The New York Personal Injury Blog

June 2012 Archives

Viral Video Gets NYC MTA To Repair Subway Stairs in 24 Hours

What's the quickest way to get the MTA to repair a safety hazard at a subway station? We wish it was as simple as hiring a lawyer, but one amateur filmmaker has shown that the viral video might be even quicker, reports NBC New York.

Drew Peterson noticed something odd about the stairs at his regular stop. For some reason, nearly everyone was tripping on the way out of the 36th Street Station. He first noticed it when both he and his girlfriend regularly tripped. So, he set up a camera to document other pedestrians tripping as well. Person after person, including a man carrying a baby, caught their foot on the step.

Former Inmate Sues Rikers for $80 Mill; Food Almost Killed Him

Michael Isolda is a unique case. The formerly full-figured man dropped from 460 pounds to only 160 pounds before he entered Rikers Island on a drug possession charge. That's a 300 pound difference, all thanks to gastric bypass surgery.

Unfortunately, the surgery, which shrinks the stomach into a small pouch, requires that the person's diet change and food be heavily chewed. At Rikers, according to Isolda, they only gave him four minutes to eat his entire meal. A request for more time to eat would be met with a trip to solitary confinement, reports the New York Daily News.

The speed eating resulted in vomiting after every meal and, according to claims, eventually the separation of his stomach from his intestines.

Broken Bottles and Bloody Eye: Tony Parker Sues W.i.P. Over Drake, Brown Beef

There’s more fallout from the falling bottles, as NBA All-Star Point Guard and French Olympian Tony Parker is now making headlines. We previously reported on the fight between Drake and Chris Brown’s posses, as well as the personal injury implications of the bottle throwin’ throwdown.

Since then, though accounts still vary widely as to who-threw-what-first-at-whom-and-why, it turns out that perhaps the worst injured bystander was Tony Parker, the All-NBA, All-Star, All-World, Point Guard for the San Antonio Spurs.

Zoe West Gets Naked in Times Square 'For Art', Sues NYPD

If you stripped down to your birthday suit in the middle of the city, you'd expect to be arrested, right? You might even expect to be put on a psychiatric hold. Zoe West was arrested for just that, stripping naked in the middle of Times Square, reports the Courthouse News Service. Now, she's suing over the false arrest, and, she might actually have a valid claim.

The same laws that prohibit nudity yet allow women to walk around topless in New York City, also contain exceptions. After all, the legislature would hate to impinge upon artistic expression, especially when it involves nudity.

Millennium Broadway Hotel to Pay $130k for Lynching Black Doll?

Despite a massive award from the jury, it looks like the Millennium Broadway Hotel in Times Square will only be paying a relative pittance, reports the Courthouse News Service.

Freddrick MacMillan was a long-tenured employee, working as an engineer for the hotel for more than 20 years. His time there was far from pleasant. He described the experience as "horrible" at trial. While working there, his co-workers had allegedly hurled racial epithets at him. He did the right thing and reported it to his bosses.

Then, one day in 2009, his supervisor showed up with new "souvenirs for his staff." They were voodoo dolls, adorned with black faces and pink lips. One of them was attached to MacMillan's other supervisor's bulletin board by a string in a manner representative of a noose.

8th Grader Loses an Eye to Bullies; Family Sues School

They knew about the bullying.

The school probably never suspected that a student would be blinded, but the victim, Kardin Ulysse, reportedly warned the Dean of Roy H. Mann Junior High School that he had been bullied back in October. That wasn't the only warning sign, either.

Last year, another 13-year-old student filed suit against the same school alleging a pattern of bullying.

2006 Subway Saw Attack Trial Finally Happens Today

Though it has taken almost six years to get there, the lawsuit over the 2006 reciprocating saw attack in the subway is finally getting into a courtroom, absent a last minute settlement, reports the New York Post.

Michael Steinberg was on his way to work for an overnight shift at the post office on July 6, 2006. Suddenly, he was attacked by a man wielding two power saws. The man held him down while cutting into his flesh. Doctors said that if the cuts had gone one millimeter deeper, he would have been dead.

Broken Bottles and Bloody Chins: Drake, Brown to be Sued?

Though rumors, allegations, and denials are, like the bottles, still flying, and fact has yet to be completely separated from fiction, here's what we do know about the infamous bar fight that happened two nights ago.

The parties involved included members of rapper Drake's entourage and R&B star Chris Brown's entourage.

Another 24 hours later, we know a lot more about the innocent bystanders and have witnesses coming forward, reports the New York Post.

Passengers Sue JetBlue Over Pilot Osbon's Insane Rant

You probably remember the story of the JetBlue pilot that flipped out and appeared to suffer a complete mental break on a flight from New York to Las Vegas back in March. (Note the terms "insane" and "flipped out" are used descriptively, this is a legal blog, not a medical one.)

The flight's veteran pilot, Clayton Osbon, went stark raving mad mid-flight and started discussing such matters as Iraq, Afghanistan, and 9/11. He even claimed that there was a bomb on the flight. He was locked out of the cockpit and passengers tackled and subdued him until the flight made an emergency landing, reports the Huffington Post.

Widower Sues Over Pedestrian Death; NYPD Padding Stats?

Anthony Webb did not have a license. He also was allegedly drunk. He was the driver that struck Clara Heyworth as she crossed the street to meet her husband. Jacob Stevens, the husband, remembers her stepping off the curb. He remembers being by her side as she lay bleeding. He doesn't remember the impact, reports the Gothamist.

Anthony Webb is still a free man, and will continue to be one, barring another DUI death. The officer that showed up brought a Breathalyzer that hadn't been calibrated in about four years. Needless to say, the reading, which was almost at the legal limit an hour after the accident, was thrown out.

There was also no accident investigation.

Mayor Bloomberg Wants to Mend, Not End Stop and Frisk

Don't worry. We may be violating the constitutional rights of 685,724 people, but at least crime is down. And since those two things happened near the same time, the NYPD's authoritarian practices must be working and cannot be stopped.

That was the gist of Mayor Bloomberg's speech to the First Baptist Church in Brownsville, reports the New York Post.

Grill Masters: Beware the Bristles of the Barbeque Brush!

Some might say that New York Senator Chuck Schumer has a stick, well, someplace a stick should never be. But at least he doesn’t have a bristle in his throat, as happened to this poor man in Texas, reports CBS Los Angeles. Even still, according to Politicker, Schumer is worried about it, and wants you to be worried about it as well.

Matt McMahon, of Carrollton, Texas, was grilling out, cooking up burgers for the family. Unfortunately, after eating one of the burgers, he discovered that he had something stuck in his throat. It took a surgeon four hours to get the 1.5 cm metal brush bristle out of his throat.

Judge Takes Jab to Throat From Cop, Will Not Sue ... Yet

“I do feel that it’s important for this person to be disciplined. I don’t know if he should be an officer or not — what he was doing was so violent.”

New York Supreme Court Justice Thomas D. Raffaele was strolling along in Queens when he came across a chaotic scene. Police officers had a shirtless man cuffed and on his stomach. A crowd was slowly encroaching upon the officers and Justice Raffaele felt that it was about to get out of hand.

So, he did the reasonable thing. He called 9-1-1, reports The New York Times.

Man Catches Fire, Blames Banana Boat Sunscreen

Brett Sigworth, of Stow, Massachusetts, is flaming mad right now, after he used Banana Boat aerosol sunscreen and accidentally lit himself on fire, reports CBS Boston.

According to Sigworth, he sprayed the sunscreen on, waited a couple of minutes, and then went to his grill to adjust the charcoal. All of a sudden, he found himself engulfed in flames.

Salmonella Dog Food Kills Benji, Sickens Toddler

Last month, a salmonella outbreak that affected at least 16 people in the U.S. and Canada led to the discovery of the one common factor amongst the patients: exposure to Diamond pet food. Now there’s an outbreak of a different sort: lawsuits.

In New Jersey, a toddler was sickened by exposure to the food, resulting in a painful three-day stay in the hospital, where he dealt with gastrointestinal injuries, diarrhea, and pain, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. His parents have sued both Diamond Pet Foods and Costco, who they blame for selling Diamond’s products, despite Diamond’s previous safety violations.

NY Courts: 'Gay' is Okay, No Longer Defamatory

We cover the progression of gay rights pretty regularly on our blogs, from Illinois marriage to New York adoption. At least here in New York, it seems that the attitude towards homosexuality is finally turning to acceptance and equality.

Of course, with changes in attitudes come changes in law. Earlier this week, a New York appeals court ruled that calling someone gay is not per se defamatory. Prior to the decision, existing case law said that if you falsely called someone gay, it was by law, defamation.