Joshpe Mooney Paltzik LLP filed a notice of claim against the City of New York for $25 million on behalf of the Estate of Sherena Hundalani. Hundalani was a vibrant 26-year-old woman who was tragically killed on February 24, 2019 by a cab driver as she stood on a street corner in Rego Park, New York.
Ms. Hundalani was the daughter of Prakash and Bina Hundalani, who are representing their late daughter’s Estate. Sherena worked as a hostess at her parent’s restaurants—Mamasita and Mi Nidito—in Manhattan and lived with her sister, Dinika. While standing on the sidewalk next to a Mobil Station on Queens Boulevard and 63rd Road waiting to cross the street, Ms. Hundalani was struck from behind by a green cab. She was dragged underneath the vehicle and subjected to agonizing suffering before being brought to a nearby hospital where she passed away.
The notice of claim, which precedes a formal civil action against government entities, names the City of New York, the NYC Department of Transportation, and the Taxi and Limousine Commission. The incident and subsequent legal action has been covered extensively by the news media, including recently by the New York Daily News.
The firm also released a statement that said, in part, the following:
Sherena’s senseless death has left family and friends devasted while also exposing the utter failures of New York City’s government and highlighting the urgent need for reform of its flawed, outdated, and corrupt Taxi and Limousine (TLC) regulations.
In a city run by meddling lawmakers and bureaucrats who want to regulate everything from the size of peoples’ soft drinks to the kinds of straws they use, it is unfathomable that the City licenses taxi drivers who are grossly underinsured and with minimal vetting. Many of these drivers, as any New Yorker knows, are reckless and threaten the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. In fact, since 2014, the number of accidents involving taxis has increased by over 270 percent, another example of the spectacular hypocrisy and failed policies of Bill de Blasio. Dozens of people have been killed by taxis in the last five years alone, and scores injured.
For far too long, the taxi lobbying class has worked hard to keep taxi and limousine insurance requirements shockingly and unacceptably low, leaving victims’ families, like the Hundalani family, with badly injured or dead children and grossly insufficient compensation for their losses.
Bill de Blasio has wasted billions of dollars of taxpayer funds on the Vision Zero advertising boondoggle supposedly designed to make the City’s streets safer. At the same time, the City government has opened the streets and sidewalks to reckless, unlicensed, and uninsured bicyclists—many of which are motorized—and more underinsured TLC vehicles than ever before. This represents a failure of government to perform its most basic function: ensure the safety of the innocent.