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The Times
  • County receives notices of claim

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  • The Herkimer County Legislature received notification of four notices of claim, including a wrongful death claim, during its Oct. 23 meeting.
    Attorney Robert Malone advised the Legislature he had forwarded the notices of claim to the county’s insurance carrier.
    Melissa A. Sperry filed a wrongful death claim against the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority and Oneida and Herkimer counties, as executrix of the estate of Kelvin Sperry.
    Kelvin Sperry was killed Aug. 2 at the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority in Utica when a payloader pushing an industrial sized dumpster toward a garbage truck struck Sperry and trapped him between the compactor and the dumpster. Sperry died as a result of his injuries.
    The notice of claim states his death was the result of the operator’s negligence and the failure of the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority to properly train and supervise its employees and use proper safety equipment or procedures.
    The claimant’s damages are still being calculated, so no amount was included in the notice of claim, according to attorney Shawn T. May, of Linnan and Fallon, of Albany.
    A New Hartford couple filed a notice of claim against the town of Webb and Herkimer County in connection with a boating accident on First Lake in Old Forge. Judy and James Foley stated they were boating on First Lake at about 4:45 p.m. on July 27 when their boat was struck by a boat operated by Janelle M. Nixon.
    The notice of claim states Judy Foley, who was a passenger in the boat, suffered back injuries and broken ribs. Her husband, who was driving the boat, suffered broken ribs, pulmonary contusion and lacerated kidney. Both reported suffering mental shock as a result of the accident.
    The notice of claim states the town and county failed to adequately monitor and patrol the lake and intervene when a boat was being operated in a reckless manner.
    A Middleville man filed a notice of claim against the town of Schuyler and Herkimer County as a result of a July 7 motorcycle accident on Windfall Road. Michael D. Insogna reports he was driving his motorcycle northeast on Windfall Road at the intersection with Spain Gulf Road when his motorcycle slid on loose gravel and stones and hit a ditch, ejecting him. He suffered injuries leg, head and neck injuries.
    The notice claims the town and county failed to maintain the road properly, provide signage and provide a traffic signal at the intersection and failed to act on the history of accidents at that intersection.
    The county also received a notice of claim regarding an incident involving the Little Falls City Police Department. Mazi U. Ndukwe, of Middletown, a New York City taxi driver, is seeking $3 million in damages for false arrest, assault and battery and violation of his civil rights. The statement claims negligence in hiring and training competent police officers.
    Page 2 of 2 - The claimant states he was pulled over on Dec. 27, 2012, in Little Falls for going the wrong direction on Albany Street. He was carrying three passengers. Police searched the cab and found a gun wrapped in a sweater belonging to a male passenger. The passengers were handcuffed and Ndukwe was charged with a moving violation. He was issued an appearance ticket. He called to ask how to enter a plea without going to court. In June he received another moving violation summons because he had allegedly told police he lost the first one. One June 26, he was told to return to Little Falls. When he did, he was told there was a warrant for his arrest on a charge of carrying a loaded firearm and was taken into custody. He remained in jail until July 2 when he appeared in court and was released pending a Sept. 4 appearance. Ndukwe states he received a call from the public defender advising him to appear before a grand jury on Aug. 8. He did and the court case was eventually adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.
    Ndukwe states in the claim he suffered “severe, serious mental anguish, psychiatric injuries, shame, humiliation, indignity, damage to my reputation and credit,” as a result of the incident.
    In a deposition attached to the claim Ndukwe states that he drove his fares to New Jersey, the Bronx, Albany and Utica, stopping several times so a passenger could visit a pharmacy, before going to Little Falls. He stated he was not aware there was a gun in the vehicle.
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