What to Know
- A Brooklyn jury has awarded more than $110 million to a cyclist who was paralyzed by a piece of railroad tie that fell from a subway track
- The railroad tie fell as Robert Liciaga was biking in Bushwick in April 2016
- Liciaga “has been wheelchair-bound since the accident and will remain so for the rest of his life," the law firm representing him said
A Brooklyn jury has awarded more than $110 million to a cyclist who was paralyzed by a piece of railroad tie that fell from an elevated subway track in Brooklyn.
Robert Liciaga, 26, was biking on Broadway Avenue in Bushwick in April 2016 when a New York City Transit Authority worker who was supposed to slowly lower the 10-foot beam into a hole on the elevated J and M line tracks dropped it, according to Block O’Toole & Murphy, the law firm representing Liciaga.
The beam fell on Liciaga as he was biking and fractured his spine, according to the firm. Liciaga “has been wheelchair-bound since the accident and will remain so for the rest of his life,” the firm said.
A jury on Tuesday awarded Liciaga $110,174,972.38 after ruling that NYCTA was liable for Liciaga’s injuries.
“This is a terrible tragedy, and one that was entirely preventable,” Block O’Toole & Murphy partner Scott Occhiogrosso said in a statement.
“Robert’s standard of living is forever diminished because the NYCTA failed to take reasonable measures to protect the public,” he added.
In a statement Wednesday, MTA Chief External Affairs Officer Maxwell Young said the agency plans to appeal.
“This verdict is grossly excessive and we intend to pursue all avenues of appeal, in addition to asking the trial court to reduce the award,” Young said.