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$14 Million in Damages Awarded to NYCTA Bus Accident Victim

Judge hitting a gavel

After a second trial where expert witness testimony in support of the plaintiff’s claims was permitted, the victim of a hit-and-run bus accident was awarded $14 million in damages by a Manhattan jury.

The case is titled Tate-Mitros v. MTA New York City Transit. The accident victim, William Tate-Mitros, was walking on First Avenue in Manhattan at the time of the accident in 2008. While he was attempting to catch a different bus, a New York M-15 bus hopped a curb, ran over the front two inches of Tate-Mitros’ foot, and kept on driving. Emergency personnel were called to the scene of the accident, and Tate-Mitros explained to responding officers that “a bus ran into my foot,” according to his attorney.

Tate-Mitros’ foot was badly damaged by the accident. He received three reconstructive surgeries to repair the damage, despite the fact that nine of his toe-bone fractures could not be treated due to the risk of infection. Tate-Mitros received rehabilitative treatments, but the pain nevertheless became worse. Prior to the accident, Tate-Mitros’ attorney described him as “socially active,” with a thriving career as an interior designer for both private clients and The New York Times. Tate-Mitros enjoyed ballroom dancing and ice skating. He was forced to give up his work in early 2012. Later that year, Tate-Mitros suffered a stroke, became entirely dependent on a walker, and moved into a nursing home.

Tate-Mitros filed a claim against the New York City Transit Authority for damages. In 2014, a Manhattan court held a trial on the accident, which the NYCTA argued never occurred. The Transit Authority presented testimony from a trauma doctor who stated that, based on his injuries, and the fact that there were no tread marks on Tate-Mitros’ foot, it must have been a smaller vehicle that ran over his foot and not a city bus. Tate-Mitros had retained a biomechanical expert who could testify to why Tate-Mitros’ injuries were ones which could have been caused by a bus, but the judge prohibited him from testifying at trial. The jury found for the Transit Authority, and Tate-Mitros appealed. The Appellate Division sided with the injured plaintiff and ruled that the judge’s decision to block the plaintiff’s expert from testifying had been an error. A second trial was held earlier this year, at which the biomechanical expert was permitted to testify. The jury found in Tate-Mitros’ favor, awarding him $7 million for damages covering the past eight years, and another $7 million for the next ten.

If you’ve been injured in an accident in New York and need help getting the damages you deserve, contact the dedicated and effective Hudson Valley personal injury lawyers at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP for a consultation on your case, in Marlboro at 845-236-4411, and in Kingston at 845-331-4100.

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