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.

July 24, 2014

Dr. Frances Kelsey who protected thousands of American babies from Thalidomide turned 100 years old Today

220px-Kelsey_01.jpgDr Frances Kelsey, a pharmacologist, doctor and FDA officer prevented the introduction of the drug Thalidomide in the American market, preventing birth defects and saving the lives of thousands of babies.

In the late 1950's Thalidomide was a very popular drug used in Europe especially in West Germany and many other countries by pregnant mothers for morning sickness. At that time Dr. Frances Kelsey had just started to work at the FDA as a medical officer. She was assigned the review of the new drug application for approval of distribution of thalidomide in the US.
Despite intense pressure from the German manufacturer she refused to authorize the distribution of Thalidomide in the US in 1960.
In 1961 scientific evidence showed that babies from mothers who had been using thalidomide were born with phocomelia, a malformation of the limbs. Throughout the world around 10,000 children were born with phocomelia due to thalidomide and only half of them survived.
This is an example of why those who argue there should be no governmental regulation are so misguided. If it was not for the strong and unwavering opposition to Thalidomide provided by doctor Kelsey, thousands of so called Thalidomide babies would have been born in the United States as they were in the rest of the Western world.
Source: FDA Voice
Picture from Wikipedia, 1962: Frances Kathleen Oldham Kelsey receiving the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service from President John F. Kennedy

July 24, 2014

A New York cyclist suffered serious personal injury after being struck by a bus this morning on the Hudson River Greenway in Hells' Kitchen

A cyclist was seriously inured after he collided with a NY Waterway Bus that was crossing the Hudson River Greenway to go to the 39th Street ferry terminal this morning. The Hudson River Greenway is an 11 mile bike and pedestrian path along the Hudson River that stretches from Battery Park at the South of Manhattan to the Georges Washington Bridge at the North. Many New Yorkers use it to commute to work every day. Several busy driveways leading to various piers, parking and commercial operations cross the Greenway around 40th street making this area one of the most dangerous on the Greenway.

A few years ago, our firm represented the widow of a doctor who died two streets below Today's accident after being struck by a NYPD tow truck driver who failed to yield.

Another cyclist died after being struck by a drunk driver who drove onto the Greenway from a Chelsea Piers parking lot.

Read more on Streetblog NYC

Picture source: Hilda Cohen on Twitter

July 23, 2014

A 10 year old girl who didn't know how to swim died yesterday after falling off a rocky jetty in Coney Island

takara.jpgA 10 year old girl drowned to death yesterday in Coney Island, a popular beach in Brooklyn, New York. Takara McDuffy was playing with her 9 year old sister on a rocky jetty when they fell in the water. The accident happened after 6 pm. The life guards had left the beach. The two sisters were pulled out of the water by two young men who saw the accident and jumped in the water to the rescue. The sisters were rushed to the hospital but Takara couldn't be saved and died. Her sister wasn't injured.

Unintentional drowning is the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 14 and African American children have a 3 times greater risk of drowning than Caucasian because many of them don't know how to swim. Programs such as Asphalt Green and Swim Programs from NYC Park have been providing free swim instructions and water safety programs to help prevent drowning accidents.

Several young people before Takara drowned to death since the beginning of the summer in New York. A 2 year old girl was found dead in Prospect Park Lake at the beginning of this month (see our previous blog). At the end of June a 21 year old student celebrating his graduation was swept away by the current after trying to swim in the East River in Williamsburg. A few days earlier two 13 year old cousins died after jumping in the Bronx River.

July 22, 2014

Contractor cited by OSHA for one willful and 7 serious violations of workplace safety standards after exposing construction workers to potentially fatal falls on a demolition site in Brooklyn, NYC

fall%20prevention.pngUS Demco of Brooklyn exposed construction workers to potential fatal falls by failing to provide and ensure the use of lifesaving fall protection on a demolition site located at 50-54 Clarkson Ave in Brooklyn, NYC, according to OSHA inspectors.

Inspectors also found that the guardrails for planking used by workers to access sections of the second and third floors were missing increasing the risk of a fall.

Additionally workers were not supervised by a competent person with the knowledge and the authority to identify and correct fall hazards. Inspectors also noticed that falling debris exposed workers to dangers of lacerations and broken bones and ungrounded power tools could have lead to electrocution and burns.

OSHA cited US Demco of Brooklyn for willful, serious safety violations of workplace safety standards and proposed $45,200 in penalties against the Brooklyn demolition contractor.

July 21, 2014

A teenager suffered serious head trauma in a bicycle accident in which he was struck by a taxi on the Upper West Side of Manhattan yesterday afternoon

A 13 year old cyclist was seriously injured yesterday after being hit by a taxi on 108th street near Manhattan Ave on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in NYC. The driver stayed at the scene and wasn't charged. The teenager was brought to the hospital where he is now in critical but stable condition. He suffers severe head trauma as well as lacerations to his legs and arms. Read more in the NY Daily News.
Between 300 and 500 people suffer bicycle accident injury every month during the summer in New York City.

July 19, 2014

Marijo C. Adimey joins Gair Gair Conason Steigman Mackauf Bloom and Rubinowitz

marijo.jpgGGCSMB&R is pleased to announce that Marijo C. Adimey has joined our firm. Marijo began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County, NY. For five years she prosecuted cases on behalf of numerous Bronx residents who were the victims of horrific crimes. This initial experience where she tried dozens of cases to verdict laid the ground work for her outstanding career as a trial lawyer. Following her tenure at the Bronx DA’s office, Marijo transitioned to the civil representation of victims of medical malpractice and serious personal injury. She is recognized as an up and coming star in the area of plaintiff’s medical malpractice. She was designated a Super Lawyers 2013 Rising Star. She is, and will be, a tremendous asset to our firm.
Click here to read Marijo’s bio.

July 17, 2014

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just released a list of recommended used vehicles for teens to help parents buy a car that will better protect their teens in case of an accident and that will also offer sufficient safety technology

teen%20driver.jpgCar accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers and the type of vehicle they are driving can make a difference. Every year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) publishes a Top Safety Picks list featuring the safest new cars to drive. However for 83% of parents a new car for their teens is not in the budget. To help them make the right choice when buying a used car for their teens, the IIHS just published a list of the best used cars for teen drivers.

Even though minicars and small cars are the most common choices when parents buy a car for their teens, they are not on the list of the IIHS. Bigger and heavier vehicles provide better protection in case of an accident.

Often teenagers drive an old car that the family already owned. Two thirds of these teenagers drive vehicles from 2006 or earlier. According to the IIHS, this is not a safe option for a teen because these vehicles usually don't offer safety features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and side airbags.

The IIHS also recommend that parents stay away from cars with high horsepower as teens may be tempted to test their limits.

Read more:

July 16, 2014

Distracted driving may have been among the factors leading to the truck accident that caused the I-5 Bridge to collapse

On May 23 2013, a truck carrying an oversize load struck the top of a bridge near Mt Vernon on Interstate 5 causing the bridge to collapse. Two cars and a camper trailer fell into the Sgakit river and two other cars were damaged. Occupants of the vehicles only suffered minor injuries.

As required by law a pilot escort vehicle equipped with a height pole was driving ahead of the truck. The investigation determined that the driver of the pilot vehicle had used a hands-free mobile phone and engaged in 5 phone calls in the 30 minutes preceding the accident. She was on the phone when she crossed the bridge and when the accident happened. The pilot driver told the NTSB that she didn't observe the height pole contact the bridge structures but an off-duty commercial truck driver who was driving near the pilot car witnessed the height pole strike several bridge elements.

Read more in Truckinginfo
Read the NTSB abstract of findings and Probable Cause in I-5 bridge here

Photo source: NTSB

July 16, 2014

Phony New York doctor who committed serious medical error by giving a patient a botched butt lift and injecting Krazy Glue in her buttocks in a follow up visit was sentenced to two years in jail

Liliana Coello a phony doctor from Queens, NYC, pleaded guilty of unlawfully practicing medicine and seriously injuring a patient. She was sentenced to two years in jail. Coello gave a botched butt lift to a patient and injected her buttocks with Krazy Glue in a follow up visit. The patient suffered a very bad infection and had to be hospitalized 3 times.

This is not the first time Coello is being sent to jail for a botched butt lift. In 2012 the phony doctor got paid $3200 for surgery on the derriere of a Brooklyn night club worker during which she injected the woman with clear gel.

Read more in the NY Daily News


July 15, 2014

A 49 year old female pedestrian died yesterday night after being struck by at least one car in Brooklyn, NYC

A pedestrian died after she was hit by at least one car on Flatbush Ave near Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. The accident happened yesterday night after 9 pm and heavy rainfalls were reducing drivers visibility. According to the NY Daily News, the woman had exited of a parked car and was trying to cross Flatbush Ave. A 37 year old motorist hit her and did not stop immediately but returned to the scene shortly after. He told the police that he didn't realize immediately that he had hit a person. According to the police it is possible that a second car also hit the woman.