Is someone blaming a first year associate somewhere? The lawyers for Paul Esposito, a 26 year old man whose legs were amputated after being mangled in the 2003 Staten Island crash, accidentally sent out a news release saying that the city had settled with Esposito for over $25 million. The NY Times says the release showed up on the AP wires, only for the city's Law Department to say there was no settlement (and that the "settlement amount set forth in the plaintiff's press release bears no relationship whatsoever to the number that had been discussed") and for the law firm, the Cochran (yes, that Cochran) Firm, to say the earlier press release was "premature." D'oh! Esposito's mother is angry at the firm, blaming their incompetence on the loss of Johnnie ("My son has no money and I can't help him. He has no money for rent and no money to live on but $800 a month. He's struggling, but he always has a smile."). Gothamist wonders if this snafu can limit the Cochran Firm's take on the settlement, as we're sure the city is freaking out to make sure they don't pay anywhere near the $25 million.

You can visit Paul Esposito's website here - he has prosthetic legs and is able to drive a specially-outfitted car; he also gives motivational speeches. (The Post notes that Esposito has not been on the Staten Island since the accident.) And the pilot of the SI Ferry during the crash was sentenced to jail in January.