A man who fell in between a subway platform and a train and was crushed 167 times by the platform extender was granted $10 million by a jury yesterday.
When a New York City subway rolls up and the doors yawn open, a mechanical voice will sometimes tell you to watch the gap between the subway and the platform. Because if you’re not careful, there’s a chance that you could fall through. And then get viciously crushed by a platform extender for about a quarter of an hour straight.
That’s exactly what happened to Michael Dion back in 2010, reports DNAinfo. When the 4 train pulled into the Union Square station, he misstepped and fell through the 13-inch gap between the door and the platform. What happened next is the stuff of NYC nightmares:
As [Dion] tried to get himself back on the platform, the automated extender shot out, crushing him against the train, [his lawyer Jay Dankner] said. Because his body prevented it from fully extending, the one-ton device, which is programmed to fully extend to the train, repeatedly rammed into his body, ultimately crushing Dion 167 times over the next several minutes, according to Dankner.
There was no emergency switch to shut off the extender, so straphangers and transit workers watched helplessly for nearly a quarter of an hour as Dion, still conscious and screaming in pain, was mashed again and again by the device, Dankner said.
From this, Dion suffered 12 fractured ribs and pelvis, major internal bleeding and damage to his bowels and spleen. A week after the incident, he had to undergo five surgeries. Five!
And then! Afterward, Dion suffered from nightmares, panic attacks and an anxiety disorder from the stress of the situation. He couldn’t work for almost nine months and actually had to leave his job because his injuries were so terrible.
DNAinfo says that Dion’s case was based on the fact that the gap was bigger than needed and that there wasn’t a simple way of turning off the platform extender. Since the incident, the MTA has installed safeguards to make it easier to turn off the platform extender.
The MTA plans to appeal the award, however. It says that “it failed to ‘hold accountable’ Dion for the fall” and that he was “seriously intoxicated” at the time.