Today’s news:

Councilwoman ends Tish-grace!

for The Brooklyn Paper

Councilwoman Letitia James has quietly dropped her much-mocked personal injury lawsuit that sought unspecified damages from an itinerant laborer because she bumped her leg on a legal trailer hitch on the back of his legally parked car.

James told The Brooklyn Paper on Tuesday that she dropped the case because it had become “a distraction from important issues like firehouses closing, police being laid off and daycare centers closing.”

Before dropping the suit, the Democratic lawmaker, who makes $122,500 a year as the people’s representative in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, sought damages for wounds she claims to have sustained on July 11 when she walked into a four-inch hitch protruding from David Day’s parked car.

James told this newspaper the bump caused a seven-inch scar on her leg.

“The doctor said it was a deep laceration and he wanted to give me stitches, but I said no,” said the courageous councilwoman, who refused to provide this newspaper with her medical records.

Day, who was loading recyclables in his 1993 Chevy Astro van at the time of the accident, said the scratch was no more than three inches and not very deep.

James sued, claiming in court papers she sustained “serious, severe and permanent [injuries] to her limbs and body.”

How serious her injuries were is a matter of contention. The alleged accident occurred weeks before her re-election campaign last year, a fight she waged with her customary vigor. Additionally, several of James’s Council colleagues told this newspaper that they did not recall James limping or using crutches during the summer.

After this newspaper broke the story of the councilwoman’s lawsuit, everyone from Internet commenters to bloggers to the editorial page of the Daily News openly mocked James.

“[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.”

But until last week, James was not dissuaded from her bump-and-scratch suit, saying that she would only drop the case if Day removed the hitch — but the feisty 61-year-old Texan refused, noting state law allows such automotive appendages.

But something changed, though with little public fanfare. In fact, Day said he only found out that the lawsuit was dropped because he ran into James herself near her on Clifton Place near his apartment.

“She just got out of her car and came over to me, shook my hand and said, ‘You won the case. Congratulations,’ ” said Day.

The laborer said he doesn’t hold any grudges against the lawmaker. But when James again suggested that he remove the hitch, he shook his head.

“It’s part of my work. It’s my livelihood and I paid to put it on there,” he said.

For her part, James said she could have handled the issue differently.

“I wanted him to remove the hitch when not in use, but he refused,” James said. “I did file the suit, but he’s the one who brought it to the media.

“But in the end, the Texan wins,” James added. “I’ll focus on the issues that really matter to my constituents, and we’ll all move on.”

Updated 4:46 pm, April 9, 2010: Updated to include a new comment from Councilwoman James.
Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

John from Clinton Hill says:
Finally Councilwoman "Photo-Op" has done the right thing. This is only because she wasn't getting the right kind of publicity on this issue. Now that Atlantic Yards is over and this ridiculous lawsuit is over, maybe she can actually start serving the people in her community by doing some real work in her district. (I am such a dreamer)
April 2, 2010, 8:50 am
Al from Fort Greene says:
More great reporting from Stephen Witt and the Brooklyn Paper!

Hey, did you guys notice that Forest City Ratner missed a mortgage payment week before last on 10 Metrotech? No? Is that because you're too busy writing these nonsensical screeds attacking Tish James, or because Forest City is your landlord?

The only "Tish-grace" is your propensity for printing non-news, and not slugging Steve Witt's stories as the editorials they are.
April 2, 2010, 10:02 am
JudahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:
My inside source told me that "she dropped the case because she'll be too busy auditioning for the role of "Miss Joker" in the next installment of "The Dark Knight".
April 2, 2010, 10:39 am
Fourth Estate from DUMBO says:
“She just got out of her car and came over to me, shook my hand and said, ‘You won the case. Congratulations,’

What a sarcastic (rhymes with witch).
April 2, 2010, 11:02 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
C'mon, we know why she dropped the case...she learned that the guy didn't have any insurance. Sorry Tish, you can't garnish the wages of an itinerant laborer. Next time, she'll make sure to walk into a Lexus!
April 2, 2010, 11:18 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
C'mon, we know why she dropped the case...she learned that the guy didn't have any insurance. Sorry Tish, you can't garnish the wages of an itinerant laborer. Next time, she'll make sure to walk into a Lexus!
April 2, 2010, 11:18 am
Rob from Greenpoint says:
Let's see what kind of blowback this
nasty, lying oppurtunist gets hit with
in the next election...
April 2, 2010, 3:11 pm
Sick and Tired from Clinton Hill says:
To respond to Rob from Greenpoint. The unfortunate reality of Democratic primary's is that Tish will throw a couple dollars at the one or two African American organizations she supports and the Seniors who always come out to vote, and those who she carried the torch for against the AY project and she will be back. Until we see a serious candidate who can raise some cash and is out and about in the Community from right now until primary day, as long as you're a Dem it does not matter even if you do not do anything of substance in the Community as long as they recognize the name you're in.
April 3, 2010, 3:06 pm
John from Clinton Hill says:
Thank you Sick and Tired!! At least there is someone out there who understands why these so called "representatives of the people" who don't do anything for the people continue to stay around and do nothing. Just watch the evening news. If there is a story that affects the Clinton Hill/Fort Greene area and there are cameras, Councilwoman Photo-Op will be there. Soon she'll be taking credit for mobilizing the local NYPD precincts that led to the arrest of the rapist in the area. You gotta hand it to her. She understands the game and plays it well.
April 3, 2010, 7:19 pm
Joe from NYC says:
"Next time, she'll make sure to walk into a Lexus!"

Post of the MONTH!
April 7, 2010, 4:01 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.