Late one night in February 2013, 24-year old Japanese student Ryo Oyamada was struck and killed by a police car while crossing a street in Long Island City. Now, his family’s legal team is working on the case and claims to have obtained new videos that indicate a police cover-up of the circumstances surrounding Oyamada’s death.
Police officers say that the driver of the patrol car in question was responding to an emergency call and had its lights displayed. However, the video obtained by the Oyamadas’ attorneys shows the police car passing the nearby camera just moments before hitting Oyamada without its lights activated. Based on this evidence, the attorneys claim that the police covered up the actual details regarding Oyamada’s death to avoid liability for the accident.
In response to this new evidence, the Oyamada family is amending its complaint against the New York Police Department to include tampering with evidence, dispersing witnesses at the scene to prevent testimony and tampering with witness testimony. The wrongful death suit also contains allegations that police at the scene of the crime failed to measure the length of the tire skid marks to determine whether the officer braked in time, or whether he was using his cell phone while driving.
Should allegations of a cover-up turn out to be true, the Oyamada family stands to gain a significantly greater settlement or judgment, as the New York City Police Department might have to pay punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. There are also potential consequences that could affect the officer himself.
If your loved one was injured or killed in a pedestrian accident in New York City, take action immediately to make sure you have the best chance of success in a lawsuit. Consult a skilled attorney for further guidance.