Shooting victim's family files claim
The family of Jaime Taccetta has filed a claim of negligence against Suffolk County and its police department in connection with the Medford pharmacy murders.
The plaintiffs listed on the claim are the estate of Jaime Taccetta and her former husband James Malone, on behalf of his and the murdered woman's two children, Miranda Malone, 16, and Kaitlyn Malone, 6.
Taccetta's family filed the claim last week, before Newsday's account Friday that a Suffolk police detective on Jan. 12 had visited David Laffer's home and subsequently warned authorities to take away Laffer's guns -- five months before Laffer fatally shot Taccetta, 33, and three others.
The notice of claim states Taccetta was "wrongfully killed" during the robbery committed by Laffer and that the weapon used was a legally licensed firearm owned and registered to Laffer, "who prior to the incident was known to the Suffolk County Police Department to be a prescription drug abuser."
The notice alleges the department "was negligent in its duty to remove" the license and weapon.
Suffolk County spokesman Dan Aug said the county did receive the notice of claim earlier this month. "We are defending our position vigorously," he said.
James Malone, 36, said the family filed the notice of claim after a family member was contacted by a New York City-based law enforcement source who advised them to get a lawyer and pursue a negligence action.
Malone declined to reveal the source or the family member contacted.
Malone's brother, Ray Malone, a Miller Place attorney, filed the notice a day before the 90-day deadline under law.
In an interview Friday, James Malone wept softly recounting how just two weeks ago, Kaitlyn had asked, "Do you think Mom still thinks about me?"
"That's very hurtful for a parent to have to hear," he said.
Malone described a weekly routine of visits to a psychologist, therapists and grief counselors. "It's no way for my children to live their childhoods and they're stuck with those scars."