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Edwin “Jay” Mieses Jr., 32, who was riding one of dozens of motorcycles on the Henry Hudson Parkway Sunday afternoon, sustained two broken legs after apparently being run over by the SUV, police said. He remained in critical condition Tuesday at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City.
In the video, it appears that the SUV may have hit the motorcyclist who slowed down. After that, the motorcyclists stopped, and appeared to block the SUV. But the SUV broke through and sped off, with the motorcyclists following. They caught up to the SUV in Washington Heights, where they allegedly slashed the SUV’s tires, used their helmets to break the SUV’s windows, and pulled the driver out, and attacked him.
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the motorcyclists were part of a loosely organized group who planned to drive into the heart of the city as they had done last year, effectively paralyzing Times Square, The New York Times reported. Kelly said his department was on alert this year and stopped motorcyclists throughout the city before they could grow into a large throng.
Though Mieses is a Massachusetts resident, he has never had a valid Massachusetts driver’s license for a passenger vehicle and has never applied for a motorcycle license, the Registry of Motor Vehicles said.
Registry records show that Mieses applied for a learner’s permit in 1999 and 2000, but that he never obtained a full license because he failed to pay fines imposed after he was ticketed for speeding in Lawrence in 1999. His last contact with the Registry was in 2001, when he obtained an identification card, registry records show.
Since 1999, he has been ticketed by police 16 times, in Lawrence, Methuen, Roxbury, Andover, and New Hampshire, according to registry records.
In June, the Registry notified the National Driver Register that Mieses was a habitual traffic offender whose right to drive in Massachusetts was revoked until 2017, records show.
The video shows Lien and his wife and child being stopped by the group. The bikers reportedly started denting the SUV with their helmets and may have slashed its tires. Lien is shown trying to escape by running over motorcycles and hitting at least one person. That person Edwin Mieses may be left a paraplegic after surgery for injuries to his heart, lungs and ribs.
A person attacking in self-defense is afforded some leeway in flight. In torts, Lien would not have been able to use the vehicle to hit Mieses or others to protect the vehicle from property damage. You are not allowed to use force calculated to cause serious bodily injury or death in defense of property. However, the attack on the vehicle can be viewed as a threat to the family and thus the broader privilege of self-defense would apply.
It is not clear that Mieses was attacking Lien but his motorcycle appears to be one of those blocking his escape. While the bikers can claim that the physical assault only came after they were attacked, it lends credence to Lien’s fear for his family. Moreover, even if responding to an attack on them, the common law does not extend the privilege of self-defense for the bikers to cover retaliation (which is involved in the pursuit and trapping of the family before the attack). The bikers may clearly seek a citizen arrest in blocking the SUV but the attack escalated such an effort into an unprivileged assault. At that point, the SUV does not appear to be moving or threatening the bikers.
The criminal and tort liability of the bikers could be based on their participation in trapping the family like fleeing game. The thuggish conduct of the rally before the attack could be cited as evidence of their culpability and modus operandi.
As for the family, Mieses and other could sue by claiming that they are not part of those threatening the family and were negligently run over by Lien. In other words, this could be a complete mess with over-lapping and conflicting claims.
The bikers were engaged in a rally that they call “Hollywood Stuntz” in which they engage in obnoxious road stunts and generally harass drivers. The police arrested 15 people, confiscated 55 motorcycles and issued 68 summonses for the stunts starting in Times Square unconnected to the Lien attack.
drs 1, October 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm
this is not a cut and dry case. the bikers were negligent and were 100% wrong in my eyes and I am a biker. I ride a loud obnoxious custom chopper but I am not a thug and I do not condone this activity. that being said, in the eyes of the law, the bikers could have a claim as indicated in this article.
They could argue that Lien hit one of their fellow riders (as seen at the beginning of the video) and they could go after her for that. Lien could easily respond with a claim of contributory negligence. The bikers were simply riding too close to one another and his car, they were engaging in reckless activity, and the initial accident that provoked the incident was a result of gross negligence on the bikers behalf.
Seeing that they were more negligent than Lien himself, who was cruising at an appropriate speed in the right lane, and abiding by all laws, they most likely could not succeed in a negligence case.
As for Lien running over one of the bikers in an attempt to escape, that is a different story. Lien cannot use his car as a weapon, he cannot respond with excessive force, and he cannot retaliate… he can protect himself to a certain extent. The question is when is that line crossed?
Could Lien argue contributory negligence here by arguing that Mieses was stop in the middle of a parkway, and riding a motorcycle which is inherently dangerous to begin with?
Additionally, could Lien argue self defense if he reasonably believed his life, or his families, was in immediate danger? Did he really have any other choice? does that matter?
I think the bikers are in a bad spot here, but I am curious to see what comes of Lien, could he be penalized in any way and does he have a valid legal defense given the amount of force he used and the result of that force (a paralyzed man).
Who is the cheapest cost avoider here? Society must now care for the paralyzed individual, is that fair? Is it fair to hold Lien liable when any reasonable person would have acted similarly?… as any case, it will come down to great lawyering, I’d love to hear a seasoned lawyers approach to defending Lien if he were sued.
randyjet 1, October 1, 2013 at 4:28 pm
It is quite clear that the riders were doing wrong by stopping traffic on the road. Lien reminds me of George Wallace who famously said that he would run over any protestor if they got in his way when he was driving. It is also clear that Lien was NOT being assaulted or threatened before he ran over the biker. After that, Lien became a fleeing felon who lost his rights by his own actions.
The bikers can claim immediate rage caused by the crime Lien committed against one of their members who were engaged in harmless pranks, which while illegal, did not require the use of deadly force to be used.
I hope Lien gets some heavy prison time for his crimes.
hthom wrote:If anyone thinks he would do anything other than what Lien did, he is not being honest.
Now that Ms Allred is their lawyer, well, read up Ms Allred. Lien is in deep s* hit.
Now that Ms Allred is their lawyer, well, read up Ms Allred. Lien is in deep s* hit.
a failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances.
The area of tort law known as negligence involves harm caused by carelessness, not intentional harm.
According to Jay M. Feinman of the Rutgers University School of Law;
"The core idea of negligence is that people should exercise reasonable care when they act by taking account of the potential harm that they might foreseeably cause harm to other people."
What is the source or evolutionary nature of 'the human condition'? We are evolved out of ignorance and continue to be born in ignorance, and that means that even as we discover and amass knowledge -the 'if this, then that-ness' of matter and existence, 'new situations' and 'new ignorances' will always present something of a problem to someone as long as we exist.
The material of a 'human condition', on the other hand, has to have come into existence the moment any first man communicated 'bother by something he couldn't get a handle on', were that a caveman communicating frustration at trying to flake a blade into existence or the absence of 'life' in a man fallen suddenly dead before him -nor does it end with that ignorance, for lying at the bottom and convoluting the whole is the inseparable combination of sex and pecking order -all of us, therefore, subject to consequences of our own and each other's 'ignorance'.
“There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.”
“If two people stare at each other for more than a few seconds, it means they are about to either make love or fight. Something similar might be said about human societies. If two nearby societies are in contact for any length of time, they will either trade or fight. The first is non-zero-sum social integration, and the second ultimately brings it.”
“I am a member of a fragile species, still new to the earth, the youngest creatures of any scale, here only a few moments as evolutionary time is measured, a juvenile species, a child of a species. We are only tentatively set in place, error prone, at risk of fumbling, in real danger at the moment of leaving behind only a thin layer of our fossils, radioactive at that.”
“Practically every fella that breaks the law has a danged good reason, to his own way of thinking, which makes every case exceptional, not just one or two. Take you, for example.”
The cats' bloodthirst was normal; it was the way God had made them. They were hunters, they killed for food and to train their young--well maybe sometimes for sport. But this violent act by some unknown human had nothing to do with hunting--for a human to brutally maim one of the own kind out of rage or sadism or greed was, to Joe and Dulcie (the cats), a shocking degradation of the human condition. To imagine that vicious abandon in a human deeply distressed Dulcie; she did not like thinking about humans that way.”
What controls in civil actions is … Preponderance of the evidence….
Preponderance of the evidence, also known as balance of probabilities is the standard required in most civil cases.
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