Request to Limit Damages in Stanton Island Ferry Crash Denied

In 2003, a Stanton Island Ferry transporting dozens of commuters crashed, purportedly due to the negligence of the pilot, and due to the failure to abide by regulations requiring two pilots during docking.  The crash resulted in the deaths of 11 people, and many more were injured.  Subsequent lawsuits have been filed against the city, with potential damages totaling into the billions of dollars.  Read the full story at by clicking here. 

The city’s attempt to limit the total amount of damages recoverable by all potential plaintiffs to the value of the ferry failed when U.S. District Judge Edward Korman disagreed that the 19th century statute applied and denied the city’s request. 

As a result, the only remaining limitation to the amount of damages plaintiffs may recover is whether or not the damages are reasonable.  This rule generally applies to all personal injury or wrongful death cases as well. 

If a passenger of a public transportation vehicle is injured in an accident, and the accident was the fault of the operator of the vehicle (or for failure to maintain the vehicle), the city or municipality is liable for damages the passenger suffered.

In addition, a driver or passenger of another vehicle that is involved in an accident with a public transportation vehicle may also recover monetary damages from the city, if the accident was caused by the city.

Persons who suffer injuries in such accidents, must realize that they are not required to accept compensation from the city in these types of situations.  Many times, an attorney may be able to negotiate a higher amount of compensation for the injured party.


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