Maria Siudut v. Van-Go Transportation Co., Inc. and Carol Johnson
Type of Injury
Liability: Deft. 85% negligent; Pltf. 15% negligent ( 6/0). The case settled for $2,800,000 before Pltf. rested on damages.
XIV/37-6 MOTOR VEHICLE PEDESTRIAN IN CROSSWALK STRUCK BY BUS IN INTERSECTION MASSIVE INJURIES
Maria Siudut v. Van-Go Transportation Co., Inc. and Carol Johnson 25836/93 7-day trial Verdict 2/14/97 Judge Julius Vinik, Kings Supreme
VERDICT: Liability: Deft. 85% negligent; Pltf. 15% negligent ( 6/0). The case settled for $2,800,000 before Pltf. rested on damages. Jury: 4 male, 2 female.
Pltf. Atty: Paul D. Dansker of Dansker & Aspromonte, Manhattan
Deft. Atty: Steven R. Payne of Robin, Rome, Goldfarb & Lloyd, Manhattan
Facts: This motor vehicle accident involved a pedestrian who was struck by a private school bus at a controlled intersection. Pltf. was a 45-year-old Polish immigrant with a Masters degree in engineering who was employed cleaning houses. She claimed that on 6/16/93, she was walking across Ocean Pkwy. in the crosswalk at the intersection with Ditmas Ave. in Brooklyn when she was struck by a private school bus driven by Deft. Johnson and owned by Deft. Van-Go. Pltf. claimed that Deft. was traveling in excess of the speed limit, that she was inattentive to the road and did not keep a proper lookout, and that she ran the red light. Deft. contended that she had the green light, and that Pltf. stepped out into the street against the light and did not look to her left before crossing. Deft. Johnson claimed that after impact, Pltf. landed in the crosswalk. Pltf. introduced eyewitness testimony from a resident of an adjacent apartment building stating that Pltf. came to rest 33 feet down the road from the crosswalk. Based on this evidence, Pltf. s accident reconstruction expert opined that Deft. was speeding, and that based on time, distance, and physics, Deft. was not even in the intersection when Pltf. started to cross the street.
Injuries: comminuted fracture of the left tibia and fibula treated with external fixators; ruptured spleen requiring removal; fractured left pelvis; shattered left elbow; fracture at L2-3; numerous rib fractures; closed head injury with mild impairment. Pltf. was hospitalized in critical condition, and remained in the hospital for 6 weeks following the accident. She is left with 1-inch shortening of the left leg and walks with a cane. She claimed that she is in constant pain and suffers from permanent emotional, psychological, and intellectual problems. She has not worked since the date of the accident. Demonstrative evidence: aerial photographs of the intersection; multiple photographs of the roadway from the ground level; accident reconstruction drawings; hospital records; skeleton; photographs of Pltf. s injuries. Offer: $1,500,000 before the liability verdict; demand: $3,500,000. Jury deliberation: 3 hours. Carrier: Cigna. Pltf. Experts: James Pugh, Ph.D., accident reconstruction, Inter-City Testing, Mineola; Dr. Chavivan Dharapak, treating orth. surg., Coney Island; Dr. Richard Stern, orth. surg., Manhattan; Dr. David Zimmon, gastroenterologist, Manhattan; Edmond Provder, vocational rehabilitation, Manhattan. Deft. Experts: Deft. would have called Dr. William Head, neuropsychiatrist, Manhattan; Dr. Martin Wolpin, orth. surg., Brooklyn.