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Justice for Alice Huang

18 year old Alice Huang did not realize that things would change drastically when she bent to pick up her Bible on 23rd Street subway station platform on December 10, 2001.She was not aware of the train which started suddenly and it made her spin wildly. She cannot recall anything of the incident. This however was not all. Unfortunately, her left leg was caught between the moving cars causing her to be dragged for 30 feet.

She was rushed to the hospital where surgeons tried to keep her alive. The six hours after the accident were crucial as she bled profusely.

Ms Huang’s hipbones were badly crushed and broken. Her left leg was badly affected. Officially the surgeons managed to save it but there has been permanent damage to the nerves and blood vessels. It has been suggested by the plaintiff’s doctor that she might have to get it amputated as it is of no use. She has been scarred for life and has to suffer unbearable pain.

The jury was very firm in its verdict and held the New York City Transit Authority 100% responsible for the accident. It said that the accident could have been avoided if the train had been stopped in time. At least she would not have been dragged 30 feet. The plaintiff had to pay $28,574,587, which was later modified, to $10,638.750

The defendant says that Ms Huang should have been held responsible for some part of her injury at least .to this , a unanimous panel of Appellate Division judges disagreed, stating:

“A fair interpretation of the trial evidence supports the jury’s finding that the subway conductor failed to comply with defendant’s rules and regulations requiring a conductor to look to the front and the back of the train while the doors are open, before signaling the motorman to proceed, and as the train begins to exit the station, and thus negligently failed to observe plaintiff, who had bent down beside the stopped train to retrieve a book she had dropped while exiting the train … When the train struck plaintiff in the head as it moved forward, she was spun around and her left leg got caught between the train and the platform. She was then dragged a considerable distance. The jury’s finding that defendant was 100% liable was supported by a fair interpretation of the evidence, namely, that the accident could have been averted if the conductor had seen what there was to be seen, that plaintiff was near the train and that he should have waited before signaling the motorman to proceed (id; Robinson v. New York City Tr. Auth., 105 A.D.2d 614, 481 N.Y.S.2d 85 [1984]).”
So Ms Huang gets her $10,638.750

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