On November 11, 2019 an appellate court directed that an injured bus passenger be given a new trial on her personal injury claim because a defense verdict awarded to the NYC Transit Authority was an absurd result. Basically, the jury found that the bus driver negligently discharged his passenger at a location 2-3 car length's beyond a designated stop. A disinterested eye witness corroborated plaintiff's testimony that she stepped out of the bus into "a very large and deep pothole" and began screaming in pain. The emergency room record confirmed this account received from the plaintiff shortly after the accident and not a single witness contested this version of events. However, while the jury found the bus driver negligent-it found that the negligence was NOT a substantial factor in causing the accident.
The appellate court set aside this verdict and held that the plaintiff should be given a new trial because: "it is logically impossible under the circumstances to find that such negligence was not a substantial factor in causing the accident." The appellate court also noted that it was inappropriate for the trial judge to make derogatory comments about plaintiff's description of her accident in the presence of the jury, such as: "that's kind of physically impossible--well we'll hear from the bus driver". These comments are inappropriate because it sends a message to the jury that the Judge finds the plaintiff unworthy of belief. Evans v NYC Transit Authority, Sup Ct, Kings County, Index No. 15934/2010