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April 5, 2017

Case Report

Sugarman Rogers secures $1 Million settlement in case of fatal bus accident

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Sugarman Rogers has obtained a $1 million settlement for the family of a 71-year-old woman who was struck and killed by a bus while crossing a street in Boston. (The names of the parties have been withheld to protect their privacy.)

The accident happened in February 2014. The accident victim was crossing a busy street in Boston using a pedestrian crosswalk with the “walk” signal indicating that it was safe to cross. She was struck by a bus and sustained catastrophic injuries—a traumatic brain injury, a below-the-knee amputation of her left leg, and a crushing injury to her right lower leg. She was found unconscious at the scene and transported by ambulance to hospital, where she remained on life support until she was pronounced dead weeks later.

When the accident occurred, the bus was making a left turn onto the street the victim was crossing. The bus driver claimed that he never saw the victim before the bus struck her, and there was evidence that his view was blocked by the bus’s “A pillar” and its driver’s-side mirror. Following an investigation by the Boston Police Department, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office declined to bring criminal charges against the driver.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff was prepared to show that the driver violated several safety rules of his employer, including a rule requiring that a left turn be made at no more than 5 miles per hour, a rule requiring that the driver not begin a left turn until his left shoulder intersected with the “turning point,” and a rule requiring that the driver overcome the blind spot created by the A pillar and driver’s-side mirror by adjusting his body position and moving his head to look around them.

The plaintiff obtained a traffic-surveillance video taken at the scene which showed the movements of the bus and the victim seconds before the accident. The video contradicted several aspects of the bus driver’s testimony about how he made the turn. The plaintiff was also prepared to show that the driver violated a Massachusetts statute requiring that a driver yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

The victim was survived by her husband of 47 years and two adult children. The case settled at a private mediation.