Subway Train Accident Lawsuit Results in Verdict for Intoxicated Man
A New York City jury returned a verdict of $3,594,943 in a subway train accident lawsuit filed by a 25 year old man who fell onto the tracks while intoxicated and lost his right leg when it as run over by a train.
The lawsuit was was filed against the New York City Transit Authority alleging that the train operator was negligent for failing to stop the train when an unknown mass was seen on the tracks more than 180 feet away.
The subway accident occurred around 1:50 a.m. on April 23, 2006, at the 14th Street – Union Square station on the local southbound “N” line. The plaintiff, who had a 0.18% blood alcohol level at the time of the incident, had been drinking with friends and had no memory of how he ended up on the tracks.
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During trial, it was established that the subway train driver saw a “mass” on the track from over 180 feet away. The plaintiff argued that the driver was negligent for not stopping the train when he had time to do so, regardless of whether the object was an intoxicated person.
On February 9, 2009, the jury found that the New York City Transit Authority was liable for the plaintiff’s injuries and awarded nearly $3.6 million for pain, suffering and medical expenses.
Under the New York comparative negligence law, the jury found that the plaintiff was 35% responsible for his own injuries.
Although some states still follow the contributory negligence system in personal injury lawsuits, which would have barred the plaintiff from recovery any compensation because he was found to be partially at fault for the incident, New York follows the contributory negligence system, where the financial recovery can be decreased in proportion to the fault attributed to the plaintiff.
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