If subway fares start to rise again, this huge payout just might be one of the reasons why…
A man who was paralyzed from the waist down after MTA construction workers dropped a huge hunk of metal on him was awarded a whopping $110 million in a lawsuit against the agency, according to The New York Daily News.
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The decision came on Tuesday, almost three years after Robert Liciaga suffered from a severed spinal cord after a 10-foot railroad tie weighing more than 100 pounds fell on him as he rode his bike under the elevated subway tracks along Broadway in Bushwick.
Liciaga’s lawyers said that crews were performing rail replacement work on the line and did not properly barricade the area of the street where they were dumping debris. “There was a 12-foot opening that looked like a travel lane,” explained attorney Daniel O’Toole. “He goes into this area and the next thing he knows he wakes up in the hospital.”
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Now, the 26-year-old is living in a skilled nursing facility and will not be able walk for the rest of his life.
His lawyer explained, “His legs are in a constant state of spasm. He’s trying to stay positive and have hope for the future. He’s hoping this verdict will help him live in a better facility.” O’Toole said the MTA did not dispute the $40 million worth of care Liciaga will need for the rest of his life, but said the agency’s lawyers “fought us tooth and nail” for the remainder of the settlement. “They said it was 100% our guy’s fault,” O’Toole said.
The MTA is planning on aggressively fighting the jury’s nine-figure decision. “This verdict is grossly excessive and we intend to pursue all avenues of appeal, in addition to asking the trial court to reduce the award,” said agency spokesman Max Young. The jury’s decision comes just over a month after a massive wooden beam fell from an elevated No. 7 train track in Woodside, Queens, nearly impaling a man waiting in his car below.
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