State Appellate Division Overturns $2.3M Verdict

In February 2009, I wrote a scathing entry on how irresponsibility earned someone $2.3M. The someone in question was Dustin Dibble, an irresponsible drunk who fell to the tracks at the 14th St-Union Square station & subsequently got his right leg torn off by a N train. The verdict called into question personal responsibility & why the MTA should be faulted for someone who showcased none on his behalf.

The awarded settlement was so ridiculous, it even had Mayor Bloomberg infuriated. Fast forward to June 2010 where irresponsibility met its match in a state Appellate Division court & lost as the verdict was overturned. Dareh Gregorian of the New York Post has more in this report:


A man who lost his leg after taking a drunken tumble onto the subway tracks at Union Square has now lost his $2.3 million jury verdict.

In a decision released today, the state Appellate Division overturned the award to Dustin Dibble and threw out his entire lawsuit, finding the MTA shouldn’t have been held liable for his injuries.

The January 2009 award had infuriated Mayor Bloomberg, who said, “you’d think there’s a personal responsibility here,” referring to the fact that Dibble had been out drinking for hours before he stumbled off the platform and into the path of an N train.

The appeals court didn’t focus on Dibble’s drunkenness – they focused on his assertions from his experts that the train operator, Michael Moore, could have avoided the accident if he’d reacted faster.

One expert testified that Moore’s reaction time was too slow because it was more than one second.

Click here for the complete report.

I would like to congratulate the people responsible for overturning this verdict as it was clearly the wrong one from day one. Some might find it cruel that I say this but Mr. Dibble made his own bed & he should have to lie in it. He & no one for that matter deserves to be rewarded for making idiotic choices. No one told him to drink beyond what he was capable of handling & riding in public transit where he put not only his life in danger but potentially the life of others.

The sad part in all of this is how the decision was not overturned for having a common sense understanding of what was right but the lack of agreeing with one of the defense’s key points. So if they somehow agreed, would they have let it stand? Seriously this decision was a no-brainer & it should have never even reached this point. The original jury should have put the fault where it rightfully belonged & that was clearly with Mr. Dibble.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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