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Law Offices of Jonathan M. Cooper

New York Noncompete, Trade Secret & School Negligence Blog

This blog by the six-time published author Jonathan Cooper, is intended to educate the general public about issues of interest, particularly innovations and changes in the law, in the areas of non-compete agreements, breach of contract matters, school negligence (and/or negligent supervision), construction accidentsslip and/or trip and fall accidentsauto accidents, and, of course, defective or dangerous products

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Jonathan Cooper
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Recently, a Brooklyn jury awarded in excess of $7 million to a man who sustained serious personal injuries, including the loss of both one eye and a leg when he fell to the subway tracks, and was then hit by a passing New York City Transit Authority subway train. But that's not the surprising part. It's the jury's apportionment of fault for the accident that is puzzling.

In weighing the parties' relative degree of fault for the subway accident, the jury held the Transit Authority 70% responsible, notwithstanding the fact that the plaintiff was heavily intoxicated on alcohol and narcotics at the time of occurrence. While New York's courts have long held that the motorman of a subway train can be held liable in negligence for failing to avoid an accident provided that he had enough time and distance to do so, I am at a loss to understand how a man who found himself on the train tracks only because of his self-inflicted methadone and alcohol-induced haze can only be 30% responsible for his accident. Perhaps I'm alone in my feelings on this; but I highly doubt it.

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