Luau lawsuit dropped

Published 10:01 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The family of a woman who died after being pushed at a city event in August 2009 has dropped its $5 million lawsuit against the city.

The litigation was brought by the family of Elizabeth Newby, who was 83 when she died in August 2009 of complications stemming from a traumatic hip fracture brought on from a fall.

The fall was allegedly caused when another woman, Velma Brown, pushed her. The criminal case against Brown is on hold indefinitely because of her mental state. Treatment has been unable to restore her competency for trial, a judge determined earlier this year.

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The women were attending a senior luau event sponsored by the Suffolk Department of Parks and Recreation at the National Guard Armory on Godwin Boulevard.

Police say Brown, who was 58 at the time, intentionally pushed Newby, because she believed the woman was cutting in line for entry into the event. Another woman also fell during the incident but did not suffer serious injuries.

Newby’s daughter, Denise Tynes, sued the city in September 2010 for negligence and wrongful death, claiming the city acted negligently by failing to provide crowd control and by allowing employees to pick Newby up from the floor after her fall and place her in a chair.

The case had been scheduled to go to trial Wednesday.

An attorney for Tynes did not return messages on Tuesday.