind him without making adequate observations, striking him with the left front of the bus and rolling over him. The plaintiff maintained that he suffered severe crush injuries to the lower half of his body and that the injuries included a severe wound to the groin , and the need for a hemipelvectomy in which the leg was amputated at the hip. The defendant sent out a “rapid response investigative team” who concluded that the incident occurred approximately 70 feet from the intersection, after the defendant had completed her left turn and that the plaintiff had walked into the side of the bus. The police report was largely consistent with the NYCTA position.
The plaintiff denied that the results of the defendant’s investigation accurately reflected the events. The plaintiff made a request under the NY State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) that included the bus driver’s statements in her initial call to the NYCTA. The plaintiff asserted that this conversation reflected that the driver had advised the NYCTA that the plaintiff was struck while she was in the course of turning left.
The plaintiff would have also presented an independent eyewitness (who was not noted in the police report nor spoken to by NYCTA investigators) and who indicated that he was stopped in the turning lane behind the bus. The witness would have testified that when the light turned green, the bus proceeded to make the left turn. The witness saw the plaintiff walking in the crosswalk, and said to himself, “Oh my God, the bus is going to hit him.” The eyewitness’s testimony would have reflected that he saw the plaintiff get struck and run over by the front of the bus before becoming visible again to the side of the bus. The witness drove up to where the plaintiff was laying, stopped his car and put on his flashers to protect the plaintiff. The witness further testified that although it was nighttime, he could see clearly as there were streetlights and a gas station at the corner with its lights on.
The plaintiff had emigrated from his native China with his wife nine months earlier and worked in the restaurant business. He is now permanently unemployable.
The case settled prior to trial for $12,500,000.