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Limo Crash Leads to Calls for More Regulation

By Michael LoGiudice
Founding Attorney

Who is at-fault for the deadly limo accident?

Tragedy struck in New York recently when 20 people were killed in an accident involving a stretch limousine.  The limo accident, which is considered one of the deadliest in recent years, has devastated the families of those killed and captured public attention.  According to investigations thus far, the limo accident occurred when 17 friends set off in a stretch limo towards a birthday celebration. The limousine lost control and ran through an intersection, known to be hazardous by locals in the community, slamming into an empty car.  All eighteen people within the limo were killed, including the driver, as well as two pedestrians.

Thus far, investigators have discovered that the stretch limousine involved in the accident had been cited for brake issues.  The operator of the limo service has been charged with criminally negligent homicide and putting a defective vehicle on the road.  Many feel that punishing the individual limo operator is not enough; rather, the limo accident has revealed a larger statewide and national problem.

A Lack of Regulation Could Have Contributed to the Limo Crash

Stretch limos, which are modified after they leave the factory, are not subject to stringent safety standards.  These altered limos tend to fall through the cracks when it comes to regulation because they are not cars or buses; they represent a grey area for most state and federal laws.  To become a stretch limo, traditional cars undergo significant modifications.  Often, the vehicle is cut in half and extended.  In the process, the vehicle may lose its original safety features, like airbags, as well as its safe design.

A 2015 stretch limo accident occurring in Long Island first raised the issue of stretch limo regulation.  In that case, four people were killed when a stretch limo collided with a pickup truck.  A report issued by the grand jury in the case indicated that more regulation of stretch limos is critically needed.  Sadly, no action was taken and now more people are dead, potentially due to a defect in the limo.

The pending criminal charges against the operator of the limo company involved in the deadly New York accident seems a clear indication that the company may be deemed at fault for the crash.  Investigations thus far seem to indicate the operator of the company knew the vehicle was unsafe, yet put it on the road anyway.  This tragic accident will hopefully bring about some meaningful changes to the regulation of stretch limousines so that similar accidents are avoided in the future.


About the Author
Michael LoGiudice handles all personal injury and medical malpractice claims. He is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School (1997) and has many verdicts and settlements totaling in the tens of millions of dollars.
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