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New York City Caught Unprepared for December Blizzard Raises Questions of Accountability

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A woman with stroke symptoms in Midwood, Brooklyn, waited six hours for an ambulance and had telltale signs of advanced brain damage by the time she arrived at the hospital. In Crown Heights, Brooklyn, a mother in labor who started calling 911 at 8:30 am on Monday did not get an ambulance until 6 pm, too late to save the baby. As New York City struggled to recover from December's blizzard, many residents were left aggravated by the city's slow response and blamed the administration for the inability of emergency vehicles to respond to calls in a timely matter. When a storm of this magnitude hits, how much can we expect from the city? Are they liable for injuries and conditions exasperated by the dangerous conditions left from the storm?

When a storm hits, people expect the streets to be cleared and made usable. In New York and Long Island, counties and towns have a responsibility to respond to a storm in a reasonable manner, but what is reasonable? Certainly, winter storms are expected each year, but this one was especially vicious, with 20 inches of snow and high winds that left huge banks of up to three feet in some areas.

Added to this were the abandoned cars left by people who had attempted to drive in the unsafe conditions despite warnings from officials. However, many agree the city should have done a better job. At least 200 ambulances got stuck on unplowed streets or were blocked by abandoned cars, according to city officials, and the backlog of calls to 911 reached 1,300 at its highest point.

State Sen. Carl Kruger of Brooklyn slammed the city's response, saying too many streets around the city were unplowed Monday afternoon, leaving emergency vehicles and others delayed or stuck in the snow. "Forecasters predicted this blizzard days in advance," he said in a statement. "There was clearly insufficient planning, and New Yorkers are paying too steep a price. Someone has to be accountable."


If you've been injured as a result of the storm, you may have a case. Goldstein and Bashner has experience with cases throughout Long Island and New York City and will help you collect the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

city snow

An unplowed street in Soho, New York City

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