NY Lawyer Calls for More Bike Safety

David Perecman, a New York personal injury lawyer, is now arguing for more bicycle protection and accident investigations by the NYPD.  Unfortunately, the NYPD does not have the staff to investigate any bicycle accidents that don’t result in actual death.  In 2010, a NYC resident was hospitalized after being hit by a car while she was on her bicycle.  And, CNN recently reported that the NYPD decided not to investigate it at all.  As a result, this driver is still on the road and has not been punished.

This is disconcerting in a city that has more and more cyclists joining the space on the roads.  Last year alone, 362 people were severely injured and 19 died – and these are just those that were reported.  Now, Perecman is supporting a bill that is currently being reviewed that would give bicyclists the same rights on the road as cars and other motor vehicles.  Bicyclists’ lives can be changed forever as a result of a crash, this is a serious and important issue that needs to be addressed everywhere, and especially in New York City.

Ambulance-Chaser Caught

Jeffrey Squitieri, an ambulance-chasing lawyer, was caught when he filed a $1 million dollar personal injury claim against the FBI on behalf of a victim who was really an undercover cop.  This past Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit health-care fraud.

The undercover cop, who wore a wire, had a phony accident report and who was working for a joing health-care fraud task force, begin working on the case in January 2011.  Squitieri immediately told him to make as many unnecessary doctor visits as possible, and to make sure to bill his insurance company for lots of high-priced procedures like MRIs.  The reason he recommended this is because Squitieri would get a third of whatever reimbursements the victim received.  Squitieri even recommended a chiropractor who specializes in “manipulation under anesthesia” which dramatically increases the amount the cop could claim from his insurance provider.

Finally, when Squitieri learned that the FBI had rented the car that was listed in the police report provided to him by the undercover cop, Squitieri got super excited about the change to sue the FBI.  As a result, in June 2011 Squitieri filed his claim against the FBI.  In September, he was disbarred for misappropriating clients’ money and now faces up to 10 years in prison.

DJ Megatron Hit by a Hit-and-Run Driver

Corey McGriff, also known as DJ Megatron, was hit last year while he was parked in West Brighton.  On June 7, 2010, he was hit by a 2001 Cadillac, allegedly owned by Richard Montalbano.  It is thought that the driver of the car was not Montalbano, but that the car had been stolen.  While McGriff was parked on Catleton Avenue near Pelton and Oakland avenues he was struck by the Cadillac.  As a result of the accident, McGriff suffered neck and back injuries and was not able to work for eight months.
McGriff worked as a radio and TV personality on BET’s “106 & Park” music countdown series, as well as on-camera work for the show and BET’s website.  He was the provider for the family, so this loss was significant.  A year after the car accident, in March of 2011, he was murdered during a botched robbery.  He had three children, so the loss of eight months of work and the subsequent death of their father was significant.  The Staten Island public administrator filed the lawsuit on behalf of the family’s estate as none of his children are old enough to handle the estate.

Target Named as Defendant in Slip and Fall

Marj and Samuel Scarberry recently filed a lawsuit against Target in Ohio.  However, Target is now asking for the case to be removed to federal court because it believes that the damages sought exceed the jurisdictional limit of $75,000 and because there is a “diversity of citizenship” between it and the plaintiffs.

Marj was shopping in March 2010 when she violently fell on an “unsafe, dangerous and unmaintained walkway floor aisle way.”  She claims that Target failed to exercise reasonable care to ensure that customers were not in danger of this aisle way, and this caused her injuries, losses and damages.  She suffered injuries to her back, head, extremities, “body chemistry,” psyche,” fascia and muscle tissue, along with other internal injuries.  Furthermore, she claims that she lost wages and has sustained a diminution in her future earning ability, capacity to care for herself and enjoy a normal life.  Her husband, Samuel, is also claiming loss of consortium as a result of his wife’s permanent and lasting injuries.

Salmonella Sushi Lawsuit Filed

“Nakaochi Scrape” is the backmeat that shaved off of fish bones and then added to sushi products such as ground yellowfin tuna.  After eating sushi rolls that contained this product, two Wisconsin women became severely sick.  The restaurant had received the yellowfin tuna from India and it was packaged as safe.  However, the prosecution claims that the restaurants may not know they are selling contaminated products as distributors may remove the packaging label before delivering it.

Salmonella leads to fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps within three days and goes away within a week, usually.  The two women however sustained infections far more severe, and even required hospital attention.  One woman was diagnosed with an ulcerated colon, which she blames on the Nakaochi Scrape that she ate.

Cases of these kind usually fall under product liability laws and thus anyone in the supply chain can be held liable depending on the source of contamination.  Scientific evidence proves that the plaintiffs were made sick by a rare type of bacteria called Salmonella Bareilly.

Mo-ped Driver Hit by Deputy

Christopher Adams, a 38-year-old Wisconsin man, was hit by a squad car in October while traveling east on Highway 73 South and waiting to make a left turn.  It was then that Deputy Haldeman looked down at his phone, thinking Adams had already turned and he hit his mo-ped.  This knocked Adams off and onto the hood of the Deputy’s car and then onto the road.

Adams is now suing the county, the Sheriff’s Department, the deputy and their insurance companies.  He is seeking compensation for pain, suffering, medical expenses, loss of income and possible permanent disability.  Haldeman received a citation for inattentive driving.

California Woman Permanently Injured

A California woman was permanently injured in 2006.  After arresting Christina Eilman, police, ignoring a police commander’s instructions to take her to a hospital, took her to the Wentworth District lockup in the city’s highest-crime areas.  The next night, after she showed psychotic behavior, police released her with no assistance or direction, miles from where she was arrested.  As a result, she was sexually assaulted before plunging from a seventh-floor window.  She suffered brain injury, a shattered pelvis, a collapsed lung and other injuries.  The prosecution is suing for negligence alleging the police knew Eilman would meet great harm upon release and that police violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by denying her access to needed mental health care while in custody.

Now, the defendants are using stall tactics and the prosecution has sent three motions with the appellate court to make a decision and has yet to hear back.  The prosecution claims that these delay tactics are detrimental to the case as passage of time has an effect on witnesses and as Eilman’s condition does not receive the proper care.  Eilman has no insurance and is completely dependent on CA for medical aid.  She will remain physically and mentally impaired for the rest of her life as a result of this incident, along with remembering the traumatic night of her sexual assault.

Disability Act Violated in NYC

Lawyers, both inside and outside New York City, are using the city’s age and architectural weirdness to cite violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act.  These lawyers do not have plaintiffs to start with, instead they just identify businesses that are not in compliance with the law and then recruit plaintiffs.  Each plaintiff can usually anticipate collecting $500.  Furthermore, each plaintiff can be used multiple times over.  And, the lawyers make thousands as the noncompliant businesses have to pay their legal fees.

Examples of lawsuits include no ramp and shelves that are too high at a flower shop on the Upper East Side and a bathroom doorknob that can’t be opened with a closed fist at a yogurt shop in the theatre district.  Both of these were filed by Ben-Zion Weitz, a Florida lawyer.  He has a group of people with disabilities that he regularly selects as plaintiffs.  One of these people sued 19 businesses in over 16 months.  As a result of these lawsuits, shops would immediately fix the problems and had to pay thousands in legal fees to Weitz.

Iowa Residents Sue Corn Plant

A corn plant, Grain Procession Corporation, emits so much pollution that it has damaged homes, cars and property across Iowa City, Iowa.  As a result, 11 residents filed a lawsuit alleging that the plant spews harmful chemicals and matter for miles as the wind blows.  This blankets cars and homes with soot, causing metals in everything from play sets to air conditioning systems to corrode.  The residents are seeking class action status on behalf of the 17,000 residents who live within three miles of the plant.

Not only do residents have to frequently clean their belonging, but they also have to breathe this polluted air on a daily basis.  Residents waited for years for the company to stop air quality violations, but finally decided to file a lawsuit.  The attorney found dangerously high levels of acetaldehyde and sulfuric acid at homes and parks in the area.  The lawsuit claims that the company is negligent in trying to stop the pollution and prevents the residents from enjoying their property.

The lawsuit alleges that the plant emitted excess particulate matter and sulfur dioxide, failed to maintain and repair equipment to stop pollution, failed to obtain construction permits and committed other air and water pollution control violations.  The plaintiffs are seeking civil penalties along with compliance of the law.

Hospitals Financially Ruin Patients in North Carolina

Joyce Jones was admitted to the hospital with serious abdominal pains.  She had no job and a minimal heatlh insurance policy.  However, a social worker at Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy told her that the hospital had a fund to help patients like her.  As a result, she thought her bill would be minimal.  However, she soon received a bill for $34,000.  In 2006, the hospital sued her and won, putting a lien on her small home.

This hospital is one of two in North Carolina who still sues patients, despite the fact that on average they make a profit of $300 million a year and are tax exempt, saving them from paying millions in taxes.  To put this in perspective, out of the 40,000 lawsuits filed by NC hospitals, 12,000 were from this hospital.  When looking at most of the lawsuits filed by the hospital, most of the defendants, or patients, were uninsured and that a significant number of them should have qualified for free hospital care.

In Jones’ case she offered to pay $10,000 and go on an installment play to repay the rest.  However, the hospital rejected the offer, furthering proving that they were not willing to work with her at all.  Now, many are wondering why hospitals are sueing so many patients when they could not only afford to help but also when their missions are that of charity.