The federal government has been ordered to pay lost wages and other damages to a former Buffalo teacher who claimed her career was ruined when her car was rammed by a vehicle driven by an on-duty FBI agent.
But the award will not approach the $1.5 million that Hileen P. Salas, 54, sought in her lawsuit, which alleged she suffered "permanent bodily and psychological injury" that forced her to quit her $40,000-a-year job teaching in the Buffalo Public Schools.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Carol E. Heckman noted that both sides agreed Ms. Salas was entitled to $104,190 for economic losses in the first five years after she was hurt, and ordered lawyers to return to court Aug. 12 to discuss the plaintiff's future wage losses.
Ms. Salas, who taught Spanish at Grover Cleveland High School before the mishap, was awarded $90,000 for pain and suffering, which the court said "can be alleviated over time with continued treatment."
The lawsuit claimed FBI Special Agent John P. Culhane III was speeding and driving recklessly and ran a stop sign before crashing his FBI car into hers on Nov. 30, 1991, at Ellicott and North streets.