Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.
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Our Managing Partner Ben Rubinowitz  was interviewed by Mario Diaz of  PIX 11 as to the recent NYC East Village gas explosion.  Mr. Diaz quoted Ben as follows,  “It’s a  rare thing to have one party to blame. Usually there is shared fault in these cases.” Ben went on to state,  “The gas should have been shut down to the entire building no  matter what until this was rectified. In other words the failure to make sure that everyone was protected is where the fault lies.” To read the full article and see the video  interview click here.

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An explosion that injured 19 people, causing a massive a massive fire which caused three buildings to collapse, was caused when construction workers inside a sushi restaurant in the East Village accidentally hit a gas line. The explosion inside 121 Second Ave., between East 7th Street and St. Marks Place, caused the buildings at 121, 123 and 119 to collapse after they became engulfed in flames, according to city officials. No. 125 was still burning Thursday evening. “The initial impact appears to have been caused by plumbing and gas work that was occurring inside 121 Second Avenue,” said Mayor de Blasio at a news conference Thursday evening detailing the explosion that injured at least 14 civilians and five emergency responders. See Photos,Videos and  Read more at NBC New York.

See Video Below from CBS News;

According to The New York Times, “Among the 19 people reported injured, four were critically injured; four were firefighters who were taken to hospitals for treatment of minor injuries; and three others, including one emergency medical worker, declined medical attention at the scene, according to the Fire Department.”


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protect construction workers from exposure to Crystalline SilicaConstruction workers who are exposed to respirable crystalline silica have a high risk of developing silicosis, a debilitating and sometimes fatal lung disease. Lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as renal disease are also common among workers who are exposed to silica dust.

0.05 mg/m3 is NIOSH’s respirable crystalline silica Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) but many worker’s exposure exceed this limit.

Construction workers involved in asphalt pavement mining are among the workers  who are the most at risk of being overexposed to respirable Crystalline Silica.

To protect these workers from personal injury related to overexposure to crystalline silica, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has worked with an array of industry stakeholders — heavy/highway construction contractors, labor organizations, equipment manufacturers, and government officials — to identify solutions. They recently published guidelines and industry best practices to control construction workers exposure to this dangerous dust during Asphalt Pavement Milling. The complete document can be downloaded here. A brief Field Guide for Controlling Silica Dust Exposure on Asphalt Pavement Milling Machines  produced by CPWR, NIOSH and NAPA is also available.

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3449 people were injured and 13 people died  in traffic accidents in New York City in January 2015 compared to respectively 3899 and 21 in January 2014 , 3993 and 28 in January 2013 and 4179 and 21 in January 2012. These numbers are encouraging and may indicate that the Vision Zero Program started approximately a year ago may be effective in making New York City streets safer. Data from December 2014 and January 2015 also show, for the first time, two consecutive months during which the total monthly number of traffic fatalities was below 14. The total number of motor vehicle accidents was stable. Below are graphs depicting traffic accident rates from January, 2013 to January 2015 for various types of accidents for each month for this time period in NYC.

Traffic fatalities NYC january 2015

Motor Vehicle Accident injuries by month in NYC

Motor Vehicle Accidents NYC january 2015

6 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in January 2015 compared to 12 in January 2014, 20 in January 2013 and 12 in January 2012. This is the lowest number since May 2013. This is also half the number recorded the same month a year before.  In January 2015, 902 pedestrians suffered personal injury after being struck by a car compared to respectively 1075, 1107 and 1045 in 2014, 2013 and 2012. Its the first time that this number is below 1000 for the month of January.

Pedestrian deaths and injuries NYC January 2015

115 people were injured and 1 person died in bicycle accidents in January.  Bike accidents are usually at their lowest in New York City during the months of January and February because less people use their bikes because of the bad weather and the snow.

Bicycle accidents injuries deaths NYC January 2015

Driver inattention continues to be the primary cause of traffic accidents in New York City. Following too closely, failure to yield the right of way, passing or improper lane usage as well as passing too closely are also the cause of  many vehicle collisions in the city.

Human factors in traffic accidents NYC January 2015



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rubinowitz_torganIn their Trial Advocacy column in the New York Law Journal, Ben Rubinowitz and Evan Torgan write that one effective way of examining a potential juror is by calling for an answer on a spectrum. This technique helps to gain insight not only into reticent jurors, but also into those jurors who are willing to share their beliefs, concerns, and thoughts with the attorneys without hesitation. Read the complete column here

For more than 15 years Ben Rubinowitz and Evan Torgan have been featured in the New York Law Journal as Experts in their field which include Catastrophic Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Cases.

New York personal injury attorney Ben Rubinowitz is the managing partner at Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz. He also is an Adjunct Professor of Law teaching trial practice at Hofstra University School of Law and Cardozo Law School.

Evan Torgan is a member of the firm Torgan & Cooper, P.C.



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3000 pages of documents related to the investigation of the deadly gas explosion that destroyed two buildings in the East Harlem area of Manhattan, NYC have been released  by the National Transportation Safety Board.  The documents indicate that Con Edison replaced a section of the old iron pipe with a plastic pipe in 2011 and that the installation wasn’t pneumatically tested when it was installed. Investigators found that the that the service line had separated from the plastic main. Adding to that it appeared that the foreman wasn’t proprely trained . Read more in the New York Times


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A 37 year old woman was killed in a construction accident in New York on Tuesday. Tina Nguyen was walking on a West Village sidewalk when a four foot-by-eight foot piece of plywood flew into her right side and slammed her against the wall of a building located at  175 West 12th street . She was pronounced dead upon her arrival to the hospital. The piece of plywood was blown off a security fence across the street that surrounds a construction site where a 200-unit condominium complex, the Greenwich Lane, is rising on the site of the former campus of St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan.

The site, located at 1 Seventh Avenue and developed by the the Rudin Management Company and Global Holdings, has 11 open violations issued between last may and November. In August 2014, The NYC Building Department received a complaint that debris falling from the building struck someone in the head.

Yesterday workers were seen securing the fence and the New York City Building Department issued a full stop-work order for the construction site. The contractor, Turner Construction Company was also issued Environmental Control Board violations for a failure to safeguard property and for failing to provide plans for its construction fence.

Read more in the New York Times and see video below


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Five years ago a woman suffered horrific injuries in an elevator accident  in Brooklyn, NYC, after a negligent repairman bypassed a safety mechanism while he was fixing the elevator.  The doors of the elevator caught the arm and the leg of 52 year old Debra Jordan and struck  floor after floor, after the elevator car suddenly shot up. She was almost killed and she is now confined to a wheelchair. The 30 year old repairman was convicted of reckless assault and was sentenced to 3 months in jail with 5 years probation. Read more in the NYDaily News 

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A 61 year old woman is in critical condition after she was struck by a car which was making a right turn from 21st Ave onto Cropsey Ave, in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, NYC. The accident happened Monday morning around 8:20. The pedestrian was crossing the street in the intersection. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and he wasn’t charged. Meanwhile the police are still investigating. Read more in the Bensonhurst Bean

Update: the driver has been arrested, see NY Daily News

intersection of 21st Ave and Cropsey Ave
Picure: Google map

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Wallcure simulation ssalineTwo patients were seriously injured in a New York urgent care facility after they were inadvertently administered non sterile simulation intravenous fluids. They both experienced a febrile illness during administration and had to be hospitalized. One of them developed sepsis. Both of them survived.

The cases were reported to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH)last year. The NYSDOH  began a collaborative investigation with the CDC in December.  The investigation found that four other New York outpatient facilities had received Wallcur simulation saline. All facilities said they had ordered the real product and weren’t aware that they had received a simulation product until they were were notified by the NYSDOH. Fortunately none of the facilities had used the product yet.

Wallcur recalled all its saline simulation products from the market at the beginning of the year (see previous blog). Investigation was pursued by the CDC at a national level. So far nationally 9 adverse events have been reported for 25 people including 11 hospitalizations. Two deaths occurred even though it wasn’t clear that they were related to the administration of the product.  All clinical facilities that received the products confirmed that they were not aware at time of purchase that the product was intended for simulation only. Read more on the CDC website