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SKETCHES OF COURT: Jury finds bus operator 95 percent liable in Park Slope car accident trial

June 20, 2016 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Bernard Graham listens as Y. Gail Goode (standing), of the New York City Transit Law Department, summarizes her arguments for the jury in the motor vehicle accident trial Guevara v. NYC Transit Authority. Behind her on the stand is an evidentiary photograph. At issue was the determination of damages. 

Goode represented the city bus operator that in November 2005 was unable to anticipate Gina Jiae Shim’s illegal U-turn on Fifth Avenue in time to avoid a collision. The co-defendants differed sharply in their accounts of the Park Slope incident, but the jury found the bus operator 95 percent liable in the accident. Shim, behind the wheel of a 4-door Nissan Altima, was found 5 percent liable. Shim was represented by Nicholas MacInnis (second from right), of the law firm DeCicco, Gibbons & McNamara. 

Evelis Guevara, 20 years old at the time, was one of several bus riders who filed lawsuits against the Transit Authority. She claimed she sustained injuries when she lurched forward and back during the impact, striking the seat in front of her. Guevara was represented by Peter Pearson Traub (third from right), who maintained that his client’s injuries were likely exacerbated when she instinctively contorted herself to protect the baby she held on her lap. Guevara claimed injuries to her shoulder, neck and back, and that after many years and various treatments, including surgery and chronic pain management, she is on disability and remains unable to resume employment or quality of life as a result of the accident. 

Goode entered surveillance video into evidence and sought to discredit Guevara’s claimed injuries, citing them as degenerative or due to other accidents. 

The jury awarded Guevara a total of $2.9 million in compensation for past and future lost earnings, pain and suffering, and medical expenses in the trial that concluded last week in Kings County Civil term. 

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