This was a tragic case recently tried by Paul Dansker in Brooklyn Supreme Court. A 21-year-old developmentally disabled Chinese boy was walking with some friends after school when he stepped out into the crosswalk against the light and a City bus which was turning a little too close to the corner struck and ran over his body. The driver did not stop claiming he did not know that he hit anyone. The young man had crippling injuries which prevented him from ever leaving the hospital where he died several months later.
Despite the fact that the boy according to eyewitness stepped into the street against the light, Mr. Dansker utilized and argued a section of the law which specifically reduces a plaintiff’s share of liability in accordance with that person’s mental capacity. At trial, it was proven through a guidance counselor at the school that the young man attended, that he was intellectually comparable to what a normal seven-year-old boy would be and how a seven-year-old boy would act under similar circumstances. It was the jury then that determined that a seven-year-old is not legally responsible for his actions under those circumstances and awarded 100% on the liability portion of the trial at which time the Transit Authority settled for $3.5 million before the damages trial.