Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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At a minimum, all drivers are expected to obey New York State’s Vehicle and Traffic Laws and exercise reasonable care to avoid any accidents. While getting a ticket can be frustrating, traffic violations can lead to severe accidents and resulting injuries. When drivers violate the law and collisions result, they can be found negligent per se. Although there is no foolproof way to avoid every accident, driving cautiously and obeying traffic regulations is the best way to keep you and others safe.

Avoiding Five Highly Prevalent Traffic Violations

Speeding: Traveling over the speed limit is the most common traffic violation. Speed limits exist to prevent accidents and save lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 9,400 victims who suffered speeding-related fatalities in a single recent year. It is important to remember that speed limits are the maximum rate you can travel by law. It is also imperative not to drive too fast for the given road conditions.

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The Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s compassionate team would like to take a moment to remember all of those who have lost their lives during the pandemic. Our hearts go out to those families who lost loved ones after being exposed to COVID-19 in nursing homes. In the pandemic’s early days, Governor Cuomo’s directive placed residents in substantial danger by admitting COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals into long-term care facilities. The mandate prohibited nursing homes from testing any patients admitted to determine their level of contagiousness. In exchange, health care centers were provided with blanket immunity from COVID-19 liability.

The Repeal’s Implications for Nursing Home Victims

Liability protections allowed health care centers to cut corners and jeopardize vulnerable patients while increasing profit margins. The immunity law eliminated a significant deterrent that loved ones of nursing home residents had to protect their family members from neglect and mistreatment. Critics have pointed out Cuomo’s questionable motivations as the Greater New York Hospital Association, an influential lobbying group, donated lots of money to his campaign.

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A recent Third Circuit Court ruling in Carmen Rosa Gomez v. Norfolk Southern Corporation, et al. (Case No. 2:17-cd-00231) could be a defining moment for some Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) claims. The case was brought by the widow of a lift truck operator who was crushed to death in a work accident. Eleven defendants, including the Norfolk Southern Railway (NSR), are parties to the lawsuit. The court’s ruling on who can be considered a common carrier and an employer may have larger implications by potentially expanding the types of defendants who can be named in future FELA claims.

Court Ruled Against H&M and NSR

A truck collapsed on top of the plaintiff’s husband while he was unloading a shipping container from a railcar. When the accident occurred, the plaintiff’s husband was an employee of H&M International Transportation, Inc. (H&M), a contractor hired by NSR to manage operations at the terminal. The widow made several allegations against the defendants, including FELA claims against H&M and NSR. In summary judgment motions, both defendants asserted that they should not be named in a FELA claim. H&M argued that it was a contractor, not a common carrier, while NSR contended that it was not the decedent’s employer.

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Another police-related fatality has recently gained national attention largely in part because it seems to reverberate the murder of George Floyd. As you may recall, Mr. Floyd was killed after a police officer kneeled on his neck, sparking national protests against police brutality and racism. The family of Angelo Quinto, the Asian American who died after a brief encounter with police, filed a lawsuit against the Antioch Police Department (APD). A spokesman for the APD told reporters that there is an ongoing investigation into the man’s death.

The Wrongful Death of Angelo Quinto

In 2019, Mr. Quito was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy. The 30-year-old man frequently suffered from paranoia and anxiety attacks. According to Cassandra Quinto-Collins, Mr. Quinto’s mother, she called the police to their Northern California home because her son was in the middle of a serious mental health crisis and needed help. Shortly after arriving, one of the responding police officers knelt on Angelo’s neck while the other handcuffed him. Ms. Quinto-Collins, was there watching the police and trusted they knew what they were doing. Meanwhile, Mr. Quinto pleaded with the officers, “Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me”. After nearly 5 minutes of the officer kneeling on the victim, he lost consciousness and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Unfortunately, Mr. Quinto never regained consciousness and died 3 days later at the hospital.

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