21 percent of autopsies of New York City bicyclists who died within three hours of their accidents detected alcohol in the body, according to a Department of Health and Mental Hygiene study that examined fatal bicycling accidents in New York City from 1996 to 2005, as reported in The New York Times. 176 out of 225 bicyclists who died in fatal accidents during the 10-year time period were tested for alcohol. Because alcohol is metabolized with time, only 84 of those cases the bicyclist had died within three hours of the crash were considered to have valid tests. 18 of those (21%) showed signs of alcohol. On the drivers side of the equation, alcohol was detected in 6 percent of the drivers involved in bicycle crashes. Wearing a helmet can be a life saver. Head injuries contributed to three-quarters of bicycle deaths. Yet only 3 percent of the bicyclists who died were w
Levine and Slavit, PLLC - Blog
Personal Injury Attorneys - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and the Bronx
A lawsuit was filed in the United States Court for the Eastern District of New York on April 21, 2009 to force the New York City Housing Authority to repair and maintain its more than 3,300 elevators. The lawsuit cites numerous occasions when NYCHA buildings are completely without elevator service. The lawsuit also describes instances when these buildings have only one working elevator, leaving residents waiting in long lines to use the functioning car. Other frequent malfunctions cited include elevator doors without sensors, elevators which fail to stop at particular floors, or which stop above or below floor level, making entrance or exit difficult for residents who use wheelchairs or walkers. The lawsuit also alleges that residents often must wait hours or days for NYCHA to make repairs, and that the elevators typically break almost immediately after having been repaired. Attorneys working
Police Assertion of Qualified Immunity Insufficient to Gain Dismissal of Civil Rights Claim For Death Resulting from Use of Excessive Force
Plaintiff Leroy Rasanen, in Rasanen v. Brown, --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2009 WL 766205 (E.D.N.Y.,2009.) (decided March 25, 2009) brought this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.1983 ("Section 1983"), alleging that New York State Troopers used excessive force in fatally shooting his son John Rasanen ("Rasanen") during a search of Rasanen's home. The plaintiff alleged that the shooting constituted excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment and that the Defendants were negligent in failing to conduct the search and deal with Rasanen's shooting "in accordance with professional norms and standards." The defendants moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint on the ground that Brown's use of deadly force in response to the perceived threat posed by Rasanen was objectively reasonable and that they are therefore entitled to qualified immunity. According to the decision of Judge Arthur D. Spatt, in December of 2000
By August of 1997 Texas had about 5,500 prisoners from other states housed in 22 facilities, generating revenues of more than $1,000,000 for private prison corporations. With such a strong profit motive, is it any wonder that cost-cutting measures such as hiring unqualified prison guards and failing to provide necessary medical care will be undertaken that will lead to problems? In a searing opinion, the 13th Court of Appeals has upheld $42.5 million in punitive damages against a private prison GEO Group Inc., formerly named Wackenhut, a multinational corrections corporation for the horrific and gruesome death of inmate Gregorio De La Rosa Jr. in 2001. The award is among the largest punitive damages ordered against a private prison company. De La Rosa was beaten to death by two other inmates using padlocks stuffed in socks at a 1,000-bed facility in Raymondville while guards and supervisors looked on, according to trial testimony three years ago. When De La Rosa, an honorably dis
NYC Not Liable to Mother of Brain-Injured Infant for Not Following the Law and for Giving False Information About Day Care Home
When Charlene McLean was searching for a safe day care provider for her soon-to-be-born daughter she called the New York City Administration for Childrens Services (ACS) which sent her a list of registered providers taken from the New York City Department of Health (DOH)s database of registered providers. The list included a family day care program run by Patricia Theroulde in her home. Ms. McLean also spoke by telephone with ACS, which told her, she says, that all of the day cares on the list are licensed and investigated routinely, and that no complaints had been filed against any of the ones on the list. In fact, family day care homes are not licensed by the State. Moreover, there had been two complaints lodged against Ms. Therouldes home, both of which had been found to be indicated i.e., substantiated, which meant that DOHs renewal of the registration of Ms. Therouldes home violate
There are all too many news stories of motor vehicles mounting curbs and striking pedestrians with tragic results. Two incidents like this occurred in Manhattan just this past Friday afternoon. But one of these incidents has an unusual element: according to witnesses, rather than an apparently random occurrence,the driver of the vehicle and his passenger were following the pedestrians just before mounting the sidewalk. At 5P.M., a 28-year-old pregnant woman, Ysemny Ramos, was killed while she was walking west along East 37th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues. According to the police, the driver, Keston Brown, was apparently intoxicated and following the woman and a co-worker, Tassia Katsiambanis, as they walked down the street. However, at an arraignment, Browns lawyer told the judge that the Gristedes van Brown was driving had a history of mechanical troubles. According to witnesses, the driver of the van pulled alongside the women and began slowly follow
On February 2, 2009, Amy Yeung perished in an apartment fire in Selden, New York. Firefighters reported that a lack of water pressure in the fire hydrant in her private community, Village in the Woods, made it more difficult to put out the blaze, and forced them to call for two water tankers from neighboring fire departments. This tragedy exposed a deficiency in the inspections of fire hydrants in private communities.Neither Suffolk County nor the Town of Brookhaven regularly inspects private water systems to ensure that they have sufficient water pressure to fight fires. State fire code mandates annual inspections of private fire hydrants.However, the state fire code does not require the filing of inspection reports with any public agency. Thus there is no effective safeguard to ensure that the state mandated inspections are properly performed.
"Key in the Ignition Statute" Will Hold Vehicle Owner Liable for Deaths of Pedestrians Struck by Drunk Driver Who Had Stolen the Vehicle
When Joe Guerrero left his keys in the ignition of his car with the engine running while he went into a deli last weekend, a drunken man stole his vehicle and then ran down 2 pedestrians. Even though Mr. Guerrero was not driving or occupying the vehicle and had not given the drunk driver, a stranger to him, permission to drive his vehicle, he will be liable to the families of the 2 pedestrians for causing their deaths. This is true because of Vehicle and Traffic Law 1210(a), sometimes called the key in the ignition statute. This statute makes the owner of a vehicle liable for injuries caused by a driver when the owner fails to turn off the engine and remove, or at least conceal, the key.
Boxer Knocks Out State's "Special Relationship" Defense In His Negligence Claim Against New York State Athletic Commission
"In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade" - Paul Simon, 1968. In Gamache v. State Of New York, 106968, decided 11/26/08, Joey Gamache, a professional boxer, alleged that the State Athletic Commission ("Athletic Commission") improperly conducted the weigh-in for a professional boxing match which permitted his opponent to be 19 pounds more than the agreed upon maximum, and then allowed the match to occur while his opponent wore 8 ounce boxing gloves instead of the proper 10 ounce gloves, resulting in permanent injury. In what the decision states is a case of first impression, Court of Claims Judge Melvin L. Schweitzer held that based upon New York's statutory and regulatory scheme governing boxing, the New York State Athletic Commission owes a duty of care directly to licensed boxers under its jurisdiction and control to ensure compliance with statutory and regulatory mandates.
Recall of 31,392 Britax Frontier Child Restraints Highlights Importance of Signing-up for Automatic Updates
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is alerting consumers of a recall involving 31,392 Britax Frontier child restraints that could fail to properly secure young passengers in the event of a vehicle crash. Britax is recalling these child seats because the harness straps may detach from the metal yoke on the back of the child restraint if repeatedly loosened one strap at a time. This clearly appears to have potentially fatal consequences. Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 cause of death for children and adults, age groups 1 to 34. But NHTSA officials note that it is harder for those who have not taken advantage of the NHTSA's program of signing-up to receive automatic e-mail alerts when there is a government recall of child restraint safety seats or defective tires to learn about the recall. Meanwhile, they are unintentionally exposing their children to serious risk.