On March 9 2011, around noon, Albert DeFilippo was riding in a “Lifestyle for the Disabled” van in Staten Island when the vehicle was struck by a FDNY truck. DePhilippo and the other passengers of the van had attended a workshop and eaten lunch and were being driven back to Pleasant Plain when the accident happened.
The FDNY truck was rushing on Richmond Road toward the Staten Island Expressway. Its lights were flashing and its siren was wailing. When the truck reached the intersection of Burgher Avenue it collided with the Lyfestyle van. The van was making a left turn from Burgher. The impact was so strong than one of the riders died, two others were critically injured and 6 others suffered minor injuries.
61 year old Albert DePhilippo was one of the two victims who were critically injured. He suffered severe spinal injuries that paralysed him. He also suffered ankle, rib and pelvic fractures as well as liver laceration that kept him confined to bed with extreme pain. He died from his injuries 5 months later. DePhilippo was a Special Olympic athlete. His family was devastated by his death. Represented by our partner Ben Rubinowitz, they filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit recently settled for $4.8 million. Lifestyles was ordered by State Supreme Court Justice Judith N. McMahon to pay $3.35 milliion. The city of New York was ordered to pay $1.5 million.
De Philippo participated in the Special Olympics throughout his life. He loved to go bowling every week. He aslo enjoyed listening to music and dancing.”The family was devastated by Albert’s loss. He was an integral part of the family and they miss him dearly,” said Ben B. Rubinowitz. “I’m glad they were able to find some solace in the settlement we were able to obtain.”