Bicyclist Sustains Fractures of Both Legs when Struck by Police Car; Appeals Court Upholds Trial Judge's Increase to $750,000 for Pain and Suffering after Jury Awarded only $100,000


On August 15, 2004, 20 year old Ervin Jordan was on his bicycle in Wyandanch, New York (Suffolk County) attempting to cross a road known as Straight Path at its intersection with State Avenue.....

....At the same time, and on State Avenue only a block away from Jordan, a county police officer received a dispatch advising of a robbery in progress. The police officer made a quick U-turn and headed to the crime scene. He didn’t get very far. Though he saw Jordan on his bicycle, the police officer slammed right into him.....

...In the ensuing personal injury lawsuit, the county claimed that Jordan could not prove that the officer drove with reckless disregard for the safety of others. That standard is higher and much more difficult to prove than ordinary negligence. Under New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1104, that standard is applied in favor of police officers in car accidents while responding to a police call.

The Suffolk County jury that heard this case ruled that the officer had indeed been reckless.

In the trial on damages that followed, the jury was apprised of plaintiff’s injuries...

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