Brooklyn Boro

SKETCHES OF COURT: Jury determines MTA platform is safe

November 3, 2015 By Alba Acevedo Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Peter Sweeney listens as attorney Craig Phemister (standing), of the Novo Law Firm, conducts a direct examination of the plaintiff in the trial of Yelissa Medina v. NYC Transit Authority. At issue in the bifurcated trial is the determination of liability. 

In June 2009, Medina was a morning rush-hour commuter crossing the platform at a Myrtle Avenue elevated station, in sight of and heading toward her waiting sister’s subway car. She alleged that she tripped on a plywood coverboard and then landed on her knee atop a yellow button tile, or “blind man’s strip,” at the platform’s edge. 

The New York City Transit Authority, represented by Lynn Henderson (at right), of the inside legal department, related that the coverboard had been installed over ongoing work in the repair of a defective expansion joint. Henderson produced a yellow button tile for the jury for demonstration purposes and it is seen in the sketch. She also cited a deposition from an EMS respondent who thought the plaintiff had tripped on the yellow strip.  

The jury deliberated over the verdict sheet question of whether or not the plaintiff tripped on the coverboard. While they believed she had, they did not however believe that the coverboard created a tripping hazard, nor a reasonably unsafe platform, and delivered a verdict for the defendant in the trial that concluded last week in Kings County Civil Term. Court reporter Jean DeBiase recorded the proceedings. Court Clerk Christine Salvador can be seen at right.

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