NYC Transit Veteran Worker Wins $13 Million Lawsuit Against City
Even victims of severe personal injury can struggle to win lawsuits.
A coma is no small personal injury, and yet NYC Transit worker George Nunez, who was in a two-month coma following an August 13, 2006 fall at work, had to fight for proper compensation.
Nunez used the services of a New York personal injury attorney to handle his case and represent him in his lawsuit against NYC Transit.
According to a report from the New York Daily News, Nunez’s crew had been assigned to replace the old wooden slats on the J train in Bushwick when the 51-year-old father of three fell 30 feet from the raised Brooklyn subway track.
Horrified and powerless, fellow crew members watched as Nunez plummeted towards a metal sewer grate on which he landed facedown.
According to court testimony, no one informed Nunez that the metal bolts which normally secure the plank’s walkway had been cut. “I fell, hit the ground and woke up two months after,” Nunez testified during the Brooklyn Supreme Court trial.
Nunez’s face and pelvis were shattered, and his wrists had to be fused, making wrist and finger movement very difficult, NY Daily News reported.
Despite the severity of Nunez’s injuries, NYC Transit lawyers argued that Nunez was at fault, pointing out that his safety harness wasn’t hooked up to the central line. The judge dismissed their claims, however, citing sworn testimony from Nunez’s supervisors that he was never told he needed to attach his harness since no one knew that the bolts had been cut.
Lawyers of the defense plan to appeal the three week trial’s verdict, according to an NYC Transit spokesman.
The case took nearly three years to settle, as the decision was recently reported on June 15. In winning the $13 million lawsuit against the city, George Nunez and his wife thanked the jury for voting in favor of a just result. However, no monetary compensation can change the fact that Nunez has lingering brain damage and metal plates fastened inside both of his arms.