Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf 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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Several bicyclists were injured in an accident with a motorcycle in Brooklyn, NYC. The bicyclists were all participating in the the popular Red Hook Criterium 30k bike race in Brooklyn. The motorcyclist who was supposed to ride ahead of the race stalled near the start of the men’s final race. A bicyclist struck the motorcyclist and then a second one obstructing the narrow passage which competitors were riding through, resulting in a massive pile-up of dozens of bicyclists (see video). Seven bike riders were taken to the hospital to be treated for non- life threatening injuries. The men’s final was restarted shortly after the accident.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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operarting roomA fire erupted in a New York hospital operating room while a patient was having surgery. The accident happened in 2014 at  NYU Langone Medical Center but the results of the investigation were only recently released by the New York Department of Health. The report was obtained by the NY Post under a Freedom of Information Law request. In the report State investigators indicate that the hospital lacked adequate safety procedures to prevent surgical fire. NYU Langone Medical Center also was not conforming with standard practices to protect patients from these type of fires.

Additional medical malpractice was also committed by the surgeon  and the anesthesiologist who failed to communicate proprely about which instrument would be used by the surgeon and which gas would be used by the anesthesiologist to check if there was incompatibility or danger.  According to the DOH report the surgeon used an instrument that sparked a fire in presence of the oxygen used by the anesthesiologist. The patient was injured but the the extent of the injury was redacted in the report received by the NY Post.

After  the accident happened at the beginning of December 2014 the hospital didn’t act to improve safety measures to prevent patients from being injured in a similar manner. It was only after the the Department of Health inspection, at the end of the same month, that the hospital instituted new safety measures related to operating room fires. The measures included changing the oxygen delivery method for surgeries posing a high risk of fire.

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grade crossingA Metro North train crashed into a car in Bedford Hills NY last Wednesday.  The driver of the car was crossing the Green Lane railroad crossing when the car stalled. As the crossing gate started to go down she immediately realized what would happen next. She and her passenger quickly escaped from the car before it got hit by the train.  Thankfully nobody was injured in the crash. The service on the line was disrupted for thousands of passengers. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who has been campaigning for the Federal Government and the MTA to improve grade crossings reiterate its call for better safety measures. Read more in the Lohud

Picture: an example of grade crossing courtesy of Wikipedia

 

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In New York City there are around 3,500 motor vehicle accidents related to distracted driving every month. It is the main cause of accidents in the city. Many New York drivers consider their cars like a second office and handle all kinds of businesses that require using their phone while they are behind the wheel. Despite multiple campaigns to try to convince drivers not to text and drive, a recent At&T survey indicates that Americans continue to illegally use their mobile phone while they are driving. They are not only texting but they are also engaging  in social media, surfing the web and even having video chats.

The increase in car accidents related to texting and driving can be somewhat compared to the drinking and driving crisis in the 80ies. Several road safety advocates who have previously been involved in campaigns to reduce the number of accidents related to drunk driving are now working on campaigns to reduce distracted driving.  These advocates believe that distracted driving so far hasn’t been treated as seriously as drunk driving and that more needs to be done including at the legislative level.

In New York, lawmakers are considering introducing a textalyser.  Just like the breathalyzer is able to check alcohol blood level, the textalyser is be able to check if the driver was texting behind the wheel. According to lawmakers the textalyzer does not access private data but only checks if the driver was using the phone to text, email or do anything else illegal under New York’s hands free driving laws.

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surgeryToo many patients requiring complex surgery are suffering the devastating consequences of medical malpractice committed by inexperienced surgeons who negligently performed the surgery.  Some medical experts believe that there should be some type of legal way to prevent patients from undergoing high risk surgeries with inexperienced surgeons in hospitals that handle a low volume of patients. In a recent article in the Washington Post, Sandra G. Boodman writes about a long-running battle known as the volume-outcome debate among medical experts. This debate was recently re-activated by the decision of John Hopkins, Dartmouth-Hitchcock and University of Michigan to require surgeons practicing specific types of high risk surgery to meet an annual threshold to be able to perform the procedure.   In her article Boodman takes the example of a pancreatic cancer patient who suffered a botched Whipple surgery after an inexperience surgeon convinced him she could do it. The patient had to undergo another surgery where a surgeon specializing in Whipple surgery successfully treated him. Boodman also refers to several studies demonstrating that in cases of complex procedures patients undergoing surgery at hospitals with a high volume of these types of surgeries had a much lesser risk to die than those in hospitals performing a low volume of the same procedures. The author also discusses the difficulty for patients to find information about how many times the surgeon performed the risky procedure and what is his or her success rate is.

Read the complete article here

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liftA hydraulic crane crashed into a building in New York yesterday. The accident occurred at 133 Essex Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Witnesses living in the neighborhood told the NY Daily News that they had been worrying about the crane for a few days. They mentioned that the crane was “funny looking”. Before crashing into a window of the building’s 6th floor the crane slowly tipped for two hours. After the accident, the FDNY received a request from the DOB to conduct a structural stability inspection. The results show the stability of the building was satisfactory but officials still ordered tenants from the top floors to evacuate their apartments.

The NYC Department of Building issued a stop work order for the construction site. In the past the construction site was hit with several complaints and violations. They have all been resolved or dismissed with the exception of a violation related to the elevator. The contractor,  Jepol Construction, was also hit with a violation for “failure to safeguard the site”.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia shows the type of crane that crashed into the building

 

 

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NYPDWhen Lauren David died in a bike accident in Brooklyn (see previous blog), the NYPD initially reported that David was biking against traffic. In a recent article the Gothamist indicated that the police have amended their report and after investigation they found that David was indeed riding in the direction of the traffic. The police also told reporters that they are discussing possible charges against the driver with the Brooklyn DA.

In New York City the police have a habit of immediately blaming the victims before investigating the accident. Just a few days after David was killed, another biker died in a traffic accident in Brooklyn.  James Gregg was fatally struck by a truck which was driving in a non truck zone. Again the police found ridiculous excuses to blame the victim (see previous blog). Last Sunday the Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams who led a memorial bike ride for the two victims (see previous blog) asked the NYPD to stop speculating  on the causes of accidents until the investigation is finished.

Picture: courtesy of Wikipedia

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Bike Lane in BrooklynTwo people died in bike accidents in Brooklyn, NYC in April.  James Gregg was killed on April 20 by a tractor trailer truck who’s driver illegally drove in a non truck residential street (see our previous blog). Lauren Davis was fatally struck by a car making  a left turn on April 15th (see our previous blog).

On Sunday, Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams, led a memorial bike ride in honor of these two victims. He laid flowers in front of a ghost bike memorial installed by Transportation Alternatives at the intersection of 6th Ave and Sterling Place where Gregg died. The bicyclists then rode to the intersection of Clason and Lexington Avenues where Davis was killed.

Adams asked the DOT to continue its work to protect NYC Bicyclists. He also asked the NYPD to enforce the 25 mph speed limit and the law that prevents trucks from driving in residential areas.

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A young pedestrian was struck by a car in New York City last week. The accident happened at the dangerous intersection of E. 165th St. and The Grand Concourse in the Bronx. The 11 year old boy was crossing the Grand Concourse when he was struck by a car driving South on E. 165th Street. The boy was critically injured during the accident. (read more in the NY Daily News)

E. 165th Street between Jerome Ave and Melrose Ave was flagged by Vision Zero  for a safer street redesign. Between 2009 and 2013, two pedestrians died, 37 were injured (including 5 severely) and 6 bicyclists were injured in traffic accidents at this specific part of the street.  The two fatalities occurred at the intersection of E. 165th St. and The Grand Concourse where the 11 year old boy was critically injured last week.

According to Vision Zero statistics, 50% of the pedestrian accidents on E 165th street are caused by drivers failing to yield and 28% of all motor vehicle crashes on this street took place while a driver was making a left turn.

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rubinowitz_torganIn their recently published Trial Advocacy column in the New York Law Journal, New York Personal Injury Attorneys Ben Rubinowitz and Evan Torgan write: “While the theory behind the need for an independent medical examination makes perfect sense, the reality is that there has been a history of deceit and abuse on both sides of the fence. Some plaintiffs exaggerate injuries, some examining doctors minimize their findings. Regardless of whether one represents the plaintiff or the defendant, it is the responsibility of the trial lawyer to challenge the physician at trial to expose such deception.”