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Cancer patient dragged by New York City bus, partially paralyzed, awarded US$72.5 million in lawsuit

People walk on the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson) People walk on the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)
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A Florida woman who says she was struck and dragged by a New York City bus and left partially paralyzed has been awarded US$72.5 million in her lawsuit against the city's transit agency.

A city jury found in favor of Aurora Beauchamp, now 68, who was hit by a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus on Manhattan's Lower East Side in March 2017. She was crossing a street in a crosswalk when she was struck by a bus making a right turn and dragged under it for about 20 feet (6 metres).

Beauchamp, who grew up near the accident scene and now lives in Bradenton, Fla., had severe pelvis injuries and her left leg was left paralyzed. She told the New York Post on Saturday that she was on her way to her mother's apartment to discuss her uterine cancer diagnosis when she was struck.

“I’ve crossed that street 100 million times in my lifetime,” she said. “I was feeling good. The next thing I know I’m under the bus fighting for my life.”

A six-person jury deliberated less than three hours before reaching its verdict Feb. 22. Beauchamp's lawyers said the verdict amount appears to be one of the largest over an MTA bus accident.

The MTA intends to appeal, spokesperson Tim Minton told WPIX-TV, which first reported the judgment.

"This is another indication of how excessive awards in personal injury litigation impact funding that otherwise could be available to deliver transit service,” he said.

The driver of the bus that struck Beauchamp pleaded guilty to failing to yield to a pedestrian, the Post reported.

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