Families of victims of the terrorist attack on October 31, 2017 on the West Side Highway in Manhattan intend to sue the city and the state for maintaining an unsafe environment that contributed to the attack. Eight people were killed when an Uzbekistan immigrant from Paterson, New Jersey knocked down pedestrians and cyclists as he barreled down the bike path in a truck rented from Home Depot. Some of the victims’ families are either filing separate lawsuits or pursuing additional claims. Those who were injured in the attack, including the family of a girl diagnosed with traumatic brain injury when the perpetrator eventually crashed his vehicle into her school bus, have also filed lawsuits. In all these cases, the families insist that precautionary measures could have prevented this tragedy.
The claims allege that authorities may have had prior knowledge that various areas of Manhattan were particularly susceptible to catastrophic events involving automobiles. The West Side Highway bike path has been the scene of a number of deadly incidents in the past. Two people were killed by drunk drivers while cycling on the bike path in separate incidents. According to one attorney in the case, police issued 50 summonses last year to drivers riding on the path. In another area of Manhattan in May, 2017, a driver veered onto a sidewalk in Times Square and killed a teenager. A 2010 bulletin by the Department of Homeland Security issued a stern warning about terrorism in general citing the increased risk of attacks where a vehicle is used as the primary weapon.
Some of the deadly incidents by drivers on pedestrian walkways could have been prevented through the installation of barriers in areas that typically experience high volumes of pedestrian traffic or cyclists. State and city agencies, which own and operate the area, are accused of not properly warning pedestrians and bicyclists of the dangers associated with unfettered vehicle access to the path and then failing to take precautions to protect users of the path from foreseeable dangers. Prior incidents demonstrate that vehicles have either erroneously or purposefully used the path. The city finally decided to implement concrete barriers along several intersections of the West Side Highway- but only after the deadly terror attack on October 31st.
Victims and their families may also be able to hold financial institutions responsible under the Federal Anti-Terrorism Act.
Levy Konigsberg LLP is a nationally recognized law firm that litigates complex cases involving catastrophic injuries. We have three decades of experience handling large scale litigation and federal jurisprudence. Our firm has successfully brought cases against cities, states and other agencies whose conduct or failure to act has led to devastating injuries to individuals and communities. We can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If you or a member of your family has been a victim of a terrorist attack, please contact our lawyers at (800) 315-3806 for a free consultation.