Felix Coss was struck and killed by an NYPD officer driving a marked police van as he crossed the street in Williamsburg in July of 2013. Coss, a 61-year-old Spanish teacher, had the right of way when he was killed. The officer who struck him, Paula Medrano, was never charged, despite a witness’s statement that she was on her cell phone when she failed to yield to Coss in the crosswalk. Coss's family sued the city and Madrano, but the Law Department argues that Coss should have known better than to cross the street with the “Walk” signal.
“They have things in here—that he should have known, that he was engaging in a dangerous activity,” the Coss family’s attorney Andrew Levine told Streetsblog, referring to the City’s response to the lawsuit. “He’s a pedestrian walking across the street with the walk signal.”
Graphic video shows Coss crossing Broadway with the right of way and Medrano turning left from Hooper straight into him.
Streetsblog quotes the Law Department’s filing:
Plantiff(s) voluntarily performed and engaged in the alleged activity and assumed the risk of the injuries and/or damages claimed. Plaintiff(s) failed to use all required, proper, appropriate and reasonable safety devices and/or equipment and failed to take all proper, appropriate and reasonable steps to assure his/her/their safety … Plaintiff(s)’ implied assumption of risk caused or contributed, in whole or in part [sic] to his/her/their injuries.
“We believe those statements are going to be very powerful evidence about the conscious pain and suffering that Felix Coss went through,” Levine said.
The parties are due in court again next month. The Law Department declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.