Pedestrian Hit at Intersection to Undergo 2nd Trial re: Damages

Posted on: June 29th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

An August 2009 ruling by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania affirmed a jury’s liability decision in favor of a PA pedestrian accident victim.  However, the Appeal’s Court ordered a new trial on the issue of damages.  A 5 year-old boy was hit by a SEPTA paratransit bus while crossing the street at a Philadelphia intersection.  A lawsuit was filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia.

At trial, the bus driver testified that he intended to make a turn at the intersection when he saw the boy and his uncle stopped at the corner crosswalk.  When the boy did not begin to cross the street, the bus driver turned and the pedestrian was hit soon thereafter.  The Pennsylvania pedestrian accident lawyer presented expert medical testimony that the young child’s injuries included a fractured right hip, fractured pelvis, separation of the sacroiliac and a bowel injury.

The attorney representing the bus driver requested a delay in concluding the trial so that he could present his Allentown PA medical expert to testify live to the jury.  The Philadelphia trial court judge denied the request.  After a jury entered a verdict for the PA pedestrian accident victim, an appeal was taken.  The Commonwealth Court ruled that a new trial on the issue of damages only should be granted.  The failure to give the defense a short delay to present their only witness on damages was an abuse of discretion.  Cheng v. SEPTA, 981 A.2d 371 (PA Cmwlth. 2009)