The father of three children who drowned with their mother when she intentionally drove her minivan into the Hudson River is suing the city and county where the deaths occurred for $40 million each.
Jean Pierre has filed a notice of claim against the city of Newburgh, which is located about 25 miles north of New York, as well as Orange County, his lawyer Stephen Powers said on Tuesday.
The suit claims the city and county failed to create proper barriers that would have prevented LaShanda Armstrong from driving her van into the river on April 12.
With no barriers, the city and county allowed a dangerous waterfront condition to exist, the lawsuit said.
Armstrong, 25, drowned along with three of her four children, Landen, 5, Lance, 2, and Laianna, 11 months. Her 10-year-old son LaShaun survived by escaping through the van's window and swimming to safety.
An official in the Newburgh city manager's office said the city would have no comment on the lawsuit, while county officials did not immediately respond to requests for comments.
Pierre, 26, Armstrong's estranged boyfriend, claims the county Department of Child Protective Services failed to properly monitor her. Powers did not immediately comment on the family's history with the child welfare agency.
Police said Armstrong drove into the river after a heated argument with Pierre.
Peace seemed to elude the children even in death. Their funeral devolved into a shouting match between relatives. And, despite arrangements made by maternal relatives to inter mother and children together, their small caskets were buried in another city miles away from their mother's grave at the request of their father.http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2011/08/09/18530271.html
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