Photo of attorney Devon Reiff speaking with client on the hudson river waterfront walkway

Strong Justice For Serious Injuries

Woman Injured By A Flying Beach Umbrella New York Times

May 18, 2006

To anyone who has ever tried to hammer a beach umbrella into the sand and found it to be as hard as, well, building castles in the sand: Beware.

In a deal that could change the way umbrellas are used on beaches, a Lower East Side woman has won a $200,000 settlement from the State of New York, almost seven years after the wind blew a beach umbrella into her head at Robert Moses State Park.

The woman, Phyllis Caliano-Bahaj, 53, said she was lounging on the beach on July 19, 1999, watching her son, Zachary, who was then 8, and three friends play in the sand when the weather turned stormy and gusty. A 6-foot, 15-pound striped umbrella that was either being used by a lifeguard or rented by a beach patron flew up and struck her in the forehead, “like a torpedo,” her lawyer said.

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Unsecured Beach Umbrellas Pose Extreme Risks – Devon Reiff