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Jail suicide triggers lawsuit.  Incident led to disciplinary measures.

By: Bennett Loudon December 3, 2019

The mother of a woman who committed suicide while being held in the Monroe County Jail has filed a lawsuit against the county.

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Bottar Law, PLLC, was the only law firm in Central New York to receive a FIRST TIER ranking in the 2018 edition of U.S. News & World Report | Best Lawyers®, “Best Law Firms” for:

  • (1) plaintiffs medical malpractice law;
  • (2) plaintiffs product liability law; AND
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On May 11, 2017, Michael A. Bottar was sworn in as regional vice president of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers.  The ceremony was held at the Academy’s 13th annual membership reception located at the Friar’s Club in New York City, with a number of distinguished guests including Rowan D. Wilson, associate justice of the New York State Court of Appeals.

About Michael A. Bottar and Bottar Law, PLLC:

Michael A. Bottar is a member of Bottar Law, PLLC, an award-winning upstate New York law firm recognized annually since 2010 by U.S. News and World Report | Best Lawyers as “first tier” for plaintiffs personal injury litigation.

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On May 2, 2017, Aaron J. Ryder was sworn in as vice president of the Onondaga County Bar Association.  The ceremony was held at the OCBA’s Law Day reception at the OnCenter, with keynote speaker Dean Craig M. Boise from the Syracuse University College of Law.

About Aaron J. Ryder and Bottar Law, PLLC:

Aaron J. Ryder is a member of Bottar Law, PLLC, an award-winning upstate New York law firm recognized annually since 2010 by U.S. News and World Report | Best Lawyers as “first tier” for plaintiffs personal injury litigation.  At the Firm, Aaron’s trial practice focuses upon the investigation and pursuit of medical malpractice, misdiagnosis, product liability, wrongful death, motor vehicle accidents, and construction and/or workplace accidents.  Aaron is listed in Upstate New York Super Lawyers®.

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Rochester, N.Y., (September 20, 2016) — The Daily Record selected Michael A. Bottar, a member of Bottar Law, PLLC, to receive a 2016 Attorney of the Year Award.

The Daily Record’s Attorneys of the Year Awards honor outstanding attorneys through the Leaders in Law and Top Counsel awards.  The Leaders in Law Award is presented to attorneys who demonstrate professional accomplishment, exceptional character, integrity and ethics, and commitment to their clients and the community.  The Top Counsel Award honors in-house or general counsel, who have a positive impact on the company or organization they serve and who demonstrate exceptional character, integrity and ethics. In addition, they must show a significant contribution to the success of their client.

“The 2016 Attorneys of the Year Awards celebrate the best of our legal community,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, publisher of The Daily Record. “Their bright minds, compassion, due diligence and honor demonstrate their commitment to bettering the communities where they live and work.  The Daily Record congratulates them for what they have contributed and what they will continue to contribute to our community and beyond.”

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the instant case could not come at a more appropriate time. Recently, the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas judge held that a person who sent a text message can be liable for an ensuing accident if the sender had reason to believe that the recipient would read the text while driving.

There, defendant Garguilo apparently took a text from defendant Fend and, while distracted, hit a motorcycle ridden by plaintiff Daniel Gallatin, who was pinned under the vehicle, dragged 100 feet, and killed. In addition to suing Garguilo, the Estate sued the texter, averring that defendant Fend sent a text message to Gargiulo who he knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known, was operating a vehicle. The decision was the result of a motion from a preliminary objection, or demurrer, akin to a pre-answer motion to dismiss in New York.

The Court, in arriving at its decision, cited a 2013 case, Kubert v. Best, where the New Jersey Appellate Court held that under certain limited circumstances a texter can be held liable: “the sender of a text message can potentially be liable if an accident is caused by texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted.” Also, the Pennsylvania Court interestingly cited Section 876 of the Restatement (Second) of Torts, which provides that a third party can be held liable if he or she encourages another in violating a duty. “In reflecting upon [both] Section 876 of the Restatement and Kubert,” the complaint withstood the legal hurdle.

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The National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) recently unveiled its 2016 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements. This list, which details the most important safety issues to be addressed in 2016, focuses on 10 broad safety improvements that the NTSB has previously recommended, but which have not yet been implemented. One of the top items on the list is the fight to prevent fatigue-related truck accidents.

According to the NTSB, in a recent survey performed by AAA of highway vehicles, over 43% of participants reported falling asleep at the wheel or nodding off while driving at least once in their lifetime; and a 2010 AAA study estimated that one out of every six (16.5%) deadly traffic accidents is the result of drowsy driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (“NHTSA”) Administrator recently announced at the “Asleep at the Wheel” program in November that between 5,000 and 7,000 fatalities occur annually in the United States.

Among the recommendations issued by the NTSB to combat this problem, is equipping all interstate commercial vehicle carriers with electronic logging devices that collect data on driver hours of service in a valid, accurate, and secure manner to enable the carriers and their regulators to monitor and assess hours-of-service compliance. The NTSB also recommends that companies establish fatigue risk management programs which includes policies or practices to address scheduling, attendance, education, medical screening and treatment, personal responsibility during non-work periods, task/workload issues, rest environments, and commuting and/or napping. According to the NTSB’s press release on the topic, “[u]ltimately, fatigue-related accidents can be avoided with a combination of science-based regulations, comprehensive fatigue risk management programs, and individual responsibility.”

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Research published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals an increased risk of drowsy driving related motor vehicle crashes when operating a motor vehicle during the daytime following night shift work.

In the study, 16 night shift workers completed a pair of 2-hour driving sessions on a closed track. Prior to one session, participants slept approximately 7.6 hours the night before, with no shift work. Prior to the other session, participants were tested after working a night shift. Measures of drowsiness were collected, including brief micro-sleep episodes measured by an electroencephalogram, and partial eyelid closure with slow eye movements.

The results of each session were compared, resulting in the following findings:

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For many, the winter holiday season means family gatherings and a resultant increase in bus tickets, to get college students home. We here at Bottar Law, PLLC wish everyone a happy holiday and take this opportunity to ask our readers to be careful when traveling to see loved ones this year.

Recently, a motor coach owned and operated by Abbott Trailways was involved in an accident in Richmond Virginia. The motor coach was chartered to take students at Virginia Tech and Radford University back to their campuses after the Thanksgiving weekend, when it overturned. Thirty-three passengers were injured – thirty-two of which were non-life threatening and one reported as “critical.” According to state police, speed was a factor in the bus overturning, and the driver was charged with reckless driving. He was subsequently suspended from his duties.

This news story illustrates how important bus safety is. If you or someone you know was injured in an accident on, or with a bus, you should contact the Firm. The aid of an experienced lawyer can be invaluable in receiving compensation for your injuries.

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