Kim H. Townsend Obtains Defense Verdict in a Bus Accident Case in New York County

January 28, 2020

Plaintiff claimed that, on June 21, 2013, he was walking along South Street in Manhattan, on the east side of the street (where there was no sidewalk) and approaching Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport, when he was struck by our clients’ double decker bus and “thrown” ten (10) feet in the air.

Plaintiff claimed that a bus driver and tour guide exited the bus, saw plaintiff lying on the ground, and handed him a piece of paper, reportedly with a phone number to report the accident to the insurance company (plaintiff produced a piece of paper with a number to an unknown recipient). The bus then supposedly left with plaintiff lying on the ground, severely injured. A Seaport parking lot attendant was produced for deposition and confirmed that he saw plaintiff on the ground next to a double decker bus, but he did not see an impact, and later conceded he could not recall the color of the bus. There was no police report, although plaintiff claimed he did report the accident to police.

When the plaintiff presented to an ER two days later, there were no scratches or bruises on him. Ultimately, plaintiff claimed injuries to his right shoulder (resulting in two arthroscopic surgeries) and both hips (resulting in bilateral arthroscopic surgeries). He demanded $4.8million.

Our motion for summary judgment on the basis of liability was denied, and that decision was upheld on appeal. Plaintiff was deposed no fewer than four times over the past six years, as additional surgeries and injuries were causally related to the accident.

After a liability trial in New York County, the jury awarded a defense verdict after just 30 minutes of deliberation.