The parents of Ariel Russo, the 4-year-old girl killed in an Upper West Side car crash on June 4, announced their intention to take action against the city for the wrongful death of their daughter and injury of their mother. The family has announced they intend to file two separate lawsuits for $20 million each.
Ariel and her grandmother, Katia Gutierrez, were on their way to pre-school early Wednesday morning, when Franklin Reyes pinned them against a building having lost control of his car fleeing from police. The New York Daily News reports that after being hit on 97th and Columbus, Ariel was semi-conscious, and despite the police’s repeated requests for an ambulance, help did not arrive at the scene in time to save her. Gutierrez remains hospitalized.
Officials of the Fire Department have stated that a dispatcher left the desk and did not receive the police’s emergency call for four minutes. For this dispatching delay and the resulting death of Ariel, the family seeks $40 million in damages from the city, $20 million for Ariel and $20 million for Gutierrez.
“I did not want to come before the press today,” Ariel’s mother, Sofia Russo read through tears from a statement. “But I have to communicate that my daughter did not live and die in vain.” Russo hopes the lawsuit “prevents this from happening to anyone else.”
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