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Author Topic: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead  (Read 6843 times)

Scott5114

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Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #175 on: May 27, 2019, 04:56:51 AM »

And what caused the 'catastrophic brake failure'?

Mike

Now, now, let's not blame Mike... he probably had nothing to do with this.
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kalvado

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Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #176 on: May 27, 2019, 06:11:35 AM »

And what caused the 'catastrophic brake failure'?

Mike

Now, now, let's not blame Mike... he probably had nothing to do with this.
One thing such statement achieve is that county where accident happened becomes totally not guilty.
Victims lawyers were shopping for compensation payers- state is legally immune as far as I understand; company has no assets worth suing, owner is a slick guy with FBI behind him, and getting him from Pakistan  is a challenge. So they aimed at county as a source of compensation....
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #177 on: May 27, 2019, 08:25:28 AM »

And what caused the 'catastrophic brake failure'?

Mike

Now, now, let's not blame Mike... he probably had nothing to do with this.
One thing such statement achieve is that county where accident happened becomes totally not guilty.
Victims lawyers were shopping for compensation payers- state is legally immune as far as I understand; company has no assets worth suing, owner is a slick guy with FBI behind him, and getting him from Pakistan  is a challenge. So they aimed at county as a source of compensation....

So next would be...the auto manufacturer or the company that built the limo?
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kalvado

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Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #178 on: May 27, 2019, 10:09:29 AM »

And what caused the 'catastrophic brake failure'?

Mike

Now, now, let's not blame Mike... he probably had nothing to do with this.
One thing such statement achieve is that county where accident happened becomes totally not guilty.
Victims lawyers were shopping for compensation payers- state is legally immune as far as I understand; company has no assets worth suing, owner is a slick guy with FBI behind him, and getting him from Pakistan  is a challenge. So they aimed at county as a source of compensation....

So next would be...the auto manufacturer or the company that built the limo?
Manufacturer will have a strong case that they didn't approve modification. Modification was done by a company which coldn't be located, likely non-existent.
If I  remember correctly, modification was done in 2001, and even statues of limitations may be in issue.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #179 on: May 27, 2019, 10:34:57 AM »

One thing such statement achieve is that county where accident happened becomes totally not guilty.

Why would the county have tort liability?  As I understand it, the crash happened entirely on the state highway system.  (Does New York allow counties to claim qualified immunity?)

The statement about "catastrophic brake failure" also does not address lack of engine braking as a possible contributing factor, which we have inferred from previous reporting is a focus of the NTSB investigation.

Given that the State Police is an arm of the state government, as is NYSDOT, I am skeptical of the independence and impartiality of the investigation.  The general rule of thumb these days is that sovereign immunity does not exist anymore, although the manner in which a state can be sued for damages is still stringently restricted by statute (I do not know where specifically New York is in this particular facet of tort reform, which occurred in the 1970's in most states).
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kalvado

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Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #180 on: May 27, 2019, 10:50:15 AM »

One thing such statement achieve is that county where accident happened becomes totally not guilty.

Why would the county have tort liability?  As I understand it, the crash happened entirely on the state highway system.  (Does New York allow counties to claim qualified immunity?)

The statement about "catastrophic brake failure" also does not address lack of engine braking as a possible contributing factor, which we have inferred from previous reporting is a focus of the NTSB investigation.

Given that the State Police is an arm of the state government, as is NYSDOT, I am skeptical of the independence and impartiality of the investigation.  The general rule of thumb these days is that sovereign immunity does not exist anymore, although the manner in which a state can be sued for damages is still stringently restricted by statute (I do not know where specifically New York is in this particular facet of tort reform, which occurred in the 1970's in most states).
I don't remember details, but the county was mentioned as a possible entity to be sued for sure.  The problem for lawyers is that there is no rich entity to milk in this case.
Lack of engine braking is the most obvious question. Navigation to a difficult road is another. Driver, who according to latest articles "had enough tickets to get license suspended; the suspension was not filed due to clerical error"  is another nice detail.
To make things worse, NTSB is effectively kicked out of the case - they still didn't get their hands on a wreck. I would expect many things are no longer traceable.
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Rothman

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Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #181 on: May 27, 2019, 11:18:21 AM »

One thing such statement achieve is that county where accident happened becomes totally not guilty.

Why would the county have tort liability?  As I understand it, the crash happened entirely on the state highway system.  (Does New York allow counties to claim qualified immunity?)

The statement about "catastrophic brake failure" also does not address lack of engine braking as a possible contributing factor, which we have inferred from previous reporting is a focus of the NTSB investigation.

Given that the State Police is an arm of the state government, as is NYSDOT, I am skeptical of the independence and impartiality of the investigation.  The general rule of thumb these days is that sovereign immunity does not exist anymore, although the manner in which a state can be sued for damages is still stringently restricted by statute (I do not know where specifically New York is in this particular facet of tort reform, which occurred in the 1970's in most states).

Just so happens that my capstone project was on the issue of transportation issues and sovereign immunity; did the work for FHWA.

Although total sovereign immunity does not exist, NY is one of the stricter states in terms of defining when someone can sue in regards to transportation agency negligence or other misbehavior.  In this particular case, I really doubt that the investigation deliberately warped facts to protect the State from any sort of lawsuit.
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hbelkins

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Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #182 on: May 27, 2019, 02:51:31 PM »

Not sure why the state would bear any fault whatsoever here. Everything I've seen indicates that the hill and the stop condition at the bottom of it are very clearly signed. Besides, intersections like that are a dime a dozen in this part of the country (eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, southwestern Virginia, western North Carolina, east Tennessee). The grade and curvature looks mild compared to a lot of intersections I'm familiar with.
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webny99

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Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #183 on: May 27, 2019, 10:45:08 PM »

And what caused the 'catastrophic brake failure'?
Mike
Now, now, let's not blame Mike... he probably had nothing to do with this.

Nicely done  :D
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steviep24

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Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #184 on: May 31, 2019, 08:29:57 PM »

Braking news (pun intended):
According to the expert hired by State Police, the sole cause of the accident [..] is "catastrophic brake failure"
I have a hard time interpreting that statement...
Rusted out brake lines are a common problem here in NY with vehicles that have some age on them. They can give out without warning. Perhaps that's what may have caused this limo crash.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #185 on: May 31, 2019, 10:11:48 PM »

Rusted out brake lines are a common problem here in NY with vehicles that have some age on them. They can give out without warning. Perhaps that's what may have caused this limo crash.

It may very well have done.  The problem with having "catastrophic brake failure" as the totality of the explanation is that the investigation really needs to look at why the limo was out of control as it was going down a clearly signed long downgrade.  If engine braking was available and had been used, then the limo would have been moving much more slowly at the bottom of the hill and the crash would likely have been much more survivable even if it could still not be avoided altogether.
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