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More Tish-grace! Councilwoman hires big-time personal injury lawyer in bump-and-scratch

The Brooklyn Paper
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Councilwoman Letitia James is vigorously pursuing her personal injury lawsuit against an itinerant laborer, despite widespread ridicule over her contention that she suffered “permanent” injuries after bumping into the legal trailer hitch on his parked van.

The case remains active on the State Supreme’s Court Web site, despite a Daily News story last week that suggested that she had dropped the case after the newspaper awarded the second-term lawmaker its “Knucklehead Award.”

In fact, James’s attorney, the politically connected Court Street barrister Sanford Rubenstein, said he can’t wait to take this controversial case to a real jury (not merely the court of public opinion that has already ruled against James).

“My client looks forward to a jury hearing the case and making a determination of what damages she’s entitled to,” said Rubenstein, who is most known for his civil rights cases, including defending the seriously injured Abner Louima.

“There is a permanent scar on her leg and she’s also concerned that others can be injured by the dangerous conditions on this vehicle,” he added, referring to James.

The events of July 11 are now notorious in the legal record: James, according to her court filings, claims that she sustained “serious, severe and permanent [injuries] to her limbs and body” after she walked into a four-inch trailer hitch protruding from David Day’s parked car.

She’s seeking unspecified damages.

But Day maintains that James who negligent for walking into his parked car — and state law states that it is legal for Day to have a trailer hitch on the back of his 1993 Chevy Astro van.

“There is no prohibition against trailer hitches in New York City,” said Department of Motor Vehicles spokesperson Ken Brown. “Individuals are allowed to have the trailer hitches mounted even when not in use.”

Rubenstein said he took the case on merit and will charge his usual fee — a percent of the winnings.

“As in any case, I will work on contingency and a jury will decide the damages,” said Rubenstein.

When reminded that Day makes about one-tenth of James’s $122,500 Council salary, Rubenstein responded that the issue isn’t how much Day makes, but the danger that his protruding trailer hitch is still causing to the general public.

James (D–Fort Greene) has said she will drop the case if Day just takes the hitch off his van — but Day is showing some of his native Texas toughness.

“How you can you go around telling people to remove their livelihood,” said Day in a long southern drawl. “I put the trailer hitch on there with my money in order to make money. It’s what I use to make money — to move my things and to hook a trailer to my van. I would love to take it off and make her happy, but that reasoning is stupid.”

“If they get a law for everyone to remove [hitches], then I’ll gladly remove my trailer hitch,” he added. “If it’s good for one, it’s good for everybody, but it’s totally wrong to tell me to remove mine while millions of people have one on their vehicles.”

James has been silent for a week after telling this newspaper that the hitch caused a seven-inch scar on her leg. She has refused to produce medical records that could back up her claim that she suffered permanent injuries on the eve of her vigorous re-election campaign last year.

James bounced to an easy victory in that race. Additionally, several of James’s Council colleagues told this newspaper that they did not recall James limping or using crutches during the summer.

Day, who was loading items in his van at the time of the accident, admits that James did suffer a scratch that day, but he says the wound was only two inches long and not very deep.

After the accident James used some loud and harsh words, but did not utter any profanities, recalled Day, 61, adding he was brought up to not raise his voice in these types of situations.

“My heart was with her,” said Day, adding he didn’t think anything more of the matter until he received a court summons.

In the days since The Paper’s Web site broke the story, the Councilwoman has been the subject of considerable mockery on the Internet.

“[She is an] idiot who is suing a man because she bumped her shin,” posted “Bob.” “The people who agree with her are part of the problem with New York City.”

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Reader Feedback

Mike from Maspeth says:
So now you guys are writing stories reporting your own stories as news? Truly pathetic! Not to mention the original drek was libelously editorial. And you're dumb enough to keep a link to the original, which if you really thought it through, given that the subject, would more wisely have been totally pulled than continue to exist as what might be called...evidence.
Yellow journalism as its finest. Welcome to the new and improved Brooklyn Papers!
March 18, 2010, 8:11 am
Mike from Bay Ridge says:
In full agreement with Mike from Maspeth. A repetetive and biased article.
March 18, 2010, 10:02 am
Jezra Kaye from Prospect Heights says:
It's a sad day when The Brooklyn Paper, which used to actually care about Brooklyn, is reduced to smearing a politician who's done nothing but honorably represent the people who elected her. If she'd been working for Rupert Murdock's interests, you would be singing her praises right now.
March 18, 2010, 11:39 am
chris havens from boerum hill says:
there is a great deal more to this story than has appeared here.... Councilmember James would not be doing this for the reasons stated in the story.... you'll see eventually
March 18, 2010, 1:04 pm
Payback Time from Brooklyn says:
This is payback from Bruce Ratner and friends for Tish James' stalwart opposition to Atlantic Yards.

Check the byline: Stephen Witt, Ratner's personal newspaper scribe, who threw a bear hug around Bruce (must have long arms) at the Atlantic Yards environmental hearing in 2005 and is (in)famous for his slanted "reporting."
March 18, 2010, 1:38 pm
Tisha from Fort Greene says:
No she ain't be gettin' it from that get down and scratch. You must be joking my friend!
But it's a truck and it ain't got no soul.
Let them leave it to the law.
March 18, 2010, 1:54 pm
Publius from Bklyn Heights says:
@Payback Time:

You might be right. However, Tish James was also a staunch supporter of the Dock Strett project that the "editorial board" of the so-called Bklyn Paper shilled so shamefully. Tish helped out Gersh's commerical landlord, Two Trees, so you'd think they would cancel each other out.
March 18, 2010, 2 pm
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
I think Tish is a great City Councilperson and she does a very good job representing the residents of FT. Greene and Clinton (IMHO). I bet this guy has out of state plates on his truck...and I doubt his vehicle is insured. That is a disgrace!
March 18, 2010, 2:10 pm
Eric from Wburg says:
LOL at this low life. Way to make even more people despise money hungry politicians. I like how the lawyer says she is "entitled" to something, from a cut. What about the paper cut I just got. WB Mason watch out, I'm entitled to something! Give me a break.
March 18, 2010, 4:53 pm
al pankin from downtown says:
she's right, he shouldn't leave a vehicle on the street to bank into people or other parked cars causing damage.
March 18, 2010, 5:11 pm
JudahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:
CouncilWoman, if you are trying to make a point about built safety, then here was your opportunity to lead, but not to the courthouse .Maybe you are thinking, his insurance will pay, well we all pay, higher auto insurance for all of us. Aren't there a lot of fraudulent accident claims in NYC? The comments by the lawyer reads like a sitcom character's lines. I'm beginning to think you have a problem with job creation.Atlantic Yards??? When you sue this guy & wins, that's could be several extra helpers this guy could of probably employed. You do well leading a protests. In all honesty, I think you protested Atlantic yards because you needed the gentifiers vote. Stopping the little guys from getting a measely job AY. Now you hitting the little guy again. I guess there ain't no protesting to do. By way, considered this vanity plates when you spend your winnings. "I'll Sue U".
March 19, 2010, 12:12 am
SteveFtGreene from Fort Greene says:
I must agree that this is a new low for The Brooklyn Paper.

Adding negative on-line comments as part a story previously posted is so lazy, it doesn't even qualify as journalism.

Tish James has served her district with great distinction. Please hire some real journalists who can assist the public to make better decisions for Brooklyn.
March 19, 2010, 8:38 am
Tisha from Brownsville says:
No no Bp - you best be jokin' I ain't even mean it - you is the wrongs.
March 20, 2010, 6:47 am
Fourth Estate from DUMBO says:
Tish James is a joke. Her support of Walentas and his defamation of the Brookyn Bridge the number one reason I don't like her. (I have lived here all my life, you new-comers give me your opinion after you have been through more than one mayor, as I have seen new residents not have a clue about NYC, nor even care about it's history)

The dock street project, if built will not give affordable housing, and the only 'jobs' they will generate is cleaning after the rich.
March 20, 2010, 9:06 am
Mike Curatore from Carroll Gardens says:
Tish is learning that the only way to make money as an elected official is to get it the old fashioned way - extract it from the people. Her mentor? Borough President Marty "Slip and Fall" Markowitz. Politics makes strange bedfellows indeed.
March 20, 2010, 11:29 am
benfry from fort greene says:
wow, steve witt on the pages of the B. Paper website, what next? Gersh kissing Ratner?
March 21, 2010, 10:11 pm
Jim from Park Slope says:
Thank God this loon does not represent my 'hood. She should be ashamed of herself. I'll be donating to the campaign of anyone who opposes her.
March 22, 2010, 12:08 pm
Brett from Bed-Stuy says:
It cracks me up how many people Tish sends here.

It's even funnier how much her PERMANENT, SCARRING, and MENTALLY CRIPPLING INJURY wasn't obvious to anyone as she was running for her council seat last fall.

*psst* You're a crook, Tish.
March 22, 2010, 12:27 pm
NoTishJames from CrownHts. says:
Tish James is completely bogus. Anything to get attention is Tish's motto. I can't believe she only had inexperienced and awful challengers during her campaign, why can't we get this woman out of office once and for all? She is so in-effective, such a slum-lord, such a hypocrite, and so completely immoral. I'm not surprised that she has filed this law suit, she has filed several others, not to mention her failure to pay taxes. Get her out of office and get her out of the pages of this paper!
March 24, 2010, 9:55 am
Gaby Dowling from Somewhere in the Reality Zone says:
Tish --

Why don't you take this to a surreal jury? I think that would be your best course of action given your poor chances with a non-existent web system or a real court of law that would never hear your case.

Damn, woman, you are so right thinking it astonishes me, and leads me in new thoughtful directions. I would tell them to you, but my lovely love tells me that as I woman, I should not speak my mind, especially to another woman. And since he loves me just because I only do whatever he says, well, I just can't tell you chica. Even though I would like to. And even if you told me pretty please with sugar on top.

Besos y chapulines,

Gaby

P.S. Why, oh why, did you walk into a trailer hitch and put a 7 inch gash in in your leg? Were you drunk or something? And, why are you so mean that you are suing the man who's vehicle it was attached to? If you don't like people (which your meanness connotes), maybe you should turn into a bear and hibernate for a while, at least until you get hungry enough to take a good deep breath and become a human being again.
March 24, 2010, 11:40 pm
spooky white from fort greene says:
Councilwoman James needs to focus on REAL issues that her 122K salary so called warrants. Leave that brotha alone!
March 26, 2010, 4:04 pm
Sick and Tired from Clinton Hill says:
Tish James's only concern is for herself and for those who do not look like her. Her ego is so large that it is the sole reason she is against the AY project, maybe if Bruce had met her demands she would be for it. The $50k she wasted on the bogus alternative to the AY project would have been put to better use serving the kids of her district oh! I forgot they (the kids) can not vote yet. Maybe Tish should try looking where she is walking, instead of trying to stomp the little guy trying to earn a living. By the way those of you who do not live in or near the community should know of which you speak, this communtiy is tired of some elected officials who do nothing more than put themselves in front of the camera to fight an issue that would benefit the community mean while 13 yr old children are being thrown to the ground and being arrested. The NYCHA housing is being emptied in the district. Where are you on those issues Tish.
March 27, 2010, 2:45 am
Fiat500 from Bay Ridge says:
What a klutz, pay attention to where you walk!!
Feb. 20, 2012, 12:30 pm

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