Today’s news:

GAVEL TO GAVEL

Delivered to a jury A judge turned down a motion by Federal Express to dismiss a third-party suit against their company based on charges that one of their double-parked delivery trucks led to a senior getting hit by a police van on Avenue R and East 15th Street. In a somewhat creative motion, attorneys for Federal Express explained that they can’t be held responsible for the accident because they are legally allowed to double-park on the streets as they make their deliveries. Officials said that 71-year-old Antonia Yavkina was crossing in front of one of these double-parked Federal Express trucks when she was struck down by a passing NYPD van back on September 30, 1997. The senior said she sustained serious injuries after being hit by the van. It was soon discovered, however, that the operator of the NYPD vehicle was not totally at fault. During the discovery phase of the suit, it became more and more apparent that the driver of the van did not see the senior crossing because the double-parked Federal Express truck blocked his view. Both Yavkina and the NYPD then filed a third-party proceeding against Federal Express, claiming that the delivery truck was at fault. Responding to the allegations, Federal Express attorneys represented by Lester, Schwab, Katz and Dwyer LLP, filed papers claiming that not only didn’t the double-parked truck lead to the woman’s injuries, but that they had every legal right to be double-parked near the corner of Avenue R and East 15th Street. Attorneys came armed with City of New York rules that state that no one can double park “except temporarily for the purpose of and while expeditiously receiving or discharging or loading or unloading.” But the Federal Express driver’s own statements may have been their attorneys’ undoing. During a deposition in May, 2007, the Federal Express driver said that he didn’t recall the accident, although, according to the original accident report, he “saw the lady crossing the street in front of the truck and between two parked cars when the police vehicle struck her in the roadway.” In the end, Judge Robert Miller threw out the Federal Express motion, claiming that, “While double parking on wide streets would permit a passing vehicle to provide a margin for safe viewing and for pedestrian error, a narrow street does not,” he wrote. “In this case, the question of the relative culpability of Federal Express, the City of New York and the plaintiff herself, all of whom appear to have had a role in the cause of this occurrence, must await resolution by a finder of fact.” Neither city officials nor Federal Express would comment on pending lawsuits. Six degrees of a slip A Brooklyn man investigating what caused him to slip and fall has connected all the dots – connections that led him to file a suit against the city. In his suit, plaintiff Ryan Thomas claimed that he slipped and fell on a patch of ice on Bedford Avenue near Lafayette Street on December 4, 2005. Thomas alleges that the ice he had slipped on came from a dribbling fire hydrant on Bedford Avenue. The lawsuit states that “the water leaking from the hydrant did freeze due to a low temperature,” making the city responsible for the icy street which was created “due to a faulty hydrant.” Thomas is seeking $1 million for “severe and permanent personal injuries” he sustained in the fall. Those listed as defendants in the suit include the city, the Department of Transportation, which is responsible for the condition of the sidewalk, as well as the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, which is responsible for maintaining the leaking hydrant. Thomas is also suing the city employee responsible for caring for the street as well as fixing the hydrant. No departments in the City of New York are allowed to speak on pending lawsuits. Far from attractive The family of a 19-year-old Canarsie man killed in a Bedford-Stuyvesant club is suing the night spot, claiming that they did nothing to discourage such violence from proliferating. Attorneys for Minerva Pagan said that 19-year-old Albert Santana was inside Club Attractions, 566 Nostrand Avenue, on March 19, 2006 when he was shot and killed. According to a published article dated March 20, Santana was shot once in the face during a fight with two patrons just before closing. The suspects fled the club. It was unclear if the gunman had been apprehended and charged. In the papers they filed Friday, Pagan and her attorneys at Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates in Queens allege that the owners of Club Attractions are allegedly responsible for Santana’s death because they “had notice of the assailant’s tendency or propensity of viciousness” and “caused, allowed and/or permitted them to approach, menace and attack Albert A. Santana.” According to published reports, Santana’s murder occurred a few months after a 55-year-old man was stabbed to death at Club Attractions when he came to the defense of his daughter, the club bartender who at the time was having an argument with an unruly patron. When contacted, a worker at Club Attractions said that he did not know anything about the lawsuit.

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