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Civil trial over Seaford fireman Steven Hochman’s injuries opens

A State Supreme Court civil trial opened Wednesday in which a former Seaford firefighter is suing his superior as well as a retired NYPD officer whose car hit him as he responded to a call.

The six-member jury and four alternates heard opening arguments before Nassau Supreme Court Justice Leonard D. Steinman in the trial, which is expected to take two weeks.

Steven Hochman, 46, had his left leg amputated last year as a result of the accident on Nov. 14, 2010, his lawyer, Robert Danzi of Westbury, told the jury.

Danzi said that then-fire Capt. Thomas Cattone was the immediate cause of the accident, having parked his pickup truck on the sidewalk across the street from the firehouse, obscuring the view of both pedestrians and drivers. He said Hochman could not see the oncoming vehicle as he stepped from the sidewalk to cross to the firehouse.

Kevin McCarthy of Seaford, who retired from the NYPD about 2006 and whose car hit Hochman, has said his view of the sidewalk was blocked and that he did not see anyone stepping off the curb.

His lawyer, Howard Kaplan of Yonkers, said McCarthy “had no expectation” of anybody running out from that side of the street. He said Hochman actually “ran into McCarthy’s car,” and McCarthy is not responsible for the accident.

Cattone’s Manhattan-based lawyer, James T. Whalen, said his client is not responsible for the accident under the law.

Cattone is still a Seaford firefighter. Hochman, who now lives in Wantagh, has not been able to work since the accident and, said Danzi, had more bones removed from his leg two weeks ago.

Danzi said in an interview that his clients, Hochman and his wife, Rose, deserve “millions.”

The trial continued Thursday.

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