Family of swine flu victim files $40M claim against city

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The family of a Queens assistant principal who died as a result of the H1N1 virus in May has filed a notice of claims against the city for $40 million.

The claims were made by the wife and children of Mitchell Wiener, an assistant principal at I.S. 238Q (the Susan B. Anthony School) who died in May after he contracted the H1N1 virus, or swine flu.

The notice of claims, which were filed against the City of New York, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Department of Education and Board of Education for the City of New York, “is for severe and permanent personal injuries, conscious pain and suffering wrongful death and all other damages allowed by statute and case law, sustained by decedent Mitchell Wiener as the result of negligence, carelessness, recklessness and gross negligence of the respondents,” according to the claim.

Mitchell Wiener, 55, died of complications caused by H1N1 on May 17, just two days after his Hollis school was closed due to an outbreak of the virus. Weiner was the first New York City resident to die as a result of the virus.

According to the claim, the estate of Mitchell Weiner has a surviving claim for $20 million for pain suffering, negligent hiring and supervision and violations of the public health law, education law and general municipal law. In addition, his wife Bonnie Wiener and three children – Adam, Jordan and Farrell – are seeking $5 million for damages caused by Mitchell Weiner’s death.

The claimants’ attorney, Marc Jay Bern of Napoli, Bern Ripka LLP in Manhattan, did not immediately return a call seeking comment about the claim.