Family sues DWI driver who hit boy in...

Family sues DWI driver who hit boy in South Farmingdale

There are 66 comments on the Newsday story from Jan 9, 2008, titled Family sues DWI driver who hit boy in South Farmingdale. In it, Newsday reports that:

The family of the South Farmingdale boy who was hit by a car on New Year's Eve has filed a lawsuit against the driver, who has a history of drinking and driving, according to the family's attorney.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Newsday.

Rita

Hicksville, NY

#25 Jan 9, 2008
Killing Time wrote:
2 things...
New Years Eve? What time did this happen. If it was the time of night on New Years Eve that people are driving drunk (10pm+) what the heck was this kid doing walking around?
The kid was unconscious for several days and has brain injuries, yet the family had the time to file a lawsuit within a week? Way to have your priorities set.
His parents probably sent him out looking for a lawsuit. I have found in the past, that many times when I make a joke about something, oddly enough, it turns out true.
Rita

Hicksville, NY

#26 Jan 9, 2008
Tom wrote:
<quoted text>
9:30pm
I don't think I would let my kids ride around during the holidays. People are really drinking, and the roads are dangerous, more so than usual.
Rita

Hicksville, NY

#27 Jan 9, 2008
EnoughsEnough wrote:
14 yrs. old and out at night on New Years Eve, in dark clothing?
Where the hell was the parental responsibility, aside from whoeverelse may have been at fault?
the parents were probably out drinking.
Rita

Hicksville, NY

#28 Jan 9, 2008
wednesday wrote:
how ridiculous!!! history repeats! Lock Susan Deturris up!!!!
The family should have every right to sue! This young boy has to suffer for the rest of his life as well as the family.
We are supposed to pay for their stupidity letting their son ride around in dark clothing on a bike on New Years? I don't think so.
songbird

Livingston, NJ

#29 Jan 9, 2008
several points:

the family is from farmingdale,the lawyer is from melville, it's very possible the family knew the lawyer before the accident. many of my friends are lawyers. I wouldn't be looking for a lawyer on the way to the ER, but if I lready knew one, I might "lawyer up" to have my friend take care of business for me.

you people forget that NY did away with "contributory negligence" as a bar to recovery decades ago. the fact that the kid was out on his bike, in dark clothes, at 9:30 in the evening may be reason to allocate some of the responsibility for this accident to the kid and his parents, but won't bar his suit. and if the driver is convicted of a crime, then the kid's actions aren't going to count for anything when the jury makes its award.

and yes, with her record, this driver will likely have only the bare minimun in coverage, not nearly enough to respond to the damage she caused.
Verdict4me

AOL

#30 Jan 9, 2008
Initially, my client was wearing a bright orange Syracuse University shirt at the time he was hit. It was pitch black in the area because the street lights were out and they had been out for a while. The family has only one priority at this time and that is the well being of Michael. The filing of a lawsuit at this time only helps to bring the family financial compensation sooner than later. They may be ultimately responsible for medical care but thank goodness the young man is doing OK. He has a traumatic brain injury that may leave permanant scars. If the town is responsible, a jury will tell us. If it was so dark that the young man could not be seen then they are at fault for contributing as the drunk driver may have had enough time to react. We don't know but the filing of a Notice of Claim just protects the young mans rights. Sooner or later it has to be done. Once I have done my investigation, I can file a suit without even talking to the family and believe me the only conversation has been about getting bills paid and keeping the press from interferance at this time. It's easy to criticize but if you were in Michael and his moms shoes, you would want an aggressiove and expeditious resolution...We all hope for a speedy and complete recovery......Ken Mollins
This is BS

United States

#31 Jan 9, 2008
I guess the driver's pockets were not "deep enough" ...... Lets see ... who else can we sue?.... Ok, how about the town. Hey.... why not also sue the light bulb manufacturer for making bulbs that don't last long enough? Or the bicycle manufacturer for not having highly reflective paint on the bike? Or perhaps the asphalt manufacturer .... certainly there is a better mix that might have helped stop the car sooner. Lawyers .... YUCK !
Curious one

Long Beach, NY

#32 Jan 9, 2008
Verdict4me wrote:
Initially, my client was wearing a bright orange Syracuse University shirt at the time he was hit. It was pitch black in the area because the street lights were out and they had been out for a while. The family has only one priority at this time and that is the well being of Michael. The filing of a lawsuit at this time only helps to bring the family financial compensation sooner than later. They may be ultimately responsible for medical care but thank goodness the young man is doing OK. He has a traumatic brain injury that may leave permanant scars. If the town is responsible, a jury will tell us. If it was so dark that the young man could not be seen then they are at fault for contributing as the drunk driver may have had enough time to react. We don't know but the filing of a Notice of Claim just protects the young mans rights. Sooner or later it has to be done. Once I have done my investigation, I can file a suit without even talking to the family and believe me the only conversation has been about getting bills paid and keeping the press from interferance at this time. It's easy to criticize but if you were in Michael and his moms shoes, you would want an aggressiove and expeditious resolution...We all hope for a speedy and complete recovery......Ken Mollins
Query counselor, how did this family find themselves in your service? Did you have a pre-existing relationship with them? Or did you follow the ambulance and button hook them during their time of need?

Some might say that your responses here are tantamount to poisoning the well of potential jurors and grist for a change of venue.

BTW, had the town been made aware of the street lights out and if so how long prior to the accident. Had a reasonable amount of time lapsed and the lights were still out?

Was the 14 year old wearing a helmet as required by the Vehicle and Traffic Law?
Killing Time

Brentwood, NY

#33 Jan 9, 2008
This is BS wrote:
I guess the driver's pockets were not "deep enough" ...... Lets see ... who else can we sue?.... Ok, how about the town. Hey.... why not also sue the light bulb manufacturer for making bulbs that don't last long enough? Or the bicycle manufacturer for not having highly reflective paint on the bike? Or perhaps the asphalt manufacturer .... certainly there is a better mix that might have helped stop the car sooner. Lawyers .... YUCK !
We should sue Mother Nature for making it get darker earlier in the Winter. If this was in July it might have been a little lighter out. Hell, we should sue daylight savings as well...why not?

The child should turn around and sue his parents for being dumbasses and make a claim on their homeowners (in a perfect world).
Harry Balzac

New York, NY

#34 Jan 9, 2008
Killing Time wrote:
<quoted text>
Minimum insurance is 25,000 per person or 50,000 per occurrence. Given the driving record I am positive she had minimum insurance as she is clearly the definition of "assigned risk"
Still, get a grip on your kids people. I wouldn't let my kid outside walking around at night on New Years Eve (of all days), and hopefully neither would you.
Insurance is always a matter of state law. In NY State, you are correct -- 25/50k coverage is the minimum here, with up to 50 under no-fault ("PIP"). I have no doubt that this kid will meet the "serious injury threshold." Most responsible people (i.e. those who are not judgment proof) obtain 100/300, and if you have some assets, a million-dollar umbrella is the way to go.
As you point out, it is the irresponsible, deadbeat losers like this pig that have the bare minimum, if even that (we don't even know if she had valid coverage!). If you are relegated to the assigned risk pool, I don't think any carrier unlucky enough to draw you will underwrite anything more than the minimum. Peverse, in a way, since the riskiest drivers are indeed the ones likely to maim or kill.
Harry Balzac

New York, NY

#35 Jan 9, 2008
Verdict4me wrote:
Initially, my client was wearing a bright orange Syracuse University shirt at the time he was hit. It was pitch black in the area because the street lights were out and they had been out for a while. The family has only one priority at this time and that is the well being of Michael. The filing of a lawsuit at this time only helps to bring the family financial compensation sooner than later. They may be ultimately responsible for medical care but thank goodness the young man is doing OK. He has a traumatic brain injury that may leave permanant scars. If the town is responsible, a jury will tell us. If it was so dark that the young man could not be seen then they are at fault for contributing as the drunk driver may have had enough time to react. We don't know but the filing of a Notice of Claim just protects the young mans rights. Sooner or later it has to be done. Once I have done my investigation, I can file a suit without even talking to the family and believe me the only conversation has been about getting bills paid and keeping the press from interferance at this time. It's easy to criticize but if you were in Michael and his moms shoes, you would want an aggressiove and expeditious resolution...We all hope for a speedy and complete recovery......Ken Mollins
Counselor, presuming you are who you claim to be, is it ethical for you to be commenting at all in a forum such as this?
While I completely agree with your position (see my comments above) I think it is wholly inappropriate to discuss this matter. While it does not appear that you are disclosing client confidences, you are putting specific facts (representations) out to the potential jury pool, etc.
Furthermore, strictly from a professional standpoint, you should employ a spell check program or proofread such statements before issuing them publicly. Such errors bespeak sloppiness and carelessness, which does not reflect well on the bar as a whole.
Regards,
fellow member of the NY Bar
Harry Balzac

New York, NY

#36 Jan 9, 2008
Curious one wrote:
<quoted text>
Query counselor, how did this family find themselves in your service? Did you have a pre-existing relationship with them? Or did you follow the ambulance and button hook them during their time of need?
Some might say that your responses here are tantamount to poisoning the well of potential jurors and grist for a change of venue.
BTW, had the town been made aware of the street lights out and if so how long prior to the accident. Had a reasonable amount of time lapsed and the lights were still out?
Was the 14 year old wearing a helmet as required by the Vehicle and Traffic Law?
Your questions regarding the condition of the lights and the potential contributory negligence (which does not bar recovery in NY but may reduce an award under the doctrine of comparative negligence) of the plaintiff are legitimate ones, but they are issues of fact that must be determined by a jury based on competent evidence. Just because you, Mr. X, hear that the lights went out only two seconds before the accident does not keep this young man from getting to the courthouse. Witnesses need to be interviewed, documents reviewed, the scene canvassed, etc., at which time counsel will make an informed decision as to whether the case has enough of a basis to go forward.(A lawyer working on a contingency basis is not going to proceed with a case where no evidence supports a theory of recovery.)
Just because you (or the defendant or the President of the US) thinks it is a "stupid" or meritless suit is of no moment; it is the judge (during pretrial motion practice) or the jury (at trial) who will make that determination.
Harry Balzac

New York, NY

#37 Jan 9, 2008
Rita wrote:
<quoted text>
His parents probably sent him out looking for a lawsuit. I have found in the past, that many times when I make a joke about something, oddly enough, it turns out true.
That is a pretty ridiculous statement. Now I will concede that there are some ridiculous ones out there -- I worked in the insurance business for 15 years -- but this doesn't seem to be one of them. The injuries appear to be real and serious, and the driver appears to have violated a number of criminal statutes and the VTL.
Your comment in this case is unwarranted and you sound like a fool.
Verdict4me

AOL

#38 Jan 9, 2008
Curious one wrote:
<quoted text>
Query counselor, how did this family find themselves in your service? Did you have a pre-existing relationship with them? Or did you follow the ambulance and button hook them during their time of need?
Some might say that your responses here are tantamount to poisoning the well of potential jurors and grist for a change of venue.
BTW, had the town been made aware of the street lights out and if so how long prior to the accident. Had a reasonable amount of time lapsed and the lights were still out?
Was the 14 year old wearing a helmet as required by the Vehicle and Traffic Law?
Your questions are all valid. The family called me, who they knew prior to the occurrence, when the press insisted on questions being answered on New Years Day and they did not know what to do. There is no need to sway potential jurors here as laibility is clear although coverage on the driver is limited (25,000). We do not know yet if the town was aware that the lights were out but a Notice of Claim just allows one to preserve the right to make a claim if they knew. The standard is did they know or should they have known and the neighbors all say the lights were out for weeks. I honestly feel bad you feel compelled to write and criticize when most lawyers really do work in the interests of their clients. Here, that is my intention. I do make a living protecting the rights of the injured, the disabled and in many cases I work pro bono for the rights of special education children who are being hammered by the system, Again, these people needed advice early after the occurrence and they called. I hope you are never in that situation but if you are, I hope you can call on a professional for legal advice.
Harry Balzac

New York, NY

#39 Jan 9, 2008
Killing Time wrote:
<quoted text>
We should sue Mother Nature for making it get darker earlier in the Winter. If this was in July it might have been a little lighter out. Hell, we should sue daylight savings as well...why not?
The child should turn around and sue his parents for being dumbasses and make a claim on their homeowners (in a perfect world).
One more thing -- the pig's liability insurance carrier will probably disclaim, since she was apparently drunk. You breach your contract if you drive drunk, as it is an uninsurable risk.
mister hard driver

Huntington, NY

#40 Jan 9, 2008
Rita wrote:
Come on. Just because she's a weak woman they're going to sue her? People are disgusting. No one ever sues dwi drivers, but now they are going to sue. If that kid wasn't wearing light colored clothing, they are not going to get anything.
guess again -- people who are hit by drunk drivers usually sue. the idea is to recover damages including pain and suffering. I had a drunk hit me, totaled out my car, gave me over 120 stitches and I sued. and the onus does not go on the victim as to what he was wearing, but it will be a consideration if his behavior may have contributed to the accident, such as, was there the required light on his bike? was he wearing the required helmet? etc.
but you better believe a jury will be way more sympathetic to a 14 yr old kid than a 52 yr old drunk driver, especially if he has permanent injuries. because of that the drunk's insurance company will want to settle out of court quickly.
the boy's parents will have to wait to see what type of permanent damage has been done. hopefully none.

“Liberals: America's Cancer”

Since: Dec 07

Baldwin, NY

#41 Jan 9, 2008
Verdict4me wrote:
<quoted text>
Your questions are all valid. The family called me, who they knew prior to the occurrence, when the press insisted on questions being answered on New Years Day and they did not know what to do. There is no need to sway potential jurors here as laibility is clear although coverage on the driver is limited (25,000). We do not know yet if the town was aware that the lights were out but a Notice of Claim just allows one to preserve the right to make a claim if they knew. The standard is did they know or should they have known and the neighbors all say the lights were out for weeks. I honestly feel bad you feel compelled to write and criticize when most lawyers really do work in the interests of their clients. Here, that is my intention. I do make a living protecting the rights of the injured, the disabled and in many cases I work pro bono for the rights of special education children who are being hammered by the system, Again, these people needed advice early after the occurrence and they called. I hope you are never in that situation but if you are, I hope you can call on a professional for legal advice.
aka a slip and fall lawyer.
question for Anon

Tampa, FL

#42 Jan 9, 2008
anon wrote:
That lowlife b**ch should be tied to a bumper and dragged through the streets.
which lowlife?

the negligent parent for not preventing their 14-yr old from riding a bike on a busy road, at night, on News Years Eve, wearing dark clothing, with no no helmet?

or the drunk driver that was also negligent?
ami

AOL

#43 Jan 9, 2008
Harry Balzac wrote:
<quoted text>
One more thing -- the pig's liability insurance carrier will probably disclaim, since she was apparently drunk. You breach your contract if you drive drunk, as it is an uninsurable risk.
if your insurance company finds you are drunk which they will if you go to the hospital or jail your bills will not be paid. However, anyone you injure will be paid.

here is another fact if you get in a car with someone who is drunk and you are aware of it. the insurance company can also deny your bills since you knew the person was putting you in risk also.

food for thought

and of course everyone is asking how do i know? i work for an insurance company in the liablity department. we get these claims a lot. the very first thing we do is check for the blood tests from the hospital
Law Mama

Brooklyn, NY

#44 Jan 9, 2008
Stan Marsh wrote:
It is her insurance company that will wind up paying, not her. Now...where does the insurance company get the money for this? by raising my f---n premium!!
But a dirtbag like this driver, with at least 3 prior offenses, is likely in the Assigned Risk Pool for insurance(with super high rates), if this loser had insurnace at all.

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