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SKETCHES OF COURT: Williamsburg pedestrian knock-down trial settles for $60K

March 17, 2016 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Carolyn Wade listens as attorney James Bacher (standing), of the law firm Saftler & Bacher, addresses his opening remarks to the jury in the pedestrian knock-down trial Armstrong v. Khan & Dorvillier. At issue was the determination of liability.

Carin Armstrong was four blocks from home as she entered the crosswalk on Roebling Street, at the intersection with N. Fifth Street in Williamsburg. It was approximately 5 a.m. and she had been out late with friends, one of whom had just headed for a cab back to Manhattan. Armstrong testified that she looked both ways before crossing and had a green light, but that she never saw the taxi before the impact that landed her on its hood and then on the ground. Her friend was a rear seat passenger in the cab.

Neither the taxi driver (Khan) nor the owner (Dorvillier) testified at the trial, but were represented by Marilyn Nelson Cashman (seated, right) of The Cashman Law Firm. It was not disputed that the taxi made its right turn with a green signal. Cashman elicited testimony and read from a deposition from the non-party witness as to the plaintiff’s whereabouts prior to the accident, seeking to implicate Armstrong as causing the accident while impaired after a night of drinking, which Bacher vigorously countered. Armstrong’s friend testified that he did not witness the accident, but heard a loud thump and alleged that the cab did not stop or slow down as it took the turn.

The jury deliberated for several hours during which they requested records and exhibits, before returning a verdict finding both parties’ negligence a substantial factor in causing the accident. They attributed 80 percent to the defendant and 20 percent to the plaintiff.

The trial continued on damages, in which Armstrong, 27 years old, claimed to have sustained a left foot fracture and an ankle tear. The trial was resolved when the case settled to the satisfaction of both sides for $60,000 this week in Kings County Civil Term.

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