Zoila Zhingri (Photo courtesy of Myriam Pauta)

The attorney representing Jose Lalvay tells The Peekskill Post that a $30 million lawsuit will soon be filed against the city, various city departments and agencies, Westchester County, New York State and the state police for contributing to the death of his wife, Zoila Zhingri, in the May 27 accident on Hudson Avenue.

View Notice of Claim here.

Via email, attorney Michael Levitz, of Brooklyn-based Shulman & Hill, PLLC, said the following:

“Our theory is that, aside from the offending vehicle, the municipal entities are responsible in general for improper and defective design of the roadway and intersection, which clearly creates a dangerous condition. The city had prior information and knowledge of these conditions and our position is that the failure on behalf of the city to correct/repair or at the very least warn of the inherent dangers did contribute to the death and injuries being claimed. The city has acknowledged the notice of claim. A lawsuit has not yet been filed but will be in the near future.”

Levitz continued:

“This is not a typical motor vehicle accident. This is an accident that could have been prevented or mitigated. As you know, there have been multiple accidents/near accidents in that very intersection. You see now that the city has hired an accident reconstructionist, the mayor has called for the intersection to be repaired, and, as far as I know, repairs have already begun. The toddler and his mother are being represented by another firm/lawyer. We do not know their theory or position, but as far I know, they have not filed a notice of claim.”

Notice of claim sent to the City of Peekskill

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Shortly before 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, a car driven by Peekskill resident Maria Inga went out of control and crushed 69-year-old Zoila Zhingri to death, as she and three family members were walking on Hudson Avenue towards Washington Street.

Seventy one-year-old Jose Lalvay, Digna Lalvay Zhingri and her 2-year-old son, Darwin Duque, were taken from the accident scene to Westchester Medical Center. Duque, according to his cousin, Myriam Pauta, “won’t be the same little boy again.”

The deadly Hudson Avenue accident occurred on the sidewalk under the large tree.

Peekskill resident Tammy Gordineer, who witnessed the accident, told The Peekskill Post in a video interview that the Hudson Avenue and Washington Street intersection is a problem spot with limited visibility and cars often traveling at high rates of speed.

Notice of claim
The first portion of the notice of claim, dated Aug. 7, reads as follows:

This is a personal injury claim relating to the negligent, careless, reckless and wanton conduct of, the City of Peekskill, City of Peekskill Police Department, Peekskill Fire Department, Peekskill Community Ambulance Corps, County of Westchester, State of New York, New York State Police, servants and/or employees in causing, creating and/or allowing a dangerous, improper, unsafe, defective and hazardous condition and design to be and remain at the location in question.

The accident scene late afternoon on Saturday, May 27 (Photo: Kempter’s Fire Wire)

On page four of the notice of claim, Levitz contends that the actions of those named in the suit caused Zoila Zhingri undue suffering prior to her death:

Furthermore, the City of Peekskill, City of Peekskill Police Department, Peekskill Fire Department, Peekskill Community Ambulance Corps, County of Westchester, State of New York, New York State Police its agents, servants, representatives and/or employees were negligent, careless, reckless and grossly negligent in allowing the claimant, Zolia Florencia Zhingre Arpi, to experience conscious pain and suffering for an extended period of time; for negligently allowing, forcing, keeping the claimant to remain at the scene of the accident for a duration of time that was not medically responsible; delayed in transporting the claimant from the accident location to the hospital; in depriving the claimant from adequate and essential medical attention, treatment and care.

The items of damage or injuries claimed are (include dollar amounts): As a result of the above, claimants sustained multiple serious injuries, including but not limited to, death, surgery, multiple lacerations, fractures, contusions, severe pain, damage to tendons, joints and nerves, weakness, disability, instability, future degenerative changes, necessity for extensive medical, physiological and mental treatment and medical expenses and future medical care and treatment and additional surgeries, medical expenses and diverse general and special damages, the exact amounts which cannot be fully determined at this time. The claimants demand that a judgment be entered against the City of Peekskill, City of Peekskill Police Department, Peekskill Fire Department, Peekskill Community Ambulance Corps, County of Westchester, State of New York, New York State Police, their agents, servants and/or employees, both jointly and separately, based upon the causes of action, in an amount exceeding the jurisdictional limitations of all lower courts which would have jurisdiction over this case; that they be awarded the costs and disbursements of this action and such other and further relief as the court determines to be just and proper under the circumstances.

Along with her husband, the late Zoila Zhingri is named as claimant.

Editor’s Note: In the notice of claim, the victim’s name is written as Zolia Florencia Zhingre Arpi. During an interview over the summer, family members asked that we write her name as Zoila Zhingri.