July 11, 2014

$30M Lawsuit Alleges Police Misconduct in Biker’s Injuries

By Jonathan Damashek

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A $30 million lawsuit against New York City alleges that police caused a wreck that left a dirt biker with severe brain injuries during a chase in Highbridge in May.

The biker, William Miranda of the Bronx, remains unconscious at St. Barnabus Hospital and is breathing with the help of a respirator according to the legal filing, DNAinfo.com reported.

Police were chasing Miranda on Undercliff and Sedwick avenues when the police cruiser blocked his motorcycle. Miranda swerved and was thrown underneath an oncoming vehicle.

The proposed administrator of Mr. Miranda’s estate retained the law firm of Hecht, Kleeger and Damashek to handle the case.

The notice of claim filed against the city contends that NYPD failed to:

  • Entrust its vehicles to suitable drivers.
  • Inspect vehicles properly.
  • Hire offers who were competent.

This isn’t the first time a clash between police and dirt bikers has led to legal action. DNAInfo reported that a $20 million lawsuit was filed against the city in 2012 after a police car rear-ended a dirt bike in a chase at Hunts Point. The suit alleged that police officers acted with criminal negligence when they hit the bike, injuring a passenger and killing the driver.

It happened shortly after police began chasing a bike with no license plates that was traveling the wrong way on a one-way street, according to DNAInfo’s report. The biker, Adalberto Gonzalez, wrecked the bike and ran, jumping on the back of an unregistered dirt bike with another driver. As they tried to escape, an NYPD cruiser hit them from behind, knocking them off the bike.

The dirt-bike driver died a few days later. Gonzalez, who was arrested in the incident, sustained a broken leg and later filed suit, contending the police car was traveling at a high rate of speed – up to 55 mph – when it rammed them.

Police officials said their policy is to not pursue dirt-bike riders because of the risks it poses.

Though area residents have complained to police about dangerous dirt bikers, it appears that overzealous officers could be causing more hazards.

If you are involved in an incident involving possible misconduct by police, contact an experienced personal injury law firm that can advise you of your rights and help you determine if you have the grounds for legal action. Don’t let negligence by law enforcement destroy your life.