Brooklyn, NY – May 2004 –The New York State Appellate Division upheld a lower court ruling that struck the City of New York’s answer in a civil lawsuit arising from the shooting of an innocent bystander by an off-duty New York City Police Officer. The Court’s decision holds the City of New York and the New York Police Department (NYPD) fully liable for this shooting. The case will now proceed to determine the damages the City must pay which could reach into the millions of dollars.
Attorney Carol L. Schlitt, the trial lawyer for the plaintiff, said, “The City of New York and the NYPD tried to hide the truth, namely that an off-duty police officer fired a gun when he should not have done so and crippled my client. We would not accept this injustice. After years of obfuscation by the City and the NYPD, the Court tired of their antics.”
The case stems from a January 23, 1995 incident when Ramona Brooks stood in line at an ATM in the East New York section of Brooklyn. During an attempted hold up of off-duty NYPD Officer Emiliano Jimenez, the off-duty officer fired a stray shot that struck Ms. Brooks in the arm, shattering her bone and nerves. Although no criminal charges were filed, Ms. Brooks sought justice through a civil suit brought against the City of New York and Officer Jimenez. Ms. Schlitt explained, “The City tried to deny responsibility, but we held their feet to the fire.”
During the course of the lawsuit, the City of New York refused to respond to court-ordered requests for information no fewer than nine times, misplaced or refused to produce evidence and made multiple misstatements and misrepresentations of the evidence in the case. Finally, on April 16, 2003, Judge Michael Ambrosio of the New York State Supreme Court struck the City’s defenses, citing the City’s refusal to produce evidence in its possession despite eight years of legal proceedings.
On April 19, 2004, a four judge panel of the Appellate Division, Second Department, decided the case, Brooks v. The City of New York. The appellate court unanimously affirmed the 2003 order of Judge Ambrosio by unanimously rejecting the defendants’ argument.
The suit will now move to determine the damages the City must pay to Ms. Brooks. Ms. Brooks is left-handed and the shooting left her without the use of her left arm and unable to work in her career as an elder care worker. She had retained counsel from the firm Randazzo & Giffords of Lake Success, New York, who in turn hired Carol L. Schlitt to serve as trial counsel.
About the Law Offices of Carol L. Schlitt
The Law Offices of Carol L. Schlitt specialize in personal injury law and accepts cases throughout New York City and Long Island. She has been recognized for having one of the top 10 verdicts in New York City and is a past winner of the New York City Municipal Attorney of the Year Award. For more information, please visit www.schlittlaw.com, call 1-800-660-1466 or e-mail [email protected].
About the Law Offices of Randazzo & Giffords
The Law Offices of Randazzo & Giffords specialize in personal injury law and accepts cases throughout the New York metropolitan area. For more information please call (516) 355-0780.
For more information on this release, contact Ms. Schlitt at 1-800-660-1466 or [email protected].