• Subway Mugging -- Traumatic Leg Amputation -- Defense Verdict
  • August 31, 2011 | Author: Paul A. Krez
  • Law Firm: KREZ & FLORES, LLP - New York Office
    Patricia Harvin v. NYCTA 2-week trial Judge Joseph B. Williams, Kings Supreme
    VERDICT: Defense verdict on liability (6/0). Jury: 2 male, 4 female.
    Pltf. Atty: Robert L. Conason of Gair, Gair & Conason, Manhattan
    Deft. Atty: Paul A.

    Krez, Manhattan

    Facts: The incident occurred on 5/15/84 at approximately 5 PM at the DeKalb Ave. subway station in Brooklyn on the BMT line. The 28-year- old Pltf., who made mirror frames for a living, claimed that she was being mugged at the station when she caught her left foot between the side of a subway car of the L train and the platform. She claimed that the train conductor then closed the subway doors and ordered that the train be started, causing her left leg to be amputated below the knee. Deft. claimed that the mugging occurred between cars on the subway as the train was leaving the DeKalb station and that Pltf., who was struggling with the mugger, slipped or was pushed to the tracks when her assailant jumped from the moving train to the platform. Deft. argued that the conductor could not have seen the incident and, therefore, had no notice or possibility to prevent it.

    Deft. also called an eyewitness to the incident who testified that he jumped down to the tracks and picked Pltf. up and placed her on the platform, which contradicted Pltf.'s testimony that the incident occurred on the platform and that she never fell to the tracks. Demonstrative evidence: photos of subway and platform; blowup of station plans; model subway cars. Pltf.'s assailant was caught, convicted, and served 5 years in jail. He testified for Deft. No offer; demand: $2,500,000. There was no expert testimony.