A D.C. Superior Court jury ordered Metro yesterday to pay $1.75 million to a woman who was injured in an accident she said was caused by a Metrobus that ran a red light.
Patricia Gilliam, now 56, was walking to Union Station on her way home from work on April 19, 1983, when she was struck by a car at First and K streets NE, according to court documents.
Gilliam suffered fractures of the pelvis and legs, a ruptured spleen, a forehead laceration and other injuries that provoked additional problems, including pneumonia, her lawsuit said. Gilliam now walks with extreme difficulty and cannot use her right arm, her attorney said.
Gilliam's suit against Metro and the owner of the car said her injuries left her unable to work or "live a normal life." It alleged that the bus ran a red light as it entered the intersection, crossing into the path of the car, which struck the bus and then Gilliam.
Metro officials argued in court that the bus driver had a green light and was not at fault, said spokeswoman Beverly Silverberg.
Gilliam previously got $100,000 in an out-of-court settlement with the car driver, Diane L. Whitney, said Gilliam's attorney, Robert F. Muse.
Muse called the award "a fair verdict, given the devastating consequences the collision caused Gilliam."
Judge Robert Tignor was scheduled to hold a hearing today to review the judgment and decide whether Whitney's car shares blame for the accident and, if so, whether to reduce the amount Metro must pay.
After the hearing, Metro can ask the judge to consider reducing the amount of the award.