updated 4/15/2004 10:18:56 AM ET 2004-04-15T14:18:56

Relatives of a man who suffered a fatal heart attack while he was being given a parking ticket filed a claim against the city, charging that the traffic agent left without calling an ambulance.

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The family’s attorney, Sanford Rubenstein, said 61-year-old Onofrio Avvinti was double parked outside a grocery store Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst neighborhood Saturday when he saw a traffic agent writing him a ticket.

Avvinti got out of the car and talked to the agent, and then got back into the car and began clutching his chest, Rubenstein said. The agent issued the $115 ticket and left without calling 911, he said.

Avvinti’s family filed a notice of claim — a precursor to a death lawsuit — against the city Wednesday, charging that the 61-year-old Sicilian immigrant might not have died if an ambulance had arrived sooner.

The police department disputed Rubenstein’s account.

“There is no evidence that the traffic agents were aware of the person’s medical condition, and witnesses dispute his attorney’s version of events,” police spokesman Paul Browne said in a statement.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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