Back in August, you may recall, an elderly man eating his lunch on a Broad Street sidewalk was killed when an SUV suddenly drove into him, pinning him against the wall. The vehicle was acting as a private security blocker car near the New York Stock Exchange and was moving forward to allow a vehicle to pass when it accelerated and killed 70-year-old Sorel Depas-Medina. Now his widow is suing the security company, T&M Protection Resources—and if you thought we should kill all the lawyers before, wait until you hear this attorney's argument.
Attorney Jay Young, who is representing T&M, is asking a judge to reduce the amount of damages Depas-Medina's widow may be eligible for, because his death doesn't count as "serious injury." Young asserts that because Depas-Medina was killed instantly, he "did not suffer any serious injury as defined by Section 5102 of the Insurance Law of the State of New York, according to court papers obtained by the Daily News.
Young also argues that Depas-Medina bears some responsibility for "contributory negligence," or "assumption of risk." Yeah, because you've got to assume that by using a city sidewalk you run the risk of getting killed by a reckless driver at any moment—anyone who doesn't like it can just stay indoors with their jars of urine and Fresh Direct deliveries.
Sanford Rubenstein, the lawyer for the Depas-Medina estate, is asking the judge to dismiss Young's defense. Pointing out the obvious, Rubenstein argues, “Death is the ultimate serious injury. There is no excuse whatsoever for lawyers attempting to defend this lawsuit by alleging it is not."