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THE ONLY WITNESS
Q: In the City, my mother was walking on the sidewalk abutting a
vacant lot and fell. A lady saw this happen. Although a car was in front of the
lady, and she was able to see my mother only from the waist up, the lady was
able to identify the exact spot where the accident occurred.
The lady worked in a strip mall that was located next to the vacant
lot, and she was familiar with the area where the accident occurred. Using
photographs which she authenticated, the lady stated that the accident
occurred in a portion of the sidewalk that, for years, was broken up and in a
state of disrepair.
A: At first glance, your case may seem to present a clash between two
important principles of law. One, a plaintiff's inability to identify the cause of
his or her fall is fatal to a cause of action to recover damages for personal
injuries because a finding that the defendant's negligence, if any, proximately
caused the plaintiff's injuries would be based on speculation. Two, proximate
cause may be established without direct evidence of causation, by inference
from the circumstances of the accident.
It sounds like your attorney can confidently put your mother’s case
in the second category, of winnable cases. The witness’ testimony seems to be
powerful enough to identify the cause of this tragedy.
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Old World meets new
at Cronin & Phelan’s
BY CLAIRE LEADEN
Special to The Courier
Traditional Irish pubs that have been
in Astoria for ages are crossing paths
with more modern bars opened by the
next generation of young Irish owners.
Th e neighborhood off ers classics like the
best pour of Guinness in New York, to
the brand-new Frozen Irish Coff ee — and
everything in between.
You can see the infl uence in the neighborhood
— perhaps now almost as much
as the fi rst infl ux. Irish pubs have always
been a staple, but more and more have
been opening as a population of young
Irish increases, who pay homage to their
heritage while also taking it up a notch for
the next generation. A quick Yelp search
places over 20 in the area, at the least.
One of them, Cronin and Phelan’s, off
Broadway between Steinway and 38th
Streets, may remind visitors of a traditional
Irish pub from back in the day —
and that’s because it is one.
It opened in 1960, and the current
owner Michael Peacock, a fellow
Irishman from Laois County, took it over
in 1990 from the restaurant’s namesakes.
It always had a good reputation for the
neighborhood, bartender Louise Egleston
said, so Peacock kept the name, but he
decided to bring classic Irish food to the
table since it was previously just a bar.
“He pretty much transformed everything,”
she said. “He put in the whole dining
area. It went from just sandwiches to
an extensive menu.”
Th at menu includes classics like shepherd’s
pie, fi sh and chips, chicken curry
and bangers and mash. Th e shepherd’s
pie and potato salad recipes come directly
from Peacock’s mother, Nan.
Th ey also bake fresh Irish soda bread
every day and have rotating specials — like
corned beef and cabbage on Th ursdays,
beef stew on Tuesdays and cottage pie on
Wednesdays, which Egleston said draws
regulars for those specifi c dishes.
Cronin and Phelan’s
38-14 Broadway, Astoria
For libations, the traditional Guinness
and also Smithwick’s are on tap, and they
also do a luscious Irish coff ee with fresh
cream as well as hot toddies.
“Most of the regulars have been drinking
here for 20 years … it’s that kind of
bar,” Egleston said. “It has a really good
name, especially for the food … people
always come in for the food.”
With more Irish living in Astoria and
therefore more pubs popping up, Egleston
said it makes for a community feel.
“A lot of neighborhood Irish bartenders
come in for food … they get their comfort
food and feel like they’re home,” she said.
“We’re all friendly with each other and it’s
really nice to have, especially when you’re
so far from home.”
Photos courtesy of Cronin and Phelan’s