The driver of the taxi that struck a British tourist in a Manhattan accident earlier this week spoke to the New York Post. Considering the substance of the interview, the driver’s choice to speak with the Post seems very odd. Several of the statements made by the driver, Mohammed Faysal Himon, would work against him in a civil or criminal trial. Himon stated that he doesn’t “want to drive a taxi…I need a more suitable job. There’s too much stress when you’re driving in the city.” He also told The Post that a bicyclist made him upset by getting in his way. These statements would likely be admissible in a lawsuit or criminal trial as the driver would be a party to the action.
Certainly Himon’s employer, the Taxi and Limousine Commission, cannot be pleased with his comments. As the employer, the T&LC could be vicariously liable for the actions of the driver. The concept of vicarious liability allows for employers to be held liable for the actions of their employees while the employee is performing standard aspects of his or her job description. In all likelihood t would be impossible to argue that the act of driving a taxi does not fall within the standard job description of a taxi driver.
To name the city and the T&LC in any potential lawsuit, the victim will have to move fairly quickly. In order to sue a municipality for personal injury, a plaintiff generally must file a Notice of Claim within ninety days of the incident. That would give the victim roughly three months from the date of the accident to alert the city that she plans to assert a claim against it.
The driver may also face criminal charges, according to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. The Post details a list of infractions that the cab driver has incurred through the years, including speeding and running a red light. Additionally, this is not the first accident that he has been involved in as a cab driver. He injured a passenger in a car crash in 2010.
More information from the Post’s interview with Himon can be found here.