Manhattan, NY — On February 11, 2019, a 70-year-old woman was seriously injured after being struck and dragged by an MTA bus in Manhattan.

Authorities say the incident happened around 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Second Avenue and East 36th Street. The woman was reportedly walking north on Second Avenue and entered the street to cross 36th when he was hit by a Q44 bus making a left turn. Her foot became caught under the wheel and the bus dragged her 20 to 30 feet before coming to a stop.

The pedestrian was taken to the hospital in serious condition. The bus driver remained on scene after the accident.

Police continue to investigate the incident.

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Commentary

Based on news reports, it looks like the bus involved is probably operated by the local government (unless some private entity decided to do business as “Mass Transit Authority,” which is unlikely). If the victim of this accident sought remedy from the driver’s employer–the city of New York–there would be additional layers of complexity on top of the difficulties that are generally associated with pursuing a case against a commercial vehicle driver.

For a long time, governments operated with a great deal of legal protection from lawsuits. This protection, called sovereign immunity, reaches back to the days where monarchs were in charge and no grievance against them or those acting on their behalf was considered valid.

America never had much use for kings, but sovereign immunity was considered a valid protection for governments on the theory that they’d never get anything else done if they were always beholden to the claims of the governed. So long as a government agent or employee was acting on the government’s behalf, anyone they harmed had no case.

Eventually this policy was modified, though it wasn’t abandoned completely. Under certain circumstances and with certain prerequisites, those hurt by the government and its employees are now allowed to seek remedy. Because the government handles the laws that apply to these suits, though, they are often loaded with inconvenient deadlines and pitfalls that, if mishandled, will cause the case to be dismissed.

While it’s not mandatory to seek assistance with these cases, it doesn’t take long for a victim to get lost in the weeds if they choose to go it alone. For instance, not only would the victim in Manhattan be burdened with proving that the bus driver was negligent in causing her injuries, but she would also need to have known she had to file a notice of claim within a limited length of time after the crash. Having the right allies, who know about the twists and turns of legal action against a bureaucratic body, can be an invaluable tool.

–Grossman Law Offices

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Recent Comments to the Blog

Jason is back to work and is now playing Sled Hockey and wheelchair rugby!! Jason is the strongest and most amazing man! He may nly have 1/2 a leg, but that is ALL he is lacking!! Thanks to prayer and GOD and awsome first responders and Baylor doctors. Jason's wife, Sheila
— Sheila
I'm a former employee. I had brought up this exact scenario and suggested a maintenance procedure that would eliminate the possibility of this type injury. Obviously my warning went unheeded.
— Tophat
I was actually a couple cars back from this wreck, one of the first on the scene, and helped administer CPR on the victims. The truck driver was going way too fast, but it was actually his trailer that swung around and hit the suv, the semi-truck ended in the median.
— Leif Burton
I appreciate how you've commentated on this tragedy--informative, with questions, but not hurtful. I live within 30 mins of this crash site, and I am appalled at the entire situation :(. I can't even begin to understand what could have happened to make this come to fruition, but I will be keeping up with it so I can learn what investigations bring to light about how something awful like this could happen. Rest in peace, Thomas, Carolyn and Carolyn...
— Summer
I am Anthony Siffords daughter. im 13 and i miss my dad i just wanted everyone to know that he is in a better place now and i would to thank everyone for the support. i miss my dad but it was amazing to see how many people had been toughed by my dad god bless thanks for everything...
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I am Rodney Palmer's sister-inlaw. I am amazed and grateful for all the heartfelt wishes and support for our family... It is difficult indeed to put our thoughts into words, but we very much appreciate your kind and helpful words at a time when these things mean so much. Losing someone as special as Rodney has been tough, but knowing the he has touched so many people's lives keeps my sister's strengthens our family.
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A lot of people say smack about lawyers, but I want to say that I'm glad there is a way that people who are wronged by corporate neglect can get justice and force change. We are living in a world where corporations and govt care less than ever about common people, and I support your work. I hope I will never need your services.
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My friend Michael was the one who got hit by this train. This is the ONLY article I can find on it!! How is that possible? It happened almost 5 days ago! Thank you for actually caring about us "no name" people. I hope when more information comes in you will post it as soon as you can. Thank you again!! God bless you
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Tony was the step Grant father and it's been hard for the whole family but we know he is in a better place now. It's nice to know that people are rasing awareness with my grandfathers story. Thanks, family and friends of Tony Wray.
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Thank you for posting these accident articles on your site. At the company that I work for, e deal with monitoring construction activity and work around trenches and all sorts of construction equipment/vehicles. I sometimes wonder if construction companies have enough safety training to inform employees of how to protect themselves while on the job.
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