NYC Transit Authority Ordered To Pay $1.8 M to Motorist Struck By Metal Object That Fell From Elevated Track
In 2016 a Queens Jury awarded $1,800,000 to a motorist involved in a car accident due to a metal object that fell from an elevated subway track over a road and through the windshield of the plaintiff's car. The NYC Transit Authority (NYCTA) refused to pay and appealed claiming the award was excessive and that the trial judge should not have allowed the piece of metal to be shown to the jury. On October 16, 2019, the Appellate Court rejected both arguments and ordered the NYCTA to pay plaintiff $1,967,633 which included medical expenses and accrued interest since the trial.
The plaintiff, Alfonso Rojas suffered a complex laceration of his dominant right forearm that required a skin graft taken from his thigh resulting in permanent scarring, weakness and limited range of motion in his hand and fingers. He underwent two surgeries during a two week hospitalization and two months of physical therapy. Rojas told the jury that he experienced excruciating pain before and after each surgery and continues to suffer pain. The jury awarded $800,000 for 5 years of past pain and suffering; and, $1,000,000 for 15 years of future pain and suffering. Rojas v NYCTA, 2019 WL 5198765