The widow and daughter of an immigrant hit by the subway had filed a $30 million wrongful death lawsuit against the MTA in 2013. Nine years later they will only receive $750,000 and a large part will go to their lawyer
MTA agreed to pay just $750,000 to the family of Ki Suk Han, 58, a Queens father who was killed when he was pushed by a homeless man into an oncoming Q train at a Manhattan subway station nearly 10 years ago.
That’s far less money than expected by the victim’s widow and daughter, who had filed a $30 million wrongful death lawsuit against the transit authority in 2013, claiming the conductor should have stopped the train. The deadly hit-and-run occurred in Midtown on December 3, 2012.
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“I think they’re very relieved that this is coming to an end,” the family’s attorney, Charen Kim, told the New York Post after a court hearing last week on the settlement agreement.
Speaking through a translator, Widow Se Rim Han, 64, told Chief Justice Nancy Bannon that she agreed with the amount and that she wanted to give all the money to her daughter Ashley, now married. 29 years. The family’s attorneys will receive nearly $290,000 of the total amount.
“It’s been a long battle with the Transit Authority for 10 years,” her attorney said. “There have been so many delays…they are finally at a point where they can close this chapter of their life and move on.” While the settlement amount is much less than the $30 million the Han family sued for, they did not want to experience a trial and the possible media attention that would come with it, Kim said.
The MTA had previously tried to argue that Naeem Davis, the homeless man who pushed Han, should be the one to pay.
Davis was acquitted of murder charges by a Manhattan jury in 2017 after his attorney argued that Han was drunk and belligerent, and that his client had pushed the man in self-defense.
“Unfortunately, during the criminal trial the family was very disappointed, but fortunately with the civil case they seem to be more satisfied,” said attorney Kim.
Since that 2012 tragedy, the New York Subway has become much more dangerous. In general, this year there has been a long list of dramatic situations in the New York subway, between robberies, attacks, accidents, natural deaths, suicides, fatal overdoses, work-related deaths and homicides.
Last April in particular was one of the most violent months in the history of the New York Subway since its founding in 1904. Mayor Eric Adams, whose election campaign focused on public safety, has implemented several measures to make the subway be safer, including deploying more police in stations and cars. But so far the deaths continue to rise.
Last July there was 57% more crime in the New York Subway than in the same month of 2021, Fox News reported. A resounding 84% of New Yorkers believe that conditions have worsened in the city since March 2020, when the pandemic began, according to a survey. Most cited problems in the Metro as one of the main reasons for urban deterioration.