Drunken totter into subway train’s path: $2.3 million

by Walter Olson on February 19, 2009

Dustin Dibble, 25, of Brooklyn “got so drunk that he fell into the path of a subway train – costing him his right leg – but a Manhattan jury still awarded him $2.3 million after finding that NYC Transit was to blame.” [New York Post ("Drunk Rides Gravy Train") and more (Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls award "incomprehensible"), N.Y. Daily News] John Hochfelder has more on the tendency of the New York subway system to be sued by tipsy totterers, and see also this City Journal compilation of mine from back in 1993.

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New York Injury Cases Blog
03.16.09 at 3:19 am

{ 7 comments }

1 Todd Rogers 02.19.09 at 8:49 pm

Wow. This one has me thinking. Would I willfully give up a half-leg for a couple of mill?

2 Bob Lipton 02.19.09 at 9:20 pm

Well, it’s a living, I suppose.

Bob

3 Rbastid 02.20.09 at 11:28 am

This reminds me of the case about 10 years ago where someone tried to kill themselves by jumping infront of a train here in NYC. She won millions, but it was decided she was 70% at fault and the NYC transit was 30% at fault (or something along those lines)

Pretty sure if you jump infront of a train your somewhere near 115% at fault.

4 Bill Poser 02.20.09 at 6:02 pm

Out of curiosity, suppose that the conductor had activated the emergency brake when he saw what turned out to be Dibbie on the tracks: would the train have stopped in time? According to the news reports, he was 60 yards away at the time. I would think that wouldn’t be enough time to stop a train unless it was already going rather slowly.

5 Todd Rogers 02.20.09 at 7:33 pm

This clown should have doubled-down and tried to urinate on the conduits. Bad for sex life good for wallet…you decide.

6 Steve 02.21.09 at 12:22 pm

I’m not an attorney, but the story got me thinking: If the conductor saw him on the tracks and activated the emergency sto brakes and a assenger on the train was injured as a result of the sudden sto, who is liable?

7 Dirk D 02.21.09 at 5:17 pm

“If the conductor saw him on the tracks and activated the emergency sto brakes and a assenger on the train was injured as a result of the sudden sto, who is liable?”

Google: comparative negligence

Everyone who a jury determines to have acted negligently ( ie being on the tracks = negligence, braking too hard could = negligence, not being seated properly on the train could = negligence) , though in reality only the train authority ( their insurance co, really) will pay. Tort law doesn’t concern itself wish logic or common sense.

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