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Family in Route 198 Incident Sues Driver, City, and County

The family of the young boy who died after being hit by a car in May of 2015 has now filed a lawsuit against the City of Buffalo, Erie County, and the car’s driver. Three-year-old Maksym Sugorovskiy, his mother, and his then five-year-old sister were all hit by a car while crossing Ring Road near Route 198. Maksym suffered fatal injuries, while his sister recovered. Noted attorney Barry Covert spoke to WGRZ’s Kelly Dudzik about the new legal complaints. The full story can be found on the WGRZ website.

Jury would decide reward

Mr. Covert told WGRZ that, if the case were to go to a jury, the jury would ultimately decide the reward because there is no amount specified in the lawsuit. “No dollar amount could ever compensate the family for losing their three-year-old son,” he said. “And then, for the five-year-old who lost her three-year-old sibling and is going to have to deal with that emotionally and physically the rest of the five-year-old’s life. And the parents dealing with the tragedy of what occurred that day.”

Family's chance of winning could be significant

WGRZ asked Mr. Covert what the chances are of the family winning a sum of money from this lawsuit. “Pretty significant,” he responded. “I mean, I don’t want to predict it, but obviously there’s a horrible tragedy here. There’s no question that the driver was negligent, went into the bike path. And, while there may be a question in some people’s minds as to the city and county’s liability, they’ve already lowered the speed limit. They’ve already changed the safety in that area. They’ve pretty much conceded that the way it was configured before put people—pedestrians or bikers—on the bike path at that specific area in danger of this.”

Mr. Covert went on to tell WGRZ that, because the case is in the civil system, it is possible that it will take two to five years to conclude. He also said that this timeline depends on when and whether there are successful settlement discussions and that any settlement amount reached could be confidential.

About Barry N. Covert

Mr. Covert is a senior partner in Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Criminal Defense Trials and Appeals Practice Area. He is known for his aggressive representation of clients in the areas of New York State and federal criminal trials and appeals; driving while intoxicated; constitutional law, including First Amendment, civil rights actions, and federal False Claims Act; defending against allegations of scientific misconduct and fraud, research misconduct and fraud, plagiarism, and fabrication of evidence; and professional licensing defense. Mr. Covert frequently provides legal analysis for WGRZ and other media outlets.

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