Articles Posted in Bodily Injury

revenge-porn-300x156New York City Council has unanimously passed legislation to ban so-called “revenge porn” in the five boroughs. The bill has a criminal portion that makes revenge porn punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of $1,000, or both. The bill also has a civil portion providing victims with the right to seek injunctions and damages. Still awaiting the Mayor’s signature, Mayor de Blasio has already signaled his willingness to sign the bill into law.

So-called “revenge porn” is when a formerly intimate partner chooses to spread illicit photographs of their former lover without their permission, typically on the internet. The unfortunate phenomenon has taken off in recent years thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones, email and picture messaging and, according to CNN, one-in-eight internet users have been the victim of revenge porn. As a result, 38 states and Washington, D.C. ban the cruel form of retribution.

The new law will have both a civil portion which will come into law immediately and a criminal portion which will come into law 60 days later. The law will give individuals permission to seek injunctions against former lovers, as well as seek compensatory and punitive damages against the person. Compensatory damages are a monetary measure of what the person has actually suffered, such as medical bills or lost wages. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are amounts over and beyond what the person has actually suffered. Juries generally award punitive damages to “send a message” to the plaintiff. Victims of revenge porn may also be awarded attorney’s fees. Continue reading

Parents of a victim lost to the terrorist attack on one of Lower Manhattan’s bike trails has filed a notice of their intent to sue New York City. The parents of Darren Drake state that New York designed a bike path that was unsafe for people to use. According to them, New York should have foreseen the possibility of a terrorist attack and not allowed the terrorist to have “unfettered” access to the bike path. According to the family, this was “grossly negligent” of the city and its various departments.

bikeBike lanes and bike-sharing programs have shot-up across the world in recent decades. Possibly fueled by urbanite’s increased enthusiasm for exercise and the environment in recent decades, New Yorkers know that the best part of biking is how quickly it can get you somewhere. As bike lanes and Citi Bike’s ridership have skyrocketed in the city over the last few years, the lawsuits have, perhaps predictably, followed. Continue reading

After a Central Park tree fell on top of a woman, causing significant injuries to her and one of her children, she is now planning to sue the city.  After filing notice with the city, an important and time-sensitive measure whenever seeking to sue a municipality or city in New York, the mother, Anne Goldman, raised concerns about how the city maintains the parks in New York’s most famous park.

tree-fallingThe amazing story took place near 62nd Street on the west side of the park. Goldman was walking with her three young children. Then, according to Goldman, she sacrificed her own safety to protect her children as the giant tree fell on the path.  Goldman’s injuries were the most horrific and the first responders at the scene said she was in and out of consciousness when they arrived. According to her lawyer, she is “not allowed to move her neck for at least two to three months… She can’t pick up her baby, she can’t breast-feed, she can’t do her job.” Goldman says she is in immense pain and her life has been turned “upside down.” Doctors are not sure if she will ever be able to walk normally again. Continue reading

After being pushed off a third-story balcony and then dragged on stage at a concert, a young fan is now paralyzed and suing the rapper and venue for his injuries. The 23-year-old fan, Kyle Green was attending a Travis Scott concert who is known for his over-the-top antics at concerts. This charged and amped-up atmosphere has led to Travis Scott becoming one of the most sought after artists, but is now being blamed for forcing Green to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

riotWhile attending rapper Travis Scott’s concert at Manhattan’s Terminal 5, Green says he was pushed off the third-floor balcony. Then, according to video from the night, Green was lying still on the floor when Travis Scott told the security guards that surrounded him to, “Pick him up. Put this ring on his finger.” The security guards then picked up the young man, who had just fallen three stories, without a neck brace or backboard, and amazingly took him to the rapper’s stage. Continue reading

According to a new lawsuit, two federal prison guards in Brooklyn allowed a gang member to attack a fellow inmate causing horrific damage. The injured inmate, Rafael Lopez, alleges in his new lawsuit that the Metropolitan Detention Center knew that Douglas Mendoza was a disturbed person and affiliated with the notoriously violent MS-13 gang.

prison-assaultThe alleged attack took place in September 2016 when Lopez was watching a baseball game in the community room of the Sunset Park prison. Mendoza, who is in prison for murder, then changed the channel. According to Lopez, this sophomoric power play was meant to increase Mendoza’s status among his fellow gang members. After a brief argument, Lopez said that everyone calmed down until Mendoza returned with a sock filled with padlocks. Mendoza then brutally battered Lopez, all within full view of two security guards. Refusing to intervene, a riot squad eventually stopped the bludgeoning. Lopez was left with broken ribs and a lacerated kidney. Unable to protect him from Mendoza, the prison put Lopez in “special housing” for three months before transferring him to another federal jail.  Continue reading

In 2012, a Long Island man, Daniel Sajewski, rammed his father’s red Mercedes-Benz through a Huntington house, narrowly missing the two elderly sisters that lived in the residence. Sajewski was, perhaps predictably, intoxicated – blowing an off-the-chart 0.30 on a breathalyzer, far exceeding New York’s 0.08 limit. In addition to losing their belongings (including a wedding band that could not be located in the rubble), the accident left the two 90-year-old sisters homeless for several months. In 2013, the judge sentenced Sajewski to one-and-a-half years to three years in prison.

carcrash-300x181More recently, State Farm, who insured the house that was destroyed, has decided to pursue legal action against Sajewski’s father, the owner of the vehicle. State Farm is seeking $180,000 from the father to reimburse it for the money spent on repairing the home. State Farm is able to pursue this claim because, under New York law, the owner of a vehicle is liable for the damages caused by its drivers – so long as the driver has the owner’s permission to operate the vehicle.  According to the statute, the permission can be expressly stated or implied.

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Despite almost universal state laws discouraging the practice, Americans are still refusing to put down their phones while in the car. Cell phone usage, especially text messaging, and distracted driving continue to be contributing factors in car crashes. The need to stay in contact all the time is especially high among young twenty-somethings. In New York State, residents between the age of 21 and 29 make up only 15 percent of the state’s drivers, yet they are involved in 37 percent of crashes involving cell phone use and 24 percent of crashes involving distracted driving. Continue reading

Mayor Bill de Blasio and union leaders are set to increase the amount of training hours required for construction laborers. Under the new regulations, all workers will be trained between 54 and 71 hours and supervisors will be trained an additional 30 hours.

In addition, certain workers will be required to undergo “task specific training” which could total 242 hours of training. More specifically, any laborers who will be working in “confined spaces” will need two to 16 hours of additional training. Rigging safety and suspended scaffold workers will need an additional 16 hours of training, their supervisors will require an additional 32 hours. Ten hours of additional training will be required for “excavation, demolition, and perimeter protections.”

The move by City Hall comes in response to an uptick in injuries and deaths on construction sites. The New York Coscaffold-300x200mmittee for Occupational Safety & Health recorded 25 construction fatalities in 2015, an alarming rise from the 17 recorded in 2015.  Mayor de Blasio is reportedly “very upset” whenever a fatal accident happens at a construction site. According to Politico, the Mayor “yells at staff whenever a death occurs.” Continue reading

While most states have laws banning “texting while driving,” states are increasingly strengthening enforcement and penalties for so-called “distracted driving.” In 2016, auto accidents and fatalities increased by 9 percent. As a consequence, in 2017, states have taken varying approaches to solve the problem of distracted driving – which often results in accidents.

The states of Iowa and Washington have enacted the strictest laws against “distracted driving” in the country. Now, a violation (texting or calling – without a hands-free device) will move from secondary enforcement to primary enforcement. This means that police officers will not have to witness a secondary violation (such as speeding, failure to signal, etc.) before pulling a car over and issuing an additional ticket for texting or calling while driving. Instead, if a police officer witnesses a driver texting or placing a phone call, they will have the right to pull that driver over immediately and issue a ticket.

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  1. Make Sure Your Teen Hears You

The best advice in the world means nothing if your teenager does not listen to you – so it’s important to pick the right time, place and setting. First, pick a time and place where you can naturally ease into the conversation about driving – your teen will likely be excited about driving, but you want them to remain calm and collected during the conversation, so try to bring it up naturally. Next, be sure to ask your teen questions, such as: What do you think about how that car just swerved around three lanes of traffic? This can be a good opportunity to provide practical, wise advice about how a person should or should not drive. Lastly, there is no better way to make sure your teen hears you than to lead by example! Show your teen what good driving habits look like, and they will be sure to emulate!

  1. Provide Good Driving Advice
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