In Vasquez v. County of Nassau, 2012 NY Slip Op 00508 decided on January 24, 2012 The New York Appellate Division 2d Department affirmed a jury verdict of $3,025,000.00. The case was tried by our partner Howard Hershenhorn in Nassau County Supreme Court. Our partners, Rhonda Kay and Richard Steigman handled the appeal.
On Oct. 18, 2003, plaintiff’s decedent Maria Araujo, 34, was crossing Washington Street, at the corner of Jackson Street, in Hempstead. She was carrying her 3-year-old son, plaintiff Fernando Araujo. Glory Upke was driving a sport utility vehicle north on Washington Street, and a public bus, driven by William Malloy, was traveling on the westbound side of Jackson Street. The bus struck the right rear quarter panel of Upke’s vehicle. Upke’s vehicle spun in a counterclockwise direction and struck and killed Maria Araujo. Fernando was also hurt. The Appellate Division set forth the facts of the accident as follows;
“This case stems from an accident involving multiple vehicles and two pedestrians at the intersection of Jackson Street and Washington Street in Hempstead, which was governed by traffic light signals. The decedent was carrying the infant plaintiff, her three-year-old disabled son with Down Syndrome. As the decedent crossed Jackson Street on the north side of the intersection in the crosswalk, she was struck by a vehicle operated by the defendant Glory E. Upke, after that vehicle was struck by a bus operated by the defendant William Malloy and owned by the defendant Metropolitan Suburban Bus Authority. The force of the impact propelled the decedent into the air and caused her to let go of the infant plaintiff. Prior to the accident, the bus was traveling in a westerly direction on Jackson Street, and the Upke vehicle was traveling in a northerly direction on Washington Street.