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Articles Tagged with wrongful death NYC

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Second-Avenue-and-BordenA cyclist was fatally struck by a car in NYC on Thursday. The victim, identified as 53 year old Robert Spencer, is the sixth person to die in a bicycle accident in New York City since the beginning of the year. Spencer was riding his bicycle on Borden Avenue on Thursday morning a little bit before 8:00 am when he was struck by a car traveling on Second Street in Queens. The driver, a 51 year old man stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged.The victim was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved.

The area where the accident occurred used to be industrial but recent developments are quickly transforming the neighborhood into a more residential area. While there is a protected bike lane on Second Street, Borden offers no protection for cyclists.  According to residents, speeding double parking and failing to yield to pedestrians is common on Borden. The shareholders of the Murano, a residential building located a block away from the accident have already written a letter to the city and to their Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer to ask for a two-way protected bike-lane on Borden as well as other traffic calming measures. Their effort was supported by Van Bramer who wrote directly to the DOT on March 4th to support the residents’request for a bike lane and other traffic calming measures. The residents of the Murano also tried to lobby their local community board for protected bike lanes along Borden Avenue, but the community board refused to consider their request. (read more in Street blog)

Bike lane delays are not about the money but about the community

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accident sceneThe driver who fatally struck an 85 year old woman in Brooklyn, NYC, last Wednesday had previously received 10 tickets for speeding in a school zone and two for running red lights. The police haven’t filed any charges against the driver. The daughter is furious and wants the driver charged. She believes that a bill such as the “Reckless Driver Accountability Act” proposed by Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander would help stop reckless driving in New York and could have prevented the death of her mother. The bill was proposed last year by Councilman Brad Lander after a reckless driver killed Abigail Blumenstein and Joshua Lew in Park Slope. Stella Clinton was backed over by the reckless driver as she was walking home from her Brooklyn parish church after an Ash Wednesday service. The accident occurred on Avenue S near Brown Street, in Marine Park, Brooklyn.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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Kigs County Hospital has the highest number of wrongful death claims468 people died of medical malpractice in NYC’s public hospitals in the past 5 years according to a recent article in the New York Post.  Among all 11 HHC hospitals, Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn had the worst record. 91 claims of wrongful death related to medical malpractice were filed against the Brooklyn hospital between the beginning of 2014 and the end of 2018. Bellevue, a much larger city hospital located in Manhattan came second with 54 wrongful death claims filed against it during the same period.

The Post analysed City Comptroller data obtained through a Freedom of Information request and found that the city paid $34 million to 56 families in 2014. Among the cases closed, the Post found out that  some patients died in horrific conditions from gross medical malpractice committed by these hospitals. Among the most shocking were:

  • The wrongful death of a woman who died from organ failure after doctors at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn ignored her tuberculosis diagnosis and botched her treatment. Her family was awarded  $3.2 million, one of the largest amounts paid by HHC to the 56 families.
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memorial for NYC victim of bike accidentA 25 year old bicyclist was fatally struck by a hit and run truck driver in NYC.  Aurilla  Lawrence was fatally hit by a gas tanker truck near the intersection of Broadway and Rodney Street in Williamsburg last Thursday night around 11:30 pm. The driver fled the scene of the accident and so far is still at large. Lawrence was a beloved member of the bike messengers community who  nicknamed her  “Aurilla Gorilla”.

Last Sunday around 200 bike messengers and street safety advocates organized a memorial ride on the streets of New York to commemorate the victim. Bicyclists met at Lenox Avenue in Harlem and rode their bikes South on Fifth Avenue toward Union Square. The Union Square Park is an area where Lawrence used to hang with fellow bike messengers in between deliveries. As a tribute to her, the bike-a-thon made a stop at the park and  participants raised their bikes to her memory.

Then the 200 cyclists continued their way toward Brooklyn. They crossed the Williamsburg bridge to ultimately arrive at the location of the accident where a ghost bike and a makeshift memorial were installed.  The participants gathered around the memorial and paid tribute to their beloved co-worker.

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location of deadly NYC bus accidentFederal Investigators announced yesterday that the bus accident that killed 3 people in NYC in 2017  might have been caused by a thermos that was dropped between the brake and the gas pedals.  On September 18th 2017 a charter bus operated by Dahlia group sped through a red light and crashed into a MTA bus at the intersection of Main Street and Northern Boulevard in Flushing. The bus speed was 60 mph which was twice the speed limit. The accident caused the death of the charter bus driver, a passenger on the MTA bus and a pedestrian (see previous blog) .

Metallic sound heard on audio tape moments before the accident

The National Transportation Safety Board just released a report stating that the cause of the fatal bus accident was uncertain but a dropped thermos bottle might be a possible explanation. According to the investigation, moments before the accident, the bus was travelling at the authorized speed of 30 mph when a metal rattling noise is heard on the audio recording. Then the driver is heard swearing while at the same time the bus accelerates. Then the bus driver swerved to avoid vehicles and entered the intersection at 60 mph. The investigators believe the driver did not deliberately accelerate to crash his vehicle.

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scene of the fatal hit and run accidentA pedestrian died from her injuries after being struck by a taxi driver who tried to flee the scene of the accident but was shortly after arrested by the police. 26 year old Sherena Hundalani was walking on the sidewalk of Queens Boulevard near 63rd Road next to a gas station when she was struck by a green taxi. It was not exactly clear if the driver pulled in the station to get some gas or to cut across. Witnesses saw him driving through the station and turning left onto the Queens Boulevard service road where he slammed into Sherena.

Good Samaritan stopped the reckless driver

A young man going by the name of Bolat told the News that he was at the scene of  the accident with his wife and kid and that he witnessed the taxi driver behaving erratically. The taxi almost drove into him and his family before abruptly turning on the service road slamming into Sherena. Then the driver tried to leave the scene of the accident and drove the wrong way in the middle lane of the road before pulling over. After he pulled over Bolat opened the front door of the taxi and took out the key. Then the police arrived and brought  the driver to the station. He was released later on at night. So far the man hasn’t charged and the police indicated that they were still investigating the accident.

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private garbage truck involved in New york fatal bicycle accidentPrivate garbage trucks are among the most dangerous vehicles in New York City. 5 people died and 73 were seriously injured in commercial waste truck accidents in NYC over the last two years (2017 and 2018).

After years of complaints by street safety advocates, the NYC Department of Sanitation finally released a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for its Commercial Waste Zones plan.  This plan is the blueprint to reform the dangerous waste hauling system in New York City.

The actual system allows for 90 different private garbage truck companies to service 100,000 businesses anywhere in the city. As a result, garbage truck drivers and trash collectors are assigned long routes that they have to service each night. Trash collection is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. In New York City a commercial trash worker can pick up to 30 tones of commercial waste during the course of a daily shift that can last for up to 16 hours.  It is also common knowledge that some of them s are exploited and make between $40 and $80 a night while their unionized colleagues can make up to $100,000 a year.

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Lufthansa Cargo BuildingA 40 year old man was fatally crushed by a freight elevator at JKF Airport in NYC. Dillon Jobe was found critically injured in a shaft at the Lufthansa Cargo Building. His cell phone was lying next to him.  So far and according to the NY Daily News, the investigators believe that he dropped his cell phone and was trying to retrieve it, He later died at the hospital. According to the family the circumstances of the death are not clear and the mother told the Daily News that she was told that there was no video footage showing his son dropping his phone, The mother believes she is not getting the whole story. The NYPD is still investigating the fatal accident.

The mother was not called by Aviation Safeguard, the company for whom Dillon was working as a security guard but by the hospital. They asked her to come because her son was there. She rushed there with her other son. The hospital told the mother that her son didn’t have a heart-breath when he arrived but they didn’t know what happened. The hospital said that they were told that his body was found by a conveyor belt. They didn’t know what happened to him.

Dillon Jobe was from Trinidad. He left behind a 7 year old daughter. She lives in Trinidad but they were speaking together everyday. The family doesn’t know how to tell her that her dad is dead.

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NYC pedestrian safety action planHalf of NYC fatal pedestrian accidents occur on 7% or 424 miles of the city’s streets. These specific streets are going to be the main focus of the new Borough Pedestrian Safety Action Plans that were just released by the DOT yesterday. Mayor de Blasio announced that by the end of this year specific streets and avenues will undergo design changes to protect pedestrians from being killed in traffic.  The following priority corridors were identified for safety modifications:

  • Westchester Avenue, Boston Road and Soundview Avenue in the Bronx
  • Linden Boulevard, 8th Avenue, Surf Avenue and Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn
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New-York-School-Zone-Speed-CameraSpeed cameras have proven their efficiency in reducing car accidents as well as  pedestrian injuries and deaths. As part of the Vision Zero Program, 140 speed cameras were installed nearby schools all over the city. The installation of the cameras led to a decline of 63% of  speeding in school zones and pedestrian injuries decreased by 23%.

Based on this successful record the city asked the NY Senate for more cameras but New York State Senators refused to vote on a bill to continue the program and increase the number of cameras in NYC school zones to 290. As a result, all the 140 cameras were shut off in the middle of last summer.

After that episode, the Mayor signed a new city bill at the beginning of September to not only preserve but also expand the use of speed cameras in school zones. In order for the bill to become law, Cuomo declared a state of emergency and so far has been renewing the emergency order every month. The bill provided no cap on the number of speed cameras that the city was permitted to deploy.  The result of a collaborative effort between City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez, the bill can only expire after the state legislature passes a “photo speed violation monitoring program in the City of New York that is identical to, substantially similar to or more expansive in scope than the program that would result from the enactment of A. 7798-C, as passed by the New York state assembly on June 18, 2018.”