Thursday, June 9, 2016
The Rev. Al Sharpton’s daughter climbed an Indonesian mountain with a sprained ankle, but she can’t seem to make it from her Harlem apartment to answer questions under oath in lower Manhattan.
So now that Dominique Sharpton has missed four scheduled depositions in six months, a city lawyer is asking a judge to toss her $5 million slip-and-fall lawsuit against the city.
“The city’s numerous attempts to depose plaintiff have been futile and plaintiff has repeatedly and consistently failed to cooperate with the city,” de Blasio administration lawyer Michelle Fox says in court papers filed Wednesday.
The 29-year-old claims she was permanently injured when she tripped on uneven pavement while crossing Broome Street near Broadway on Oct. 2, 2014. Her suit faults the city for creating a dangerous condition by not repairing the cracked pavement.
Sharpton asked to adjourn the first legal grilling last November, two days before the agreed-upon date.
When it was rescheduled for Jan. 20, her attorneys called it off again.
“Please ensure you have a record of your client’s availability prior to the next compliance conference on Feb. 17, 2016 so that we may move forward with this matter,” Fox wrote in a Jan. 26 letter to Shaprton’s lawyer Oliver Tobias.
When the new date, May 10, approached, Sharpton rescheduled for a third time, because of a “calendaring error” by her lawyers.
The fourth attempt to depose her on May 16 was also canceled without explanation.
Tobias declined to say why his client keeps missing the appointments.
Fox says Sharpton — who posted photos of herself climbing a mountain in Indonesia shortly after her claimed permanent injury — “has stymied the city’s efforts to litigate this matter, as discovery cannot proceed without holding [her] deposition.”
Meanwhile, Shaprton’s lawyers have only provided the city with partial answers to questions about her injuries.
Tobias submitted court papers that said Sharpton suffered tendon and ligament tears in her right ankle.
The injuries mean she’s been unable to “resume pre-accident social relations, “activities,” and “employment.” Yet Tobias said he can’t answer for how long Sharpton was bedridden or homebound after the accident.
Sharpton “can more appropriately respond to these demands at her deposition,” Tobias says in court papers filed last year.
The legal claims are at odds with Sharpton’s social media profiles — which reveal Instagram photos of her above the clouds on a mountaintop in Bali eight months after her trip and fall. She showed up in other post-accident shots wearing high heels.
Sharpton’s stringing the case along has cost the city time and money.
“The city has tried to avoid protracted and unnecessary motion practice to no avail,” Fox fumes.
On Wednesday, Manhattan Judge Margaret Chan gave Sharpton one last chance to show up for her deposition. If she misses the fifth one, the judge said she may dismiss the case.