When a woman was struck in the face with a bottle during a New Jersey Transit bus ride, she hired Bendit Weinstock for legal help. Bendit Weinstock Partner, K. Raja Bhattacharya recovered $1.8 million on her behalf, but New Jersey Transit appealed the decision. Bendit Weinstock Partner, Sherri David Fowler assisted in writing the Appellate briefs. Fortunately, New Jersey’s Supreme Court sided with our client and upheld the ruling. The result of this ruling is significant for everyone who rides NJ Transit buses and trains.
Harassment and Assault on the New Jersey Transit Bus
While riding the bus one day in 2013, our client suffered an attack that left her with 22 stitches in her forehead. A group of young men began harassing her, and the bus driver refused to intervene, even after our client switched seats. Court documents reflect that the driver did not stop the bus nor ask the men harassing our client to get off the bus. As a result of the bus driver’s inaction, the men were able to hit our client in the head with a liquor bottle, causing serious injury.
Police never found the bottle thrower, and a jury found New Jersey Transit liable for the crime, awarding our client $1.8 million. Shockingly, the bus driver only acted after the bottle hit our client. Instead of calling 911, he contacted New Jersey Transit’s control center. From there, the control center notified police and emergency medical services.
Supreme Court Upholds Verdict in 4-3 Decision
The New Jersey Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, determined that New Jersey Transit, a public carrier, had a high duty of care to protect customers, just like private carriers do. The 4-3 decision “presses the jury to allocate most — if not all — of the fault in this case to NJ Transit,” according to coverage by U.S. News.
This decision is also important because it encourages New Jersey Transit to consider passenger safety more carefully. As Mr. Bhattacharya explains:
“[This ruling] is a significant victory for those of us who work to assure public safety… We hope that NJ Transit will follow the direction of the court and re-examine its policies and procedures concerning passenger safety.”
Making an Impact
At Bendit Weinstock, we are proud to have made a positive impact with this meaningful case. Not only will our client get to keep the damages she was awarded, but we’ve also helped improve the community that has supported us for more than 60 years.
We treat every one of our clients with this level of respect, and we always pursue the most positive results. As you can see, we are not afraid to escalate your case to whatever level necessary in order to receive real results and a fair resolution.
If you have a similar case or need legal help from experienced, award-winning attorneys, please don’t hesitate to call us at (973) 736-9800 or contact us online today.