On March 4, 2013, Jose Flores was riding his bicycle down Second Avenue just south of 76th Street in Manhattan when he was struck by a large city bus.
Mr. Flores, then 37 years old, fell to the ground and could not get up. He was transported by ambulance to the hospital with several injuries, the worst to his lower right leg.
The jury found that the bus driver was fully at fault for the accident and they awarded pain and suffering damages in the sum of $2,224,000 ($783,000 past – six years, $1,441,000 future – 37 years).
In Flores v. New York City Transit Authority (1st Dept. 2021) both the liability and damages verdicts (including $1,332,000 for future medical expenses) have been affirmed.
Here are the injury details:
- 12 days in hospital
- Ankle – comminuted intra-articular open medial malleolus fracture that required multiple irrigation and debridement, external fixation, open reduction internal fixation, and skin grafting
- Toes – painful fracture of great toe requiring surgery, fracture of 2d metatarsal
- Shoulder – SLAP/labrum and bilateral rotator cuff tears that required arthroscopic surgery three years later
- Hip – tears in labrum and muscle
- Knee – torn anterior cruciate ligament
- Back – two herniated lumbar discs
Plaintiff claimed he can no longer play with his children, requires a cane to walk, has chronic pain all over and is depressed and anxious.
The defense conceded that plaintiff’s ankle injury was casually connected to the crash and there is permanence; however, based upon their testifying medical experts (and in particular MRI studies), they argued that none of the other claimed injuries was caused by the accident.
- In his summation, plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award $3,500,000 for pain and suffering damages; defense counsel focused on liability and did not suggest an amount