Attorney Joseph Froetschel secures $2.7 Million verdict for a woman who was hit by a Port Authority bus

In the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, a jury awarded over $2.7 Million to a 59 year-old woman who lost her leg after being run over by a Port Authority bus. Attorney Joseph Froetschel argued the case on behalf of our client in front of Judge Arnold Klein. After a two day trial, a jury returned a verdict in the amount of $2,731,000 for her injuries, pain and suffering and lost wages.

Our client, an accountant, was walking along the sidewalk of Sixth Avenue downtown when a phantom vehicle, driving the wrong way down a one-way street, was blocking the crosswalk. She was crossing in front of the vehicle when a Port Authority Bus approached. The bus was passing a vehicle making a left-hand turn. The bus passed on the right, or curb side of Sixth Avenue just as our client was crossing the alleyway. The driver of the bus claimed that she did not see our client and the Port Authority witnesses claimed that our client stepped into Sixth Avenue. Our client testified that she was still within Montour Way. As a result of the proximity of the bus to the curb or alleyway, the front right bumper of the bus hit our client, knocking her to the ground. Unaware that the bus had hit our client, the bus operator continued driving, running over the plaintiff’s right leg, causing severe damage. Witnesses described the leg as being held together by strings, and looking like a bag of crushed potato chips.

Our client had numerous surgeries over a 3 month period to try and save her leg, including multiple skin grafts, muscle reconstruction, and external fixation of the bones. Unfortunately she developed an infection in the bone and the leg was amputated. Altogether she had 14 surgeries, including the amputation, and the closure of the skin around the stump-site. She went through rehabilitation and has been utilizing a prosthetic leg, though she still needs to use crutches for stability. She continues to suffer from phantom pain in the amputated extremity, as well as numerous skin breakdowns in her stump site, but she has returned to work.

“I am very happy for my client. She has worked incredibly hard to get some semblance of her life back, including returning to work full-time. Her determination and will were so inspiring to me and I am so glad that we were able to secure a positive result,” said Attorney Joe Froetschel.

Unfortunately, given the fact that the Port Authority has a cap on damages of $250,000 that has not been changed in 40 years, our client’s actual recovery is not going to enable her to afford the full amount of assistance that the jury awarded for her injuries and future care. We are grateful for the hard work and compassion of the jury, who felt our client deserved $2.7 Million.