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Motor vehicle negligence – Bus/pedestrian collision – Defendant driver of transit bus strikes plaintiff crossing mid-block in traffic – humerus fracture, right ulnar nerve surgery, fractured clavicle, rib fractures, collapsed lung requiring chest tube procedure, permanent limited movement, range of motion and use of right arm.

Nassau County, NY

On the day in question, the plaintiff was crossing Hempstead Turnpike mid-block, not at an intersection. The plaintiff contended that the defendant bus driver gestured for the plaintiff to cross, but then proceeded along the roadway and struck the plaintiff in the roadway. The plaintiff brought suit against the driver of the bus and the transit authority.

As a result of the incident, the plaintiff suffered significant injuries including a comminuted fracture of the humerus with open reduction/internal fixation and insertion of hardware, right ulnar nerve surgery, surgical reconstruction of the right elbow, a fractured clavicle, rib fractures, a collapsed lung requiring a chest tube procedure, and multiple disc herniations. In addition, the plaintiff claimed severe capsulitis of the right shoulder requiring surgery. Post-treatment, the plaintiff had limited movement, range of motion, and use of her right arm. The plaintiff further contended that she developed a pain medication addiction as a result of her injuries. The plaintiff claimed past lost wages of $________ and future lost wages in the amount of $________.

The defendant argued that the plaintiff came from between stopped vehicles on a three lane highway and the defendant driver could not see her approach. The defendant driver maintained that he did not gesture for the plaintiff to cross in front of the bus and that, in fact, he did not see her prior to her appearance directly in front of him in the roadway. The defendant testified that he was driving within the speed limit and that, as soon as he saw the plaintiff, he applied the brakes and swerved, but the plaintiff continued into the lane and he could not avoid striking her.

At trial, the plaintiff called a witness who was a passenger on the bus. The defendant’s witness testified that the plaintiff was zig-zagging between parked cars before entering the lane in front of the bus. The witness pointed to the fact that he had a better view of the plaintiff through the window by his seat on the right side of the bus than the defendant driver had.The jury unanimously found no negligence by the defendant driver or transit authority.

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