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SKETCHES OF COURT: School bus company found negligent in knockdown​ trial

October 31, 2017 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Debra Silber listens as plaintiff’s attorney Seth M. Katz (standing), of the law offices of Eric H. Green, conducts a direct examination of the plaintiff in the pedestrian-motor vehicle accident trial Jackson v. Amboy Bus Co.

Dolphine Jackson was walking along Hancock Street on a rainy morning in January 2012, not far from her home. She testified that she had noticed a yellow school bus to her left on Saratoga Avenue, which runs perpendicular to Hancock and parallel to where she was crossing. Jackson alleged that she was looking straight ahead when she was struck from the rear, only catching sight of a flash of yellow as she hit the ground. Jackson maintained that the private school bus had to have run the stop sign governing Saratoga, to have so soon knocked her down after making its right turn.

Jackson was struck on her left and fell to her right, and claimed serious tears in both shoulders, as well as in her right wrist. She also complained of back and neck pain.

Amboy Bus Co. was represented by Jeffrey B. Liebowitz (at right), of the law firm Silverman Shin & Byrne. Liebowitz maintained that Jackson bore some responsibility for the accident, in failing to notice a large noisy yellow school bus. Liebowitz also disputed the extent of Jackson’s injuries due to the accident, citing language in an emergency room report that characterized the incident as a bus that had “grazed” Katz’s client.

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Katz sought compensation for his client’s future medical expenses, related to expert witness testimony supporting a likely need for surgeries that his client had been reluctant to consider. Liebowitz’s expert witness disputed those findings.

The bifurcated trial was resolved after the jury determined that both parties were negligent, but that only the bus company’s negligence was a substantial factor in liability for the accident. The jury awarded Jackson the sum of $67,500 for past pain and suffering as compensation for sustaining non-permanent injuries that prevented her from performing her usual and customary daily activities for 90 of the 180 days following the accident.  

Court reporter Hyacinth McKen recorded the proceedings, in Kings County Civil Term. 

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