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City pays settlement to baseball prospect hit by car

New York City has paid a $1.5 million settlement to a baseball prospect that was injured in Queens when a traffic signal changed too quickly.

According to a traffic expert, the signal turned from "walk" to "don't walk" 12 seconds sooner than it should have. Furthermore, the signal only gave pedestrians 15 seconds to make their way across an oddly-shaped intersection. This is well short of the 27.5-second minimum set by the Federal Highway Administration's uniform guide on traffic control devices.

The 29-year-old man was a baseball player for C.W. Post University who was receiving interest from a variety of Major League Baseball teams, including the New York Mets. Unfortunately, one morning in February 2008 he was struck by a car near the crosswalk.

As a result of the collision, the man was thrown approximately 50 feet. Subsequently, he broke both ankles and suffered a head injury. He has since endured 20 surgeries.

The lawyers for the city said that the traffic signal's timing was not wrong, but a motion to dismiss the lawsuit was denied because previous traffic safety studies for the intersection had not been completed.

The city Law Department said, "This unfortunate accident resulted in serious injuries; in light of the court rulings during the litigation, settlement was in the city's best interest."

Every day in New York City, thousands upon thousands of people cross busy streets. While most are able to do so without incident, there are times when an accident happens. When this occurs, an investigation can help turn up who was at fault.

Source: New York Daily News, "EXCLUSIVE: NYC pays $1.5M settlement to ex-baseball prospect struck while crossing Queens street after traffic signal changed ‘too fast’," John Marzulli, Nov. 25, 2015

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