Tag Archives: sue

Queens straphangers planning to sue over Woodside subway derailment: report


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA / Patrick Cashin


Several passengers who were on the subway train that derailed in Woodside this May are planning on suing the city for millions, claiming the accident left them traumatized and injured, according to a published report.

Queens resident Monifah Kidd filed a notice of claim shortly after the derailment, saying she still suffers from nightmares, the New York Post said. Kidd, who is planning to sue for $5 million, is also reportedly claiming she was left with permanent neck, back and head injuries.

A total of 29 people have filed notices of claim so far, the Post reported.

Those claimants also include a Little Neck lawyer who suffers from neck, back, leg and arm pain, and another Queens resident who claims she was left disabled and is planning to sue for $10 million, the Post said.

A Hunter College student from Queens filed a notice of claim last month, according to published reports, after the subway accident left her with panic attacks.

In the May 2 derailment, 19 people were hurt when the six center cars of an eight-car F train went off the express track near 65th Street and Broadway. Of those hurt, 15 suffered minor injuries and four were taken to the hospital.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Tuesday: Sunny. High 42. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Tuesday night: Clear skies. Low 31. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Elton John’s The Million Dollar Piano

Showcase Cinemas is excited to bring Sir Elton John to select theaters for “The Million Dollar Piano.” Captured live from his residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, “The Million Dollar Piano” features all of Elton’s greatest hits from throughout his legendary career PLUS an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Starts at 7 p.m. at College Point Multiplex Cinemas. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Dream Act fails in New York Senate 

In a controversial vote, the New York Senate rejected a bill Monday that would have opened state tuition aid to students living in the United States illegally, dashing long-held hopes of immigration advocates. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Fatal NYC bus crashes skyrocket

Fatal city bus crashes have recently soared, according to new data. Read more: New York Post

City Council proposal would give unpaid interns right to sue for sexual harassment, discrimination

A measure under consideration by the New York City Council would give unpaid interns some of the same rights as paid workers. Read more: CBS New York

De Blasio plans to sign paid-sick leave bill this week

Mayor de Blasio said Monday he won’t delay a bill forcing businesses with as few as five workers to provide five paid-sick days a year to their employees. Read more: New York Post

GM recalls1.18 million SUVs for air bag issue

General Motors issued a new recall of 1.5 million vehicles Monday, part of an effort to assure buyers that it’s moving faster to fix safety defects in its cars and trucks. Read more: AP

 

Sen. Tony Avella, park advocates sue to stop Citi Field mega mall


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy NYCEDC

State Senator Tony Avella and a long list of Queens park advocates are suing the city to stop a mega mall from coming to Citi Field.

The 1.4 million-square-foot shopping center is part of a major $3 billion project by Sterling Equities and Related Companies to redevelop Willets Point.

The ambitious and controversial plan, approved Oct. 9 by the City Council, also includes the cleanup of 23 acres of contaminated land and the eventual construction of housing units with commercial and retail space.

The group filed the suit Feb. 10 in New York County Supreme Court, saying the project cannot proceed without state Legislature approval under a doctrine that protects state parkland.

The suit also seeks annulments of city approvals.

“It’s a serious principle here,” Avella said. “If the city is allowed to get away with this, what’s to stop them next time? If we keep giving it away, someday we’ll wake up and there will be no parks.”

 

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Family of Flushing Sandy victim officially files suit against city


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan and courtesy of Facebook

The family of the Flushing man tragically killed by a felled tree during Sandy has officially filed a lawsuit against the city, legal sources said.

“The city has completely ignored the situation with their trees in Queens,” said the family’s attorney, Rosemarie Arnold.

Arnold filed a notice of claim in January on behalf of Tony Laino, 29, who is considered the storm’s first New York City victim.

He was pinned under a tree that ripped through his second-floor bedroom on October 29, police said.

“Around the corner from where this happened, someone else was killed last week,” said Arnold, referring to the pregnant woman recently killed by a tree in Kissena Park.

The attorney said the Lainos fought in vain for at least a decade to get the towering threat in front of their house removed.

She told The Courier the city tree was “overgrown, rotten and improperly pruned” and fell when it was confronted by predicted 80 miles per hour hurricane winds.

The victim’s parents, Carol and Robert Laino, and one of his two brothers, Nicholas Laino, are now suing for emotional, mental distress and monetary damages, including funeral and burial expenses, according to the claim.

“Let’s hope this lawsuit saves at least one other mother from the torment that Carol Laino is experiencing because of the unnecessary loss of her child,” Arnold said.

The amount the family plans to sue for is not yet determined, according to their lawyer.

The city’s Law Department said it was “awaiting a formal copy of the lawsuit and will review it upon receipt.”

“We recognize that the incident involves a loss of life, which is tragic,” said department spokesperson Elizabeth Thomas.

 

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Community board chair fires back at Walcott over school employee threats


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

The city’s schools chancellor chastised a community board leader after residents allegedly threatened his employees at a rowdy Bayside meeting last week.

“I would never allow anyone to be treated in this manner and would expect that you have the same standard,” Dennis Walcott said.

The head of the city’s public education system expressed his “extreme dismay” at a heated Community Board 11 meeting last Monday, when one male and one female resident allegedly verbally threatened two School Construction Authority (SCA) officials.

An older man approached Chris Persheff, the SCA’s Queens site selection manager, called him a liar and threatened to break his legs, The Courier reported last week.

After that, an unidentified person allegedly followed Persheff’s partner, Monica Gutierrez, by car until Gutierrez pulled into an empty lot, city reps said.

The SCA officials were pitching a plan to build an elementary school for 416 students at 210-11 48th Avenue when the May 6 meeting grew contentious.

They plan to file a police report and might take legal action against the alleged belligerents, Gutierrez said.
The altercations occurred after the meeting had adjourned.

In a letter, Walcott said Community Board 11 Chair Jerry Iannece “enabled this behavior by not drawing any boundaries to the abuse.”

He said the proposed new school would alleviate overcrowded facilities in the area. But enraged residents said it would destroy their quality of life, worsen parking and traffic congestion and lead to dangerous crossing conditions for students.

Iannece fired back in a letter, defending his decade-long, “impeccable” reputation for fairness and order.

“As an uncompensated volunteer who has spent countless hours for the betterment of my community, I take personal offense by your remarks,” he said. “It is an affront to me and to all community board chairs, [who] do so much for our city.”

The community board’s education committee said bringing P.S. 130 back to their district would relieve area school congestion. The 200-01 42nd Avenue school is located within District 26, but has mostly served students from District 25 for at least two decades.

Moving the school back to its original district has long been deemed unviable by education officials.

Iannece invited the schools chancellor to review the meeting’s recorded minutes, which he said include a “poor presentation” by the SCA officials.

The two residents’ identities were not known as of press time.

“Although I can appreciate your desire to protect the staff,” Iannece said, “misplaced anger, compounded by erroneous accusations, doesn’t help.”

 

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City may take legal action after contentious Bayside community board meeting


| mchan@queenscourier.com

The city might take legal action after two school construction officials were threatened Monday at a contentious community board meeting.

Bayside residents were enraged at a proposal by the city’s School Construction Authority (SCA) to build a 416-seat elementary school at 210-11 48th Avenue.

They said it would destroy their quality of life, worsen parking and traffic congestion and lead to dangerous crossing conditions for students.

But two attendees took it too far, said Monica Gutierrez, one of two SCA representatives who pitched the application at the May 6 hearing.

Gutierrez said a woman in her 60s approached the pair of speakers after the meeting adjourned and verbally threatened them. Someone then allegedly followed Gutierrez in a car until she pulled into an empty lot.

“She said, ‘You’ll have what’s coming to you. You’ll see,’” Gutierrez said. “When you threaten somebody, there are repercussions. They’re not above the law. They acted very barbaric.”

An older man also approached Chris Persheff, the agency’s Queens site selection manager, at the end of the meeting. The man called Persheff a liar and threatened to break his legs, according to the manager.

“I’ve done this a lot,” he said. “Usually the audience can sort of separate whatever I’m saying with the issue at hand. I’ve never had this personalized before like this.”

Gutierrez said the angry resident “tried to be all up against” Persheff. She said she grabbed the man and told him to calm down.

“It’s too vulnerable of a position to be in,” Persheff said. “It’s just unacceptable.”

Community Board 11 Chair Jerry Iannece said emotions were high, but the threats were uncalled for.

“The residents are very frustrated. They’re skeptical about what they don’t know,” he said. “But I don’t condone violence in any form. There’s no place for intimidation.”

Gutierrez said the city may take legal action against the alleged verbal assailants.

A spokesperson for the city’s Department of Education said the department is “taking appropriate action.”

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott expressed his “extreme dismay” of the fracas in a letter to Iannece. He said the community board chair “enabled this behavior by not drawing any boundaries to the abuse.”

“I would never allow anyone to be treated in this manner and would expect that you have the same standard,” Walcott said.

Persheff said he would file a police report but had no further comment.

The two residents’ identities were not known as of press time.

“We’ve been in bad neighborhoods, low economic areas, and they treat us with respect,” Gutierrez said. “Yes, they voice their minds, but they respect people.”

“It’s sad,” she continued. “These people are adults, and that’s how they are treating people. We’re just out there trying to do our jobs.”

 

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Daughter of Elmhurst man killed in subway shove sues


| editorial@queenscourier.com

The daughter of the Elmhurst man killed when he was pushed onto the subway tracks of a Midtown station in December is suing the MTA, according to reports.

Ki Suck Han’s 20-year-old daughter, Ashley, filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday.

Han, 58, was struck by a Brooklyn bound “R” train on December 3 at around 12:30 p.m. at the West 49th Street and 7th Avenue station after suspect Naeem Davis, 30, allegedly shoved him after an altercation.

Davis was charged with intentional murder in the second degree and depraved indifference murder in the second degree, the NYPD said.

In video footage taken on the subway platform right before the shoving incident, Davis was seen cursing and yelling at Han. He also reportedly made statements implicating himself while in custody.

The Han family is seeking reimbursement for monetary damages and funeral expenses.

Family of Sandy’s first victim to sue city


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan/Laino photo courtesy of Facebook

The family of the Flushing man tragically killed by a felled tree during Sandy plans to sue the city after they said they fought in vain for at least a decade to get the towering threat removed, legal sources said.

A notice of claim has been filed on behalf of Tony Laino, 29, who was pinned under a tremendous tree that ripped through his bedroom in the upper left portion of his two-story home at 47-34 166th Street on October 29.

Laino, considered the storm’s first New York City victim, was pronounced dead at approximately 7 p.m., police said.

“Tony Laino was unnecessarily killed by a tree that didn’t belong there,” said the family’s attorney, Rosemarie Arnold. “It shouldn’t have been planted there to begin with. It was overgrown, rotten and improperly pruned.”

Arnold said these fatal factors caused the tree to fall when it was confronted by predicted 80 miles per hour hurricane winds.

“The city knew about everything years before it happened,” she said.

The victim’s parents, Carol and Robert Laino, and one of his two brothers, Nicholas Laino, are gearing up to sue the city for emotional, mental distress and monetary damages, including funeral and burial expenses, according to the notice of claim obtained by The Queens Courier.

New York City and its Parks Department were “grossly negligent, wanton, reckless, purposeful and/or breached their duties,” which led to Laino’s “wrongful and untimely death,” the claim said.

Family and neighbors said the disaster could have been averted if the city listened to their numerous complaints made over a decade about the enormous tree looming over the Lainos’ home.

“I’ve been telling them to take this tree down for 20 years,” said Bobby Laino, Tony’s other brother, who lived apart from his family and who is not listed as a claimant.

According to Arnold, the Lainos’ house deed shows the tree was on city, not private, property.

The Parks Department directed comment to the city’s Law Department, which said officials would evaluate the new claim.

“We recognize that this incident involves a loss of life, which is tragic,” department spokesperson, Elizabeth Thomas, said in a statement.

The amount the family plans to sue for was not yet determined, Arnold said.

Laino was the youngest of three brothers and a worked as a driver for Ace Party & Tent Rental, his friends said.

“[The family is] heartbroken,” Arnold said. “They’re beyond heartbroken.”

 

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Joseph Naso, suspected serial killer, kept rape diary: authorities


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Joseph Naso, suspected serial killer, kept rape diary: authorities

A suspected serial killer who may be New York’s infamous “Double Initial” murderer kept a gruesome rape diary and posed photos of dead prostitutes, California authorities said Wednesday. A lead investigator revealed the damaging diary during a preliminary hearing for 78-year-old Joseph Naso — the Reno, Nevada, man charged with killing four northern California prostitutes with matching first and last initials in the 1970s and 1990s. “Girl in north Buffalo woods. She was real pretty. Had to knock her out first,” read one alleged entry in Naso’s journal. The diary — found in his house during a probation search tied to a larceny conviction — is filled with similar twisted entries and references to rape, Nevada Department of Public Safety Det. Richard Brown said. Read More: Daily News

 

Tea Party big Mark Meckler pleads guilty, gets fined $250 in gun at LaGuardia case

A Tea Party hotshot copped a plea Thursday to accusations he tried to carry a pistol and ammunition onto a flight at LaGuardia Airport last month. In an agreement with prosecutors, Mark Meckler, 49, was fined $250 after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct. His Glock 27 handgun will be destroyed. Meckler, the high-profile founder of the Tea Party Patriots, declined to comment after a brief appearance in Queens Supreme Court. He smiled before he and his lawyer jumped into a waiting car. Read More: Daily News

 

Parks Department worker busted for hanging doll from noose at agency’s Bronx office

A Parks Department worker has been busted for hanging a baby doll from a noose at the agency’s Bronx headquarters, police said Thursday. Fariz Ahmemulic, 28, was charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime. The suspect asked for a lawyer and did not say anything else to detectives. The Daily News reported last week that the city worker who found the noose claimed supervisors tried to cover up the Dec. 20 hate crime before police got involved. Read More: Daily News

 

Bloomberg vows to nix under-performing teachers in bombshell state of city speech

Mayor Bloomberg is laying down the gauntlet on the city’s under-performing teachers – promising to get rid of many of them in a bombshell announcement sure to cause a stir with their union. In his 11th annual State of the City Speech in the Bronx today, hizzoner is announcing that he could boot up to half the teachers in dozens of struggling schools whose federal grant funding was pulled earlier this month because of a fight with the United Federation of Teachers over evaluations. Bloomberg said he is going to circumvent the UFT and reapply for the $58 million in lost federal funds for these schools. Read More: New York Post

 

Week off may be curse for Packers, not blessing

Even the Packers admit Dunta Robinson had a point last Sunday. Robinson, the Falcons veteran cornerback, stood in the Atlanta locker room after a 24-2 NFC Wild Card loss to the Giants and predicted the Giants would have a decided edge against rested Green Bay this weekend because of one word: momentum. The Packers did not dispute that yesterday, mainly because they rode a similar wave of energy all the way to a victory in the Super Bowl last season. Read More: New York Post

 

Seven arrested in NY for $1M ID theft ring

A sophisticated ring of fraudsters rang up more than $1 million in crooked charges at major retailers including Home Depot, Sears and Kmart, authorities charged today. The long-running scam allegedly involved using the stolen identities of more than 180 New Yorkers with charge accounts at the stores to purchase pricey goods and gift cards. The merchandise was then returned for store credit, some of which was sold — along with the gift cards — for about 60 percent of face value. A complaint filed in Manhattan federal court identifies Phillip Smith, 54, of The Bronx, as the ringleader and mastermind of the scheme. Read More: New York Post

 

Kin lambastes evil killer of 4

Justice was delayed briefly for a Brooklyn man who killed four people in a drug-fueled rampage, but he still got an earful from the brother of one of his victims yesterday. Maksim Gelman had already killed three people when he mowed down Steve Tannenbaum, 60, in a stolen car last February. Gelman pleaded guilty to four counts of murder and a host of other charges, but his sentencing was delayed for a week after his lawyer sought to have him examined by a neuro-psychologist. But Tannenbaum’s brother Mitch, who traveled from out of state, was allowed by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent DelGiudice to make his victim-impact statement so he would not have to return for the rescheduled Jan. 18 sentencing. Read More: New York Post

 

Velvet Underground sues Warhol Foundation in fight over who has rights to artist’s iconic banana design 

The legendary Velvet Underground, in a complaint filed by founders Lou Reed and John Cale, sued the Andy Warhol Foundation for illegally licensing the iconic banana cover from their 1967 debut album. The influential New York rockers, in taking a walk on the legal wild side, claimed the Foundation was wrongly peddling the banana image for use with Apple’s iPhone and iPad. “The banana design became a symbol, truly an icon, of the Velvet Underground,” charged the suit filed Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court. Read More: Daily News