Judge Dismisses NYC Firefighter's Lawsuit Against Transit Union

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that claimed the union representing the city's bus and subway workers was responsible for an accident that left a firefighter critically injured because workers went on strike.

Matthew Long, 39, was run over by a private bus while he was bicycling to work during the December walkout. He sued the Transport Workers Union Local 100 in February, arguing the accident would not have happened had the union not gone on strike.

The multimillion-dollar lawsuit also named Bear Stearns & Co., which chartered the bus, as well as two private bus companies and the driver of the bus that hit Long. The lawsuit against those parties is proceeding.

The 60-hour walkout violated a state law banning strikes by public employees. On Thursday, State Supreme Court Judge Joseph Dorsa ruled that the law's purpose was not "intended to protect individuals from the negligent acts of third parties — such as the traffic accident, in this case."

Long's lawyer, Christopher McGrath, said he would appeal.

In April, a judge fined the union $2.5 million for the strike, which brought the nation's largest mass-transit system to a halt at the height of the holiday season. The union's president, Roger Toussaint, also served five days in jail because of the walkout.

Long underwent 15 surgeries before being released from the hospital in May.