In our Brooklyn accident and legal news report for December 13th, we take a look at a rampage by a teen driver which resulted in a serious injury, stolen and damaged property, and three significant lawsuits which have made headlines in the borough over the past month.
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Jogger Injured In Prospect Park Hit-And-Run
An 18-year-old man struck and injured a jogger in Prospect Park before stealing two vehicles and evading the police in Brooklyn on Thursday, December 9th.
The teen crashed his 2007 Hyundai into a woman on the bicycle path in the park at around 5 a.m. and fled the scene after seriously injuring her.
About 2.5 hours later, the same teen allegedly stole a 2016 Honda CRV and was pulled over by police. When he got pulled over, he rammed the Honda into a police cruiser, struck another parked vehicle, and fled on foot.
A short time later, police received another 911 call about a stolen 2018 Toyota Camry. Officers traced the owner’s phone using the Find My iPhone app, found the suspect at Jay and Willoughby streets, and arrested him.
The teen faces charges of robbery, grand larceny, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, obstructing governmental administration, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and leaving the scene of an accident.
Damaged Sidewalk Trip-And-Fall Lawsuit Ends In $460k Settlement
A 68-year-old Brooklyn woman reached a $460,000 settlement with Chauncey Housing after she tripped and fell on a defective sidewalk. Nany Henderson was crossing the sidewalk in Chauncey Housing when she saw a friend. She claims as she was walking towards him, she tripped on a defective sidewalk.
Consulting engineer Richard Berkenfeld testified that the uneven sidewalk created a tripping hazard. The defendant’s lawyer argued that Berkfenfeld made measurements of the tree-damaged sidewalk flags in a different area than where Henderson alleged the accident occurred. A witness for the defendant claimed he was unable to see the duct tape which was supposedly evidence that Chauncey Housing was aware of the defect but failed to address it.
During deliberations, both parties agreed on a $460,000 settlement for Henderson.
Cyclist Prepares Wrongful Arrest Lawsuit Against NYPD
A Brooklyn man who was cited for disorderly conduct for confronting an officer who nearly ran him over had the charges thrown out on December 1st. The 34-year-old Greenpoint resident is now planning to sue the city for wrongful arrest.
The man claims that he was biking on Myrtle Avenue in Bed-Stuy when an officer nearly collided with him, forcing him out of his traffic lane. He then knocked on the officer’s window to confront him about the near-accident and was given a ticket for disorderly conduct.
The man and his lawyer have filed a notice of claim against the city, and have 15 months to file an official lawsuit.
Brooklyn Judge Approves $5 Million Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Against Rikers Island
This Monday, December 12th, a federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn gave preliminary approval for a class-action settlement against the city in a case regarding solitary confinement at Rikers Island. The infamous prison once had a rule that inmates at Rikers Island who had previously served in solitary confinement would be sent back there if they returned to the jail, regardless of how much time had passed since their last bid.
This rule was done away with in 2015 in response to a lawsuit. The class-action settlement will pay out a total of $5 million to 470 people who were sent to solitary confinement under the old policy between November 23, 2012 and September 16, 2015. The lawsuit alleged that this rule was inhumane and violated the due process rights of pretrial detainees.
The settlement will pay plaintiffs $175 for each day in solitary confinement, and $200 for plaintiffs who were under 18 or had a serious mental illness.