Location of the train accidentWe are pleased to report a record-setting settlement of $20 Million for our client who suffered horrific injuries in a 2020 accident at the 14th St. PATH Train Station in New York City.  The settlement has drawn national attention to the importance of transportation safety for trains, cars, trucks, and buses. Visaya Hoffie, a 23-year-old tourist, suffered life-altering injuries after falling onto the train tracks and being struck by two consecutive trains. As a result, Ms. Hoffie underwent a below-the-knee amputation of one leg and a partial amputation of her opposite foot.

In our legal battle, we argued that the operators of both trains failed to recognize Ms. Hoffie’s presence on the tracks, ultimately leading to the severe injuries she sustained. The first operator did not notice Ms. Hoffie on the tracks, and the second operator, despite being aware of her presence, did not react in time to prevent the tragic outcome. Ms. Hoffie was left on the tracks for approximately 7 minutes before the first operator struck her and an additional 16 minutes before the second train hit her. The lawsuit also alleged that Summit Security, the security company responsible for monitoring the tracks through video surveillance, failed to promptly inform the train operators of the dangerous situation.

In response, the defense argued that Ms. Hoffie’s fall onto the tracks was a result of intoxication, claiming that she was solely responsible for the accident and her subsequent injuries. They also contended that Ms. Hoffie was not visible as she was wearing black clothing. Their assertion was quickly defeated when all parties conducted a live simulation during a complete shut-down of the PATH station using life-sized mannequins placed on the tracks.  It became immediately apparent that not only could the train operators clearly see Visaya lying on the tracks, but there was ample time for each of them to stop the trains before striking her.