Raphaelson and Levine aggressively litigated versus the New York Police Department on behalf of the family of a teacher who was tragically struck and killed by a police vehicle.
The victim, Felix Coss, was innocently crossing the street in a marked crosswalk with the walk signal when an on-duty police officer recklessly turned her vehicle into the crosswalk. The police car hit Felix, causing him to fall backwards and strike his head. The beloved Brooklyn resident, admired and revered by his family, friends and neighbors, tragically died from his injuries.
A witness to the accident has indicated that the police officer was speaking on a cell phone at the time of the accident. Despite this, New York City has chosen to vigorously litigate this case, dragging this matter out for over two years, all the while denying responsibility. Their denials include outlandish claims: that Coss assumed the risk of being struck and killed simply by crossing the street (during the day, within the crosswalk, with the walk signal); and that Coss, a pedestrian, should have used a safety device such as a seatbelt. Such ridiculous assertions only serve to further victimize his already grieving family.This case is tragic and the response from the city is equally tragic for the family and the entire NYC community. We expect our leaders, like the city of New York, to accept responsibility for their mistakes, but this case highlights police and city behavior that is quite the opposite. Where is Mayor de Blasio on this issue?
This case received a lot of attention in the media. See these articles about the case:Brooklyn Teacher Killed in Crosswalk by NYPD Van; Legal Battle Between City and Victim's Family (abc7ny.com)NYPD: Teacher Killed by Cop in Crosswalk "Assumed Risk" by Crossing Street (streetsblog.org)City Blames Pedestrian After Cop Fatally Runs Him Over In Crosswalk (gothamist.com)NYPD Blames Man Reportedly Run Over by Cop on Cellphone for Own Death (slate.com)
Andrew Levine, Howard Raphaelson and the whole Raphaelson and Levine team tirelessly sought justice until the city agreed that they were responsible and wrong.
UPDATE (4/21/16):After three years of tenacious litigation ,we have successfully resolved this matter for $1,500,000. In addition to the substantial monetary award, Raphaelson and Levine obtained a letter from the City of New York expressing their sympathy and clearly stated that they NEVER intended to blame Felix Coss for his own death nor tarnish his name.
Andrew Levine said 'The City took Felix's life, they tried to take his good name, and we worked tirelessly to bring his family justice. Felix was the victim in this horrible tragedy and this resolution not only provides compensation to the client's family, but provides them peace of mind and allows them to focus their attention on the grieving process.