A Brooklyn actress, Dana Jacks, is suing New York City for $3 million after being struck by a cyclist in Prospect Park last summer, Mail Online reports . She is claiming that her accident and 25 day hospital stay was a result of the city’s Parks Department and NYPD “negligent, careless and reckless” lack of traffic enforcement. Jacks has already filed a lawsuit against the cyclist who hit her in Brooklyn Supreme Court. According to the New York Post, the cyclist filed a countersuit claiming Jacks was walking “unlawfully outside the crosswalk” and “knocking him to the ground” .
Although this was an unfortunate accident for the actress, suing the city for the monumental amount of $3 million will drain tax dollars that could be used to fix the problem and instead use them for costly settlement or trial proceedings. Because it is often targeted as a “deep pocketed” defendant in lawsuits, the City has so far paid out $561 million in tort related claims for 2011, an astronomically high number which could be drastically lowered by enacting meaningful tort reforms.
In September, New York City Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo gave a speech to the Citizens Budget Commission calling for tort reform as a solution to regain the city’s economic stability. In his speech, he highlighted two major reforms which he says would lower the city’s payouts by $100 million; implementing reasonable limitations on non-economic damages and reforming the doctrine of joint and several liability, which can force a deep pocketed defendant who is minimally at fault to pay the entire cost of a judgment.
Reforming our civil justice system and eliminating frivolous lawsuits could save the state millions and put money back into the pockets of taxpayers statewide.