A man hit by a Metrobus in 2015 has been awarded millions in a case against WMATA that hinged on the transit agency’s own camera system.
On Christmas night in 2015, longtime D.C. pastry chef Joshua Short was walking home from a shift at the Hay Adams Hotel. As he crossed 16th Street a left-turning Metrobus struck him — rolling him 20 feet down the road, according to court documents.
On Thursday, D.C. Superior Court awarded Mr. Short $4.32 million because the injuries he sustained to his wrists which ended his career.
Mr. Short’s attorney Adam M. *Linker told The Washington Times that the key to turning the case in their favor was camera footage from the bus itself. Mr. Linker represents Ann Arbor-based law firm *Hooper Hathaway, P.C. and said he wasn’t aware buses had footage, and began the case by hunting for cameras from local storefronts.
“We learned [of the bus cameras] during discovery,” Mr. Linker said during a phone call Thursday.
Initially, Metro’s lawyers claimed that Mr. Short was also at fault because he was jaywalking. However, after watching the footage from the bus, jurists concluded Mr. Short was in the crosswalk when the Metrobus hit him.
“It helps ensure the proper facts are shown and WMATA, or anyone, can’t hide behind a ‘He said, she said,’ ” said Mr. Linker of the importance of dash cameras for vehicle crash cases.
When reached for comment on the verdict, Metro did not respond in time for publication.
The multimillion dollar sum of damages awarded Mr. Short may also be record-breaking. Mr. Short’s attorneys believe it is the largest D.C. Superior Court jurists have given for a vehicle case in the past decade.
Mr. Short said in a statement through his attorney Thursday afternoon that, “it’s been a long and difficult two and-a-half-years” and that he looks, “forward to healing in many different ways.”
In a statement sent to The Washington Times after the verdict Thursday afternoon, Metro said, “We are surprised by the award in this case and are actively considering our next steps.”
* (Corrections: The name of Joshua Short’s attorney, his law firm, the amount awarded and the court were incorrectly identified in a previous version of the story. They have been corrected.)