NEW YORK, Apr. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A cyclist paralyzed by a falling piece of railroad tie received justice today, as a Brooklyn jury awarded him a $110,174,972.38 verdict, nearly three years after the tragic accident.
On April 10, 2016, 23-year-old Robert Liciaga was riding his bike along Broadway Avenue in Bushwick. It was a busy two-way street with storefronts, apartments, and an elevated train trestle overhead.
On that day, the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) was working on a track replacement project on the J and M line, a few blocks from the Myrtle Avenue stop. The maintenance was planned and scheduled months in advance. Along his path, Liciaga saw a construction worker, who told him to go ahead. As a result, Liciaga continued biking along the public street.
The road where the workers were doing subway maintenance above had no barricades. The NYCTA had not assigned a worker to the area to warn pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists to stay away. On that day, the NYCTA supervisor had two workers drag a 10-foot railroad tie to the edge of the girder and drop it into a hole. The workers did not lower the structure down slowly and instead dropped it. The heavy beam fell on Liciaga and fractured his spine.
Today, Liciaga is 26 years old and has been wheelchair-bound since the accident and will remain so for the rest of his life.
Partners Scott Occhiogrosso and Daniel O'Toole of Block O'Toole & Murphy argued the case in front of the jury, highlighting all the points in which NYCTA failed in maintaining proper safety measures, which ultimately resulted in this devastating accident.
"This is a terrible tragedy, and one that was entirely preventable," said Partner Scott Occhiogrosso. "Robert's standard of living is forever diminished because the NYCTA failed to take reasonable measures to protect the public."
On April 4, 2019, the jury ruled that NYCTA is 100% liable for causing the damages, and 5 days later, they awarded Liciaga a $110,174,972.38 verdict.
Partner Daniel O'Toole added, "We are grateful to the jury for enacting justice on Robert's behalf. This also sends a message to the New York City Transit Authority and other organizations undergoing construction to adhere to rules in protecting passersby. This incident should never have happened, and companies that are negligent should be held liable."
About Block O'Toole & Murphy
Block O'Toole & Murphy is a top personal injury law firm in New York, serving victims who have been hurt because of another party's negligence. The firm has recovered over $1 billion dollars in verdicts and settlements for clients in car crash, construction accident, wrongful death, and other personal injury cases.
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SOURCE Block O'Toole & Murphy