Pedestrian Gets ‘Twisted’ By City Bus, Wins $2 Million

March 13, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Post-trial motions are pending after a verdict was rendered on Thursday in the trial of Fraser-Phipps v. New York City Transit Authority in Kings County Supreme Court Civil Term. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff, who was struck by a city bus at the corner of Boerum Place and Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn, which intersection is located just over a block away from the Adams Street courthouse where the trial took place.


In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Karen B. Rothenberg (top left) listens, as expert witness Dr. Edwin F. Richter III (second from right) testifies under direct examination by attorney S. Joseph Donohue (right), of the Manhattan law firm Block O’Toole & Murphy.


With the help of a cervical-spine replica (pictured on the witness stand) and a diagram (see picture at right), the witness testified about plaintiff’s permanent physical limitations that were the result of the Feb. 1, 2008, incident and subsequent discectomy surgery she underwent two years and three months after the accident to remove a herniated disc and fuse the bones together.


The defendant, represented by attorney Edward A. Flores (left), of the Manhattan law firm Krez & Flores LLP, disputed defendant’s liability, arguing that plaintiff’s cervical condition was the result of degeneration, not trauma. Flores pointed to the length of time between accident and surgery, additionally noting that there was no claim for lost earnings and that plaintiff only “twisted” and did not fall when the bus struck her left shoulder.


The jury found the defendant was fully liable, however, and awarded plaintiff $2.1 million for past and future pain and suffering. After the verdict, defendant filed a motion to set aside the verdict against the weight of the evidence. 


Court reporter Robin Ashby (center) transcribed the proceedings.

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