By: Indhira Benitez
Recently in the news, the tragic loss of a mother was broadcast on televisions and newspapers all over the City of New York. On June 4th, Sofia Russo, 26, lost her 4-year-old daughter, Ariel, due to a car crash which occurred in Manhattan. Ariel was struck by a sport utility vehicle on June 4 as she was walking on the sidewalk with her grandmother on her way to school. The driver of the S.U.V., Franklin Reyes, 17, lost control of the car as he was being pursued by the police. Unlike most car accidents where the driver is held responsible for the death of an individual, this accident proves a little different. Sofia intends to file a lawsuit against the City of New York claiming that her daughter’s death could have been avoided had emergency vehicles not been delayed in their response. City officials have acknowledged that there was a four-minute delay in dispatching an emergency vehicle to the accident site at Amsterdam Avenue and 97th Street. At a news conference last week, the fire commissioner, Salvatore J. Cassano, blamed the 911 dispatcher sitting at the screen for failing to read the message and respond in time. Despite acknowledging this apparent negligence, Cassano rejected any suggestions that the mistake was a result of a broader failure in the city’s new 911 system, a more advanced dispatch system that will cost the city $2 billion.
There is no amount of money that can compensate for the loss that Sofia has suffered. Whether the City of New York or the driver of the vehicle are responsible for the death of Arielle is left in the hands of our legal system.
Our attorneys here at Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP seek to find justice for individuals like Sofia and her daughter Arielle in an attempt to bring some peace of mind for families such as Sofia’s.