The City of New York failed 4-year-old Ariel Russo in the 15 minutes between the time she was crushed by an out-of-control SUV and her death en route to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital.
A well-documented breakdown in the 911 dispatch system delayed by four minutes the arrival of an ambulance that maybe, just maybe, could have saved her.
Which makes it painfully hard to understand how Ariel’s family has been forced to settle for $225,000, including just $150,000 from the city.
One reason is that Franklin Reyes, the jackass driver who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, is a teenager without significant resources. His father, the SUV’s owner, had the minimum allowable liability insurance.
The Russos also ran up against a wise legal principle that shields the city — and taxpayers — from suits based on allegations that efforts to protect public safety have fallen short. Without it, the Fire Department could be endlessly sued when, for example, response times rose.
A “special duty” rule says agencies like the NYPD and FDNY are immune unless they talk directly to an individual, specifically promise an action and fail to deliver. For example, cops tell a witness they’ll provide protection and then withdraw the guard, letting the witness be murdered.
Because Ariel never got such a promise, the city escaped with a small settlement. In response, two legislators seek to overturn the special duty rule. Rather than expose taxpayers to potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in future claims, they should press Mayor de Blasio for compassion.
His administration’s hard line stands in contrast to a generous posture in other cases — including a $41 million settlement with the Central Park Five, despite Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter’s declaration that city personnel “acted reasonably, given the circumstances with which they were confronted” during the discredited prosecution.
Okaying the settlement, de Blasio spoke of a “moral obligation to right this injustice.” Ariel Russo deserved the same.
- 'Don't ask for our forgiveness': Heartbroken family of Urrbrae crash victims speak in court
- UPDATE: San Jose Homicide Suspects Released Without Posting Bail; Cops Tweet ‘The System Has Failed’
- Who Will ‘Vax Daddy’ Endorse? 5 Takeaways From N.Y.C. Mayor’s Race.
- Perth's would-be mayors have a lot to say about people like Shonna. This is what she wants them to know
- How ‘Shadow’ Foster Care Is Tearing Families Apart
- Las Vegas Shooting Victims: The Full List
- 20 minor video game characters that deserve a better story
- Election Day 2021 Live Updates: Youngkin's victory lap started in Virginia's capital city
- Killing of Barnard Student Unnerves Campus and City
- In the Dark: TVNZ debut for British crime drama that's better than source novels
- The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Senate gets busy, except for Build Back Better
- Top San Jose Officials Blast Bail Policies After Murder Suspects Released While Awaiting Trial
- F.B.I. Is Working in Haiti to Recover Kidnapped Missionaries
- What Does It Mean to Save a Neighborhood?
- Vladimir Putin's Risky Ploy to Manufacture History
- The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The omicron threat and Biden's plan to beat it
- N.Y.P.D’s Next Police Commissioner: What to Know About Dermot Shea
- The Towers Came Down, and With Them the Promise of Public Housing
- Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Continues | The Daily Wire
- Stephen Port: Sadiq Khan calls for probe into Met Police
Have a heart, Mayor de Blasio: Crash victim Ariel Russo's family deserves better from the city that failed her have 543 words, post on www.nydailynews.com at April 9, 2015. This is cached page on Business News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.