It’s only the first week in July and already, New York City has seen two separate juries award millions of dollars to two students who were injured. The first jury in Manhattan awarded nearly $60 million dollars to a 21-year-old who was seriously burned during a chemistry class experiment in 2014. The teen, who was in class when a teacher performed an experiment using flammable materials and mineral salts, suffered from burns requiring skin grafts over 30% of his body, including his face, neck, arms, and hands. Now, the New York Post reports that another jury has awarded a teen $25 million after he was struck by a school safety van.
On November 12th, 2014, now 17-year-old Manuel Lassalle was in the crosswalk on Coney Island Avenue near Ditmas Avenue. School had just let out and Lassalle was crossing the road when he was struck by an NYPD school safety van. Lassalle was pinned beneath the vehicle and dragged for 98 feet.
Lassalle was trapped beneath the vehicle as the engine and exhaust system scorched his genitals and his left flank.
A tow truck driver that witnessed the accident pulled over to help. EMS workers and firefighters were captured on cell phone footage lifting the van off of the boy to extricate him.
According to his attorney, the burns that Lassalle suffered required three skin grafts to repair. He spent more than a month at Jacobi Hospital undergoing skin graft surgeries and recovering from his injuries.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-932-0400
Friday, a Bronx jury at the Supreme Court determined that the driver of the van was 80% at fault and Lassalle was 20% at fault. According to lawyers for the city, Lassalle crossed during a do not cross signal and did not give the van driver time to stop.