The New York Personal Injury Blog

Lawsuits Commence After Brooklyn Boy Crushed By Parking Gate

We can't say we didn't see this coming. Barely a day after tragedy struck in Brooklyn, lawsuits are flying, reports CBS New York.

Yakim McDaniels, as so many twelve-year-olds are wont to do, was engaging in some seriously dangerous activity. According to the New York Post, Yakim and his friends were playing parking gate chicken. Basically, all of them would climb onto this gate, which rolled upwards whenever a car approached. They would hold on and ride it up. Whoever jumped last, won.

It is unclear if he got stuck and couldn’t jump, or was just too scared to jump from up high. Either way, he was trapped moments later, with his head and torso rolled up into the gate’s mechanism. Firefighters were unable to free him in time.

According to the Post, the mother of the child originally blamed the rescuers for not saving him sooner. The City councilman, Charles Barron, blamed the fences, gates, and lack of playgrounds.

The owner of the complex, Omni New York, has taken a lot of flak from residents and Barron, who blame the lack of recreational facilities in the area for the kids’ proclivity to engage in dangerous activities. The parking lot, according to the Gothamist, used to be a basketball court, and other areas in the complex have been fenced off in an effort to clean up the crime-ridden housing project.

It seems, however, that the property management company, Reliant Realty, will be the first to feel the community’s lawyers’ wrath, reports CBS. The company has security guards to patrol and monitor the area. None were in the area at the time the kids were playing on the fences, and none responded to the accident until after the firefighters had already arrived.

A case of negligence could arguably be made here. Security guards have a duty to protect the residents from known dangers. The kids have had a history of playing on, and breaking the gate. By not patrolling the area and not responding in a timely matter to an emergency, they may have breached their duty to the residents.

Following this same line of logic, they may have arguably been a partial cause of the accident by failing to protect the younger residents from a foreseeable danger and could therefore be at least partially liable for Yakim McDaniels’ death.

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