Family of Ariel Russo plans to sue NYC - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Family of Ariel Russo plans to sue NYC

Posted: Updated:

By JAKE PEARSON

NEW YORK (AP) " The parents of a 4-year-old girl killed in a car crash earlier this month announced plans Wednesday for a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city of New York after she and her grandmother were struck by an SUV driven by an unlicensed teen fleeing police.

Sofia and Alan Russo, also said Ariel Russo's grandmother, Katia Gutierrez also plans to file a separate notice of claim for $20 million in damages related to the June 4 accident.

"I did not want to come before the press today," Sofia Russo read from a statement, holding back tears as she spoke. "But I have to communicate that my daughter did not live and die in vain."

A notice of claim, filed with the city's Comptroller, is the first legal step before a lawsuit can be filed against the city. The Russos' notice of claim lists the city, the its police and fire departments and the city's Emergency Medical Services as defendants.

The FDNY referred questions to the city Law Department, which said it hasn't been served yet but will review the claim.

Russo died after a 17-year-old unlicensed driver behind the wheel of his parent's SUV jumped the curb on Manhattan's Upper West Side while fleeing police who were giving chase, police said. The accident occurred at 8:15 a.m. when the car slammed into a restaurant on the ground floor of an apartment building, pinning Ariel Russo and her 58-year-old grandmother.

Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano has since said that while the emergency call came in at 8:15 a.m., a dispatcher left the desk without seeing it " and no one saw it until four minutes later. At that point, an ambulance was dispatched and arrived about four minutes later, 90 seconds slower than usual, according to Cassano.

In the legal papers filed Wednesday, Russo's parents claim the city's 911 system was in part to blame for their daughter's death.

The city has a new 911 system, and part of it has suffered a series of glitches recently that have stalled computers at dispatchers' terminals, at one point for an hour at a time. Cassano has said that wasn't the case here.

But the union that represents emergency medical service workers has said glitches in the 911 system prevented the call from appearing on the dispatcher's screen. Comptroller John Liu said Tuesday his office has started an audit of the 911 system.

The Russos' lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, urged the city and union to "stop pointing fingers." He said that the family plans to file a civil lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Manhattan shortly.

"No amount of money can ever take us back to our lives as it was before June 4," said Sofia Russo. "But this law suit can force the city to be more careful and prevent this from happening to anyone else."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

  • Today on Good DayToday on Good DayMore>>

  • Good Day Cafe - Cavatelli di Grano Arso

    Good Day Cafe - Cavatelli di Grano Arso

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:52 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:52:48 GMT
    Here is Kristin Sollenne's Cavatelli di Grano Arso recipe from Bocca di Bacco.
    Here is Kristin Sollenne's Cavatelli di Grano Arso recipe from Bocca di Bacco.
  • Greg Kelly sports a nasty sunburn

    Greg Kelly sports a nasty sunburn

    Monday, April 21 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-04-21 15:37:03 GMT
    Greg Kelly stripped down on Monday's Good Day New York to get some help for a sun burn across his torso.He went to the beach in the Dominican Republic but only applied sun screen to his face.Kelly says he was in the water for about 40 minutes.Dr. Kahn says he faces immediate and long term trouble because of his severe burn.The doctor says to apply anything that is soothing.The best bet is to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is waterproof before going into the sun.
    Greg Kelly stripped down on Monday's Good Day New York to get some help for a sun burn across his torso.He went to the beach in the Dominican Republic but only applied sun screen to his face.Kelly says he was in the water for about 40 minutes.Dr. Kahn says he faces immediate and long term trouble because of his severe burn.The doctor says to apply anything that is soothing.The best bet is to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is waterproof before going into the sun.
  • Good Day Cafe: Fried Green Tomatoes

    Good Day Cafe: Fried Green Tomatoes

    Monday, April 21 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-04-21 15:01:01 GMT
    Leisa and Lillian Dent from LL Dent in Carle Place, NY, came to the Good Day Cafe to share their recipe for fried green tomatoes.
    Leisa and Lillian Dent from LL Dent in Carle Place, NY, came to the Good Day Cafe to share their recipe for fried green tomatoes.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices