Today’s news:


Parents sue DOE The parents of the 17-year-old who died after he was electrocuted while climbing an elementary school fence are suing the city’s Department of Education. The evening of Sept. 13, Luis Rivera, of Rugby Road, had been playing basketball in a locked schoolyard with friends outside P.S. 217, 1100 Newkirk Ave. When they left at around 8 p.m., the boys scaled the 15-foot fence. As Rivera reached the top, his head touched an electrical supply box on the opposite school wall. He was shocked and fell to the ground, and was pronounced dead at Maimonides Hospital. “The [fixture] the boy apparently brushed up against was not properly grounded,” a spokesperson from the Department of Education told ABC News at the time. In the lawsuit, filed Jan. 12 in Kings County Supreme Court, Rivera’s parents, Jose Quinonez and Yazmin Rivera, allege that Luis had been in the playground “lawfully,” “with the knowledge, permission and consent” of school officials, and that the boys had to hop the fence because a school custodian had locked them in. The parents are suing the City of New York, the Department of Education and the New York City School Construction Authority for an unspecified amount. Local media originally reported that they would be suing for $10 million. The Department of Education does not comment on pending litigation. The pen is mightier A man is suing a Marine Park diner for $45 million after unnamed employees allegedly served him up a fresh, hot beating. The plaintiff, Alan Brody, was eating dinner at the Foursome Diner, 3074 Ave. U., on the evening of Jan. 21, 2006. But he alleges that when he tried to leave, a bunch of employees — “John Does 1-10” — wouldn’t let him out of the place. It was unclear how the altercation began, but the assailants then followed him out of the restaurant, where he alleges they beat him up with “hands, arms, legs and a writing instrument.” In his Jan. 12 lawsuit, Brody alleges that he sustained serious and permanent injuries to his shoulders, head, face, neck, throat, back, chest, arms, legs and feet, and that, and had to pay for surgery to fix some of it. He’s suing the diner and the company that owns it (also unknown) for battery, negligent supervision and false imprisonment. No one was available for comment at the diner. Metered retaliation? A parking meter coin collector is suing her bosses and the Department of Transportation for allegedly making inappropriate comments about her recent pregnancy and for touching her inappropriately. Elisa McHam, of Brooklyn, says that when she came back from maternity leave in June 2005 her recently promoted supervisor, Rudy Bovell, allegedly made comments about her breast size “almost immediately upon her return to work.” Furthermore, she alleges, from August to December of that year, Bovell would stand behind her “as she would bend over to place coin bags on the floor and then would press his penis and crotch against her backside. Additionally, Bovell kept insisting on giving [McHam] a ride to work and also asked [her] to describe the physical details surrounding the natural birth of her child,” the suit alleges. McHam complained to her boss’s boss, but says he did nothing to stop the harassment. So she complained up the chain of command, and Bovell allegedly retaliated by giving her a negative performance evaluation and giving her assignments that she says were too difficult. As a result, she was injured on the job. But the harassment allegedly continued even when Bovell accompanied her to the hospital, where he tried “to enter the room where she was changing clothes and had to be removed by one of the nurses at the hospital.” When McHam told the deputy chief of meter collections, Anthony Alfanso, of her complaints — after Bovell allegedly accused her of stealing money from coin bags — and the fact that security cameras would back them up, he was allegedly incensed. “How dare you make these allegations against Bovell. I’ll take your job. I’ll bring you up on charges,” he allegedly said. She went further up the food chain, and was brushed off, she alleges. So she filed a complaint with the Department of Transportation’s Equal Employment Opportunity office, and for that Bovell allegedly stalked her during her lunch breaks and on her way home. She was also served with a set of “bogus” disciplinary charges, and when they failed to get her fired, she was hit with another, she alleges. Her lawsuit, filed Jan. 12, names the DOT, four employees and the city as defendants, and calls for unspecified damages. The city does not comment on pending litigation.

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