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New York family settle for $500,000 after pedestrian accident

A tragic accident involving a Staten Island high school student several years ago left one family devastated. However, after five years, the wrongful death lawsuit that was filed relating to the accident was finally settled for $500,000.

The pedestrian accident involved a 17-year-old straight-A student who was struck as she crossed the road after an early dismissal from school. A second student had stopped his car to let the girl cross when his car was hit from behind by a third student. The second student claimed that the force of the impact knocked his foot off the brake pedal. The impact then pushed his car into the girl and pinned her under the rear tire area. Rescuers had to lift the car off her with airbags.

The girl suffered internal injuries as well as injuries to her head, pelvis and ribs, and was taken to a nearby hospital. Unfortunately, she passed away six days later.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the city, Staten Island University Hospital, emergency personnel at the scene and other defendants. The complaint alleged that emergency medical technicians did not properly intubate the girl, which caused irreversible brain damage. The city contended that the tube was intubated properly, but was dislodged at the hospital. The hospital denied this.

There were also allegations that the city did not place traffic-control devices near the school despite knowing that the road the girl crossed was dangerous. There were also other safety concerns on the street. After the accident, the city installed traffic lights, medians and other safety devices. Pedestrian accidents like these can be avoided with the right safety measures in place.

Source: Staten Island Live, "Settlement reached in death of Janine Brawer, Tottenville student struck fatally outside school," Frank Donnelly, Sept. 23, 2014

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
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