June 2011 News - The New York Personal Injury Law Blog

The New York Personal Injury Blog

June 2011 Archives

Mom Sues Cornell Frat for Son's Hazing Death

A Brooklyn woman is suing a Cornell University fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, for wrongful death claiming that her son don died in a hazing ritual.

According to the New York Post, George Desdunes died last February after allegedly being kidnapped and force-fed alcohol by his fraternity brothers in a hazing ritual. The incident happened when Desdunes had called his brothers looking for a ride home. His brothers arrived, but instead of taking Desdunes home, they abducted him, bound and blindfolded him, and began a hazing ritual testing Desdunes' knowledge of the fraternity.

It's claimed that every time Desdunes missed a question on the test, he was forced to drink alcohol. When his unresponsive body was found hours later dumped on a fraternity couch, his blood alcohol level was over five times the legal limit reports the Post.

Hotel Maid Sues Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar for $5 Million

Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar, the Egyptian businessman charged with groping a maid at the Pierre Hotel, is being sued by the maid for $5 million for sexual assault. This civil lawsuit comes on the heels of Omar pleading guilty to criminal sexual abuse of the maid.

Last month, Omar allegedly groped the maid, kissed her, and grabbed her breasts and butt without her consent after the maid delivered to him a box of tissues at the Manhattan hotel. At his criminal trial, Omar pled guilty to kissing and grabbing the maid in a charge his attorney compared to "jumping over a [subway] turnstile" reports Reuters. Omar was sentenced to one year probation and five days community service for his crimes.

ESPN's Chris Sheridan Sues NY Post's Peter Vecsey for Libel

So much for the brotherhood of sports journalists. ESPN basketball writer Chris Sheridan is now suing New York Post basketball writer Peter Vecsey for libel claiming that Vecsey "fabricated an entirely false and sustained tirade against Mr. Sheridan" with Vecsey "shirking any semblance of responsible journalism, and passing off vicious and malicious lies as statements of fact."

The libel charges stem from a New York Post column that Vecsey wrote criticizing Sheridan for reporting what Vecsey believed to be unsubstantiated trade rumors regarding Carmelo Anthony.

Robin Corrente Sues Bikini Maker for 3rd Degree Bikini Burns

A Long Island woman, Robin Corrente, is suing bikini-maker Swimwear Anywhere for allegedly designing a bathing suit that caused her third-degree bikini burns on her breasts when she wore it out in the sun.

According to the New York Post, Corrente put on a black Coco Reef bikini made by Swimwear Anywhere to sun-bathe on a 90-degree August afternoon. Outside of her Yaphank, Long Island home, Corrente said that she sunbathed for about an hour before she began to experience pain.

Corrente said that she got out of the sun and took a shower. While showering, she said noticed a lot of burn blisters on her breasts. Corrente claims that her burns were caused when the metal underwire in her bikini became superheated in the sun.

A Manhattan criminal court judge dismissed all criminal charges against Marcella Caprario, the so-called "Pad Thai Slapper," accused of slapping another woman in a row started by frozen Pad Thai at an Upper Westside Trader Joe's. Caprario was facing charges for attempted assault and harassment reports The New York Times.

According to the Times, Caprario, an opera singer and teacher, was accused of slapping Dr. Cathleen London, a doctor who frequently makes television appearances, after London's teenage son prevented Caprario's husband from reaching a bag of frozen Pad Thai. Somehow this sparked the two women to a showdown in the middle of the Trader Joe's frozen foods aisle, where Caprario admitted to slapping London.

Bed Bath and Beyond to Stop Selling Exploding Firepots in NY

The manufacturer of a firepot and pourable fuel gel, Napa Home & Garden Inc., has asked Bed Bath & Beyond and other retailers to stop selling its products in New York and nationwide. This comes after several accidents in New York where the firepots and gel caused severe burns and injuries to users.

According to The New York Times, two New Yorkers were recently injured when the firepots exploded like a "napalm bomb." In one case, a 14-year old was set on fire as the liquid fuel gel he was pouring exploded while trying to light a firepot. In another case, a 24-year old Manhattan man suffered second- and third- degree burns as the fuel exploded while he was trying to refill a firepot.

Mikayla Spencer-Murray, a kindergarten student at Public School 279 in Brooklyn, was the second student last week to lose a finger in an accident involving a school door.

According to the New York Daily News, Spencer-Murray was lined up in a school hallway with her classmates when the accident occurred. The girl told the Daily News that her hand was stuck inside a door when her teacher accidentally closed it, severing her finger above the top knuckle.

Mayor Bloomberg Cracking Down on Apartment Firetraps

In response to recent deaths involving fires in illegally subdivided apartments, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a program to crack down on these dangerous firetraps. Under the new program, firefighters and building inspectors will join forces to inspect complaints prioritizing inspections based on risk factors such as location and whether a building is in foreclosure.

According to The New York Times, Mayor Bloomberg stepped up his efforts to crack down on illegal apartments after a spate of recent deaths in apartment fires.

Just last month, two men died after a hot plate caused a fire in their illegal Brooklyn boarding house. In April, a 12-year old boy and his parents were killed when a fire broke out in their illegal apartment in the Bronx.

Patti LaBelle Sued for Beating of West Point Cadet

Richard King, a West Point cadet, has sued R&B legend Patti LaBelle after an alleged beating at a Houston airport. The New York Daily News reports that King is seeking unspecified damages for what he claims was an unprovoked attack by three of LaBelle’s bodyguards.

According to the Daily News, King was minding his own business and chatting on his cell phone when he wandered a bit too close to LaBelle’s parked limousine and luggage. Annoyed at the West Point cadet, LaBelle allegedly lowered the back window of her limousine and barked an attack order to her bodyguards.

Fatoumata Diallo Killed by Subway After Fainting Onto Tracks

Fatoumata Diallo of the Bronx passed out onto the tracks at the 77th Street subway station in Manhattan and was killed by a northbound No. 6 train. Diallo apparently fainted while waiting for a train and fell onto the tracks before the oncoming train could stop reports the Daily News.

According to the Daily News, it is not clear why Fatoumata Diallo fainted. Witnesses say the event happened very quickly with Diallo falling onto the tracks just before the train hit her. Diallo, a 21-year-old student studying medicine at Borough of Manhattan Community College, does have a history of fainting says a family member. However, the family member indicated that it was not a recurring problem and suggests that heat may have played a role in causing the young woman to faint.

4 Dead in Another Chinatown Bus Accident

A Chinatown bus headed to Manhattan rolled over on a Virginia highway in the early morning hours killing four women and injuring 54 others. According to The Wall Street Journal, the driver of the bus, Kin Yiu Cheung, picked up 58 passengers in Greensboro, North Carolina before heading back to New York’s Chinatown. Police state that Cheung’s fatigue is to blame for the crash.

The Journal reports that this crash is the third fatal accident this year involving low-fare buses that run between New York’s Chinatown and other cities along the East Coast.