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The city and state of New York were served with notices of claim on Tuesday over the Oct. 31 truck attack on a bike path along the Hudson River, which killed eight people and injured 12.

Fort Lee, New Jersey, attorney Rosemarie Arnold issued the notices on behalf of Darren Drake, 32, of New Milford, New Jersey, who was one of those killed by a truck driven by Sayfullo Saipov. The truck was driven a distance of about one mile on the pathway, and the driver knew from taking a test run that he would have unfettered access to the victims, said Arnold.

The path was established as a joint venture of New York City, the state of New York and the Hudson River Park Trust, Arnold said. The city and state knew that cars and trucks regularly venture onto the path, but did nothing to address the problem, said Arnold. No bollards or barriers are there to keep vehicles off the path, and in the past year, over 50 traffic tickets have been issued to drivers who drove on it, either by mistake or intentionally, she said.

Arnold seeks monetary damages for the injuries and suffering experienced by Drake, including fear, emotional distress, mental trauma and disfigurement and injuries he suffered before his death. She also seeks to recover on behalf of his parents, Barbara and James Drake, for loss of services and society of their son, as well as funeral and burial expenses, loss of services and loss of financial compensation.

The city and state have six months to investigate the claim before a suit can be filed, said Arnold, who said she was not aware of any other suits filed over the incident, She said she intends to bring a suit against the city and state as well as Home Depot, which rented to Saipov the truck he used in the attack. She said Home Depot was negligent because it failed to check Saipov’s criminal record before renting the truck to him.

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Charles Toutant

Charles Toutant is a litigation writer for the New Jersey Law Journal.

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