Victim’s family sues city over East Harlem blast

Victim's mother files two notices of claim, seeks $20M

The scene at 1644-1646 Park Avenue on March 12 (Credit: FDNY via Twitter)
The scene at 1644-1646 Park Avenue on March 12 (Credit: FDNY via Twitter)

The family of an East Harlem explosion and building collapse victim filed two notices of claims against the city Wednesday morning.

The suit, filed on behalf of Griselde Camacho, a fatal victim of the collapse last month, is believed to be the first in connection to the blast. Quinones’ mother Carmen Quinones, currently in recovery at Mt. Sinai Hospital for her own injuries sustained during the explosion, made the first of the two claims, which says her daughter was injured on March 12 “due to the negligence of the respondents.” The two claims also charge the city with failing “to inspect gas lines knowing that they are old and subject to leaks and decay.”

“She is feisty and angry,” Nilsa Aguila, Camacho’s cousin and Quinones’ niece, told the Wall Street Journal of Quinones. “That is where her anger comes from. She blames the City for my cousin’s death.”

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The second claim seems restitution payments for what it calls injuries incurred during the incident, including fractures, torn ligaments and “traumatic brain injury.”

The two claims seek payment of $20 million.

The city comptroller’s office, to Which The City Law Department Referred The Wall Street Journal’s request for comment, did not immediately respond. [WSJ]Julie Strickland