The family of Brianna Maglio, the sole survivor of the July 2021 head-on crash in Quogue that left five dead, has filed a complaint against the County of Suffolk, the Incorporated Village of Quogue, Police Officer Gennaro Descalo, Uber and the owners and operators of the two vehicles involved seeking unspecified damages.
Attorneys, Jerrold S. Parker, and Brett A. Zekowski, partners in the law firm Parker Waichman LLP, filed a complaint on behalf of 25-year-old neonatal intensive care nurse, Brianna Maglio, the sole survivor of a devasting crash that killed her boyfriend, Ryan Kiess, and brothers James Patrick Farrell, Jr. and Michael O’Brien Farrell when the group of friends were in an Uber vehicle heading out for a night of dancing in the Hamptons. The Uber was struck head-on by another vehicle on Montauk Highway, just west of Quogue Street, in Quogue, New York. Uber driver Farhan Zahid, 32, and Justin Mendez, the driver of the other vehicle, also died in the crash.
According to police records, the fatal crash took place at 11:19 p.m. on July 24, 2021 when a red Nissan Maxima, driven by Mendez, who was alone in the vehicle, was heading west on Montauk Highway when the Maxima left its lane of travel at the area of a known dangerous curve and crashed head-on with the Uber Prius, which was traveling eastbound on Montauk Highway and in which Brianna Maglio was one of four passengers.
The complaint alleges, among other things, that Brianna Maglio’s devastating injuries were due to the negligence, carelessness, recklessness, and gross negligence of the Incorporated Village of Quogue, Police officer Gennaro Descalo, the Quogue Police Department, the County of Suffolk in owning, operating, designing, creating, controlling and/or maintaining the aforesaid roadway; in failing to timely install traffic-calming devices, measures and/or technology for east and westbound traffic that would control the speed of vehicles before and at that known dangerous curve. Additionally, the complaint against the Village of Quogue and Police officer Gennaro Descalo acted in a reckless disregard for the safety of others by conducting a high-speed chase of the Mendez vehicle that went head-on into the vehicle in which Brianna Maglio was a passenger, in that the chase was at the point in the road where there was a known, very dangerous, very sharp curve. Damages are being sought for Brianna. Maglio’s personal injuries, together with her pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, loss of income and medical expenses as well as other damages.
“Based on our experience in litigating thousands of automobile accidents in New York, we know that roads must be designed and maintained, to deal with real-life situations,” said Jerrold S. Parker. “Furthermore, police officers have a duty to act responsibly and not with a reckless disregard for the safety of the public. Our investigation has revealed that this was not the case as to the roadway and the police actions.”
Brett A. Zekowski added, “not only were the drivers of the vehicles to blame for her injuries but so was the roadway itself.” That investigation, Zekowski stated, was ongoing. “There are professionals which study the mechanisms which cause motor vehicle crashes and roadway design including measures that should be undertaken to ensure vehicles travel at safe speeds, especially where roadways have known dangerous curves and these are the very people we are consulting as this case develops. This is critical to ensure that roads are safe for travel now and in the future so incidents like this do not happen again,” he added.
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