2013-02-12 06:07:06 -
/EINPresswire.com/ New York City Accident Lawyer // Jonathan C Reiter - According to City Comptroller John Liu’s annual report on settlements and court awards, New York City paid out more than $686 million during fiscal year 2012. New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter explains the disputes ranged from slip and fall accidents to lawsuits against police, as well as medical malpractice claims against city hospitals operated by the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation..
The report, which was released on December 27, 2012 noted that costs are rising in the areas that account for
more than three-quarters of the payments: personal injury and property damage. Three consistently expensive areas within these two categories include claims against police, city hospitals and the city Transportation Department.
Liu told 1010 WINS, “The claims against the NYPD have risen the most. We’ve seen a 35 percent increase in settlement costs for the NYPD as compared to the year before and that’s a very alarming trend that we believe needs to be stemmed or reversed.”
According to Jonathan C. Reiter, a personal injury and medical malpractice attorney, who has handled many lawsuits against the City of New York, there has been a dramatic increase in false arrest cases and police brutality cases, in large part due to New York City’s stop and frisk policy. Mr Reiter explained as follows: “Approximately two years ago, in an attempt to decrease street crime in New York City, the NYPD instituted a stop-and-frisk policy, that permitted the police to stop and frisk people on the streets for reasons that turned out in practical application to be well below the “reasonable suspicion of a crime” standard. In other words, the way this policy has been applied became, in many cases, an abuse of discretion by the police to stop and frisk anyone that they subjectively felt were engaged in possibly suspicious activities. These stop and frisk policies were instituted in primarily minority neighborhoods against young black males. This has led to many false arrest and wrongful imprisonment cases, along with charges of police brutality that arose from a situation where an innocent person resisted a false arrest and then was injured in the excessive use of force by the police in effectuating an arrest which was unlawful to begin with.”. Mr. Reiter went on to explain the usual scenario of how these cases often play out, as follows: “People who are falsely arrested are frequently placed in holding cells for many hours and even days and then taken to central booking where they are again held, after which the Assistant District Attorney often refuses to prosecute. At that point, they are released without charges, after 1-2 or more days of being false imprisoned. A false arrest claim may be brought at that point. If they are charged and the case, is ultimately dismissed the person can then commence a case for malicious prosecution. If the person has been brutalized during this arrest, he may have a claim for police brutality , and need not wait until the underlying case is dismissed before commencing a claim”. Mr. Reiter expressed his concern at the dramatic increase in these type of cases by stating: “It is a violation of civil rights that young black men in our City have been targeted by the stop-and-frisk policy of the NYPD. My law firm will continue to prosecute these egregious cases while this policy is in place. This illegal policy by the City should be stopped at the earliest possible time”.
In the matter of medical malpractice, Mr. Reiter, who has handled many medical malpractice cases against the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (NYCHHC), explained as follows: “The number of medical malpractice cases against NYCHHC is large and apparently growing. The definition of medical malpractice is a deviation from the standard of care in the applicable field of medicine. The large increase in the volume of cases, probably means that there is a dramatic increase in medical malpractice occurring. This is as a result of several possible factors, such as, overcrowded, understaffed hospitals, both in terms of doctors, and other medical provides, leading to delays in treatment that can be devastating or even fatal.. This office has even seen instances where the City hospital doctor could not communicate with the patient due to a language barrier. Therefore, one of the most essential tools of diagnosis and treatment, which is simply to communicate with the patient or their family in order to ascertain history, complaints and symptoms was completely lacking.” As Mr. Reiter stated further: “the level of medical care often deviated from the standard of care in significant ways, leading to grave injury and sometimes death. These problems are endemic to the entirety of the City hospital system, and could be remedied by instituting policies that would raise the level of basic medical care. “
Mr. Reiter explained the process of commencing a lawsuit as follows: “ In any lawsuit against the City of New York and the NYCHHC a notice of claim must be served within 90 days of when the claim accrued; in the example of a police brutality that would be 90 days from the date of the brutal treatment, in the example of malicious prosecution, it would be 90 days from the dismissal of the charges, and in the example of medical malpractice it would be 90 days from the date of the malpractice, or if there was continuous medical treatment, 90 days from the date of the last medical treatment.” These time limits must be adhered to unless there are circumstances justifying a late notice of claim. Mr. Reiter explains: “There must be a Notice of Claim filed within 90 days, or a person is barred from bringing the actual lawsuit, unless certain exceptions apply. This is an extremely strict statute, one that the public must keep in mind if they, or a loved one becomes a victim of these types of wrongdoing by the City or its agencies. “
It is clear from Mr. Reiter’s statements, that we there are serious problems that affect the administration of the governmental duties of policing the streets, and providing hospital care to the sick and needy.