A Brooklyn jury has handed up a $10.5 million verdict to a woman whose left leg was amputated after she was struck by an out-of-control livery driver in 2012 while she was waiting to catch an early morning bus ride to church.
After a three-day trial, the jury awarded Deborah Munize, 63, $2.5 million for past pain and suffering and $8 million for future pain and suffering, said Munize’s attorney, Richard Levy of Rubenstein & Rynecki.
The lawsuit stemmed from an accident that took place in the predawn hours of April 15, 2012, when Munize was sitting in a bus stop near the intersection of Montrose and Graham Avenues in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. A 2004 Ford Crown Victoria jumped the curb and smashed into the bus stop, hitting Munize, the New York Daily News reported.
The driver, Maximo Espinal, drove away from the scene but he left behind the vehicle’s rear bumper and license plate in the middle of the street. He turned himself in to police later that morning.
Munize’s left leg was amputated below the knee. She sued both Espinal and his employer, Maven Limo, which also owned the Crown Victoria.
The jury handed up the verdict on Nov. 1 and Acting Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Carolyn Wade, who presided over the case, denied an oral motion from defense counsel Claire Rush of Rush & Sabbatino to set aside the verdict, Levy said.
Rush did not respond to requests for comment.