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Murdered Worker Associated with Gang

 Court Denies Reopening of Widow's Claim for Murdered Worker:



A New York appellate court said the employer of a murdered construction worker could not reopen his widow's claim for benefits seven years after his death on the basis of evidence it had allegedly just obtained suggesting that the worker's fatal shooting was tied to his connections with a notorious criminal street gang, a heavyweight boxer and a rap star.

Case: Matter of Baum v. Hylan Group, No. 514522, 02/13/2014, published.


Facts: Tyrone Baum was murdered on July 25, 2003. He was shot three times in the head while he was working for the Hylan Group at a construction site at Reid Avenue and Hancock Street in Brooklyn.


The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York charged Damion Hardy, Dwayne Meyers and Abubakr Raheem with Baum's murder.


Prosecutors alleged that Hardy, Meyers and Raheem were members and associates of a violent Brooklyn street gang known as the "Cash Money Brothers." The gang's name derives from the name of Wesley Snipes' drug crew in the film "New Jack City."


According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office announcing the arrests of Hardy, Meyers and Raheem, the men had targeted Baum because they believed Baum was going to try to avenge his brother Darryl's murder.


The U.S. Attorney charged Hardy with Darryl Baum's murder as well. Eric Moore and Zareh Sarkissian were also charged.

Darryl Baum died from wounds that he suffered when he was shot in the back of the head on June 10, 2000.


He was a friend and bodyguard of Michael Gerard – better known as boxing legend Mike Tyson.


The New York Daily News reported that Tyson allegedly offered a $50,000 bounty on Hardy and fellow CMB leader Edward Cooke after Darryl Baum's death.


Darryl Baum also was a suspect in the nonfatal May 2000 shooting of rapper 50 Cent (born Curtis James Jackson III). Jackson supposedly raps about this incident, as well as Darryl Baum's death, in the song "Many Men."


Some of the song lyrics are: "he got hit like I got hit but he ain't f------ breathing."


Procedural History: Tyrone Baum's widow filed a claim for workers' compensation death benefits after his murder. She began receiving benefits in 2004.


In 2010, her late-husband's employer moved to reopen Debra Baum's claim on the basis of newly proffered evidence suggesting that Tyrone Baum's murder was unconnected with his employment.


The Workers' Compensation Board denied the request.


Analysis: The Appellate Division's 3rd Department concluded that this was not an abuse of the board's discretion.


An application to reopen must be made within a reasonable time after the applicant has had knowledge of the facts constituting the grounds upon which such application is made and must be substantiated by supporting affidavits where allegations of newly discovered evidence are made, the court said.


While Baum's employer allegedly did not ascertain the facts surrounding his death until several months before its 2010 application for reopening, it cited a 2005 press release in support of its assertions, the court noted. Since the employer provided no affidavit to explain the delay in bringing this information to the board's attention, the court said its application to reopen was properly denied.


Disposition: Affirmed.


To read the decision, click here.


Source: WorkCompCentral

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