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.

August 18, 2014

Livery driver charged as aggravated unlicensed operator, motor vehicle license violation: no license, right of way violation: left turn and failure to exercise due care after killing bicyclist this morning in Harlem New York

A careless limo driver killed a 25 year old cyclist this morning as he was making a left tun at the intersection of Park Avenue and East 108th Street in Manhattan early this morning. According to Brad Aaron from StreetBlog, "For the third time in two years, a driver has killed a cyclist at the same Park Avenue intersection, under the Metro-North viaduct in East Harlem. In addition to recent fatalities, data show that Park Avenue along the viaduct is a hotspot for cyclist injuries."The victim, 25 year old Jeffison Garcia of Washington Heights suffered severe head trauma and was declared dead at the hospital. The limo driver, 65 year old Nojeem Odunfa, was driving a car properly licensed to Glory Car and Limo Service, a legitimate livery cab company but he has never been licensed with the Taxi and Limousines Commission. The TLC is investigating how and why Nojeem Odunfa was behind the wheels.

August 18, 2014

Young man killed in Hit and Run Accident in Queens, NYC

Early this morning 32 year old Karoll Grzegorczyk was trying to cross a street in Queens, NYC, when he was hit by a dark color Sedan. The driver sped away leaving the man dying on the road. The police are still looking for the driver.
See video below for more info

August 18, 2014

32 year old woman dies in Brooklyn car accident involving two drunk drivers

A young woman was killed in a car accident between two drunk drivers on Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NYC Sunday around 4:00 am. Michelle Migmot was sitting in the back seat of a car driven by 32 year old Herbert Gerrard and another 32 year old woman who suffered minor injuries was sitting in the front passenger seat. As they were turning left onto Troye Ave another car driven by 32 year old Richard Roman Santos crashed into them. Both drivers were arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving. Additionally Gerrard was charged with driving with a suspended license. Michelle Migmot lived two streets away from the location of the crash. Read more in the New York Daily News.

Eastern Parkway is a dangerous corridor where many car crashes happened previously. It was recently turned into a "Slow Zone" and the authorized speed was reduced to 25 mph as part of the Zero Vision Initiative to reduce traffic fatalities and personal injuries in New York City.

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Picture source: NYC Crashmapper Car crashes statistics between August 2011 and February 2014

August 14, 2014

New documents indicate that the leader of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance, an anti New York Scaffold Law lobby pressured the SUNY's Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute to incorporate changes to a study to increase its estimates of the cost and impact of the Law

In April, we wrote about a controversial study related to the New York Scaffold Law that steered debate between the Construction Industry and Construction workers advocates. The study was published by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, the public policy research arm of the State University of New York and funded by the Lawsuits Reform Alliance of New York, an organization lobbying against laws protectingworkers in favor of the construction industry and other corporate interests.

The study drew so much controversy that Freedom of Information Law requests were filed to find out if the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute was pressured by the lobby during its research or after the release of the report.

Last week the Institute produced the draft report that researchers submitted to Tom Stebbins, the leader of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance as well as as email correspondence between them.

The comparison of the two documents show that changes have been made to address issues raised by Stebbins. The potential claim costs double from the draft report to the final report following Stebins' suggestions to "tweek" the calculation methodology used in the draft version.
Also a case study on the construction of the Lake Champlain bridge indicating that Scaffold Law had only marginal impact on the structure's price tag appeared in the draft version but was removed at Stebbins's request. It was replaced by a case study that better served the interest of the lobby.

Read more in the Times Union

August 14, 2014

Following two recent pedestrian fatalities, CB7 Transportation committee approves the NYC DOT proposal to improve pedestrian safety on West End Ave

61 year old Jean Chambers died on July 10th after being struck by a driver making a left turn at the intersection of of West 95th Street and West End (see previous blog). Earlier this year 9 year old Cooper Stock was crossing the street in the crosswalk and holding his dad's hand when a taxi turning from 97th Street onto West End Ave struck them. His dad only sustained minor injuries but the young boy died (see previous blog). 96 pedestrians, 41 cyclists and 160 motor vehicles occupants have been injured in traffic accidents on West End between W 75th Street and W 106th Street from 2008 to 2012. West End Ave is dangerous because it is a large 4 lane avenue located in a residential area with schools and seniors center that handles a lot of traffic entering and exiting the Henry Hudson Parkway between 95th and 97th street.

To calm traffic and make it safer for the residents, the Community Board 7 Transportation Committee accepted this week a Road Diet proposal form the NYC Department of Transportation. The proposal includes the reduction of the number of lanes from 4 to two with turn bays, flush median and several pedestrian islands but no bike lanes. The proposal also bans two left turns where traffic exit and enter the Henry Hudson Parkway:Northbound left at W 97th St and Southbound left at W 95th St. The next step is to get the endorsement of the CDB7 full board meeting on September 2nd.

Download the complete DOT Proposal
Read more in New York Street Blog

August 13, 2014

A young pedestrian sustained critical injuries after being struck by a van yesterday night in the West Village in New York

A woman in her 20s was hospitalized in critical condition after she was hit by a van last night around 3:00 am. According to the New York Daily News, the woman was running across 10th Street under a pouring rain when a van driving northbound on Hudson St. hit her. The driver stayed at the scene and he wasn't charged. He told the police he never saw the woman.

August 13, 2014

The NYPD started Today the "Operation Safe Cycle", a two week bicycle safety enforcement initiative to reduce bike accidents in New York

The number of bicycle accidents in New York always reaches a peak during the summer months as more people use a bike during the warm season. Last year during the month of August one person died and 533 people suffered personal injury in 655 bicycle accidents in New York City.

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In an attempt to reduce the bleeding this month of August, THE NYPD launched "Operation Safe Cycle" a two weeks initiative during which the NYPD will target cyclists who are putting their life as well as the lives of other cyclists and pedestrians at risk because they are committing hazardous violations such as disobeying traffic signals or signs, riding in the wrong direction, riding on sidewalks and others. Motorists obstructing bike lanes will also be targeted.

Download the NYPD Operation Safe Cycle Pamphlet here
Read more in New York Streetblog

August 12, 2014

The New York Health Department just launched a new marketing campaign highlighting the Cancer-Prevention Benefits of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine

hpv-ad.jpgHuman papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection. It is a dangerous infection because it can lead to cancer many years later. The best way to prevent developing HPV-associated cancer is to get vaccinated during preteen and early teen years. Boys and girls should get vaccinated before they start any kind of sexual activity for the vaccine to be the most effective. To be fully protected boys and girls should receive 3 doses over a year and half (one dose every six months). The New York Health department is campaigning for the vaccine as recent statistics show that on average in New York City only 40% of girls 13 to 17 years old and 22% of boys 13 to 17 years old have received the 3 doses. In Staten Island, Central/Southern Brooklyn, and Greenpoint/Williamsburg, statistics show only 5.8% to 25.1% of girls aged 13-17 and 0% to 5.9% of boys aged 13-17 received all three doses of the vaccine.


August 12, 2014

OSHA issues new communication tower directive to respond to an increase of worker injury and death during the construction, maintenance and repair of communication towers

Tower_Climber_Worker.jpgNine workers died so far in 2014 while working on the construction or the maintenance and repair of communication towers. Last year there were 13 fatalities, double the two previous years together according to OSHA's most recent statistics. In order to better protect tower climbers, OSHA recently updated its Communication Tower Directive regarding the use use of hoist systems used to move workers to and from workstations on communication towers. (see OSHA press release).

Tower climbing is one one of the most dangerous job in the US. A Daily Kos article from 2012 estimated that the death rate for tower climbers was about 10 times that of construction workers. Tower climbers are hired through hundreds of subcontractors and are employed mostly by communication wireless carriers to build, maintain and repair communication towers. An investigation by ProPublica and PBS Frontline shows that by outsourcing the jobs to subcontractors cell phone carriers’ have kept their connection to tower climbing invisible.

The most common causes of deaths and injuries are:

- Falls from great heights
- Electrical hazards
- Hazards associated with hoisting personnel and equipment with base-mounted drum hoists
- Inclement weather
- Falling object hazards
- Equipment failure
- Structural collapse of towers


- For more information visit OSHA web page on Communication Towers

- Image courtesy of sakhorn38 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Below is a video made by tower climbers about job safety

August 12, 2014

After more than 40 employees suffered from head, face and groin injuries, OSHA investigated and fined Brooklyn's Brookdale Hospital $78K for failing to protect the staff from violent patients and failing equipment

Brooksdale%20Hospital.jpgIn 2012 there were more than 100 open lawsuits against the hospital including a dozen alleging patients died due to medical malpractice or negligence. The hospital has financial problems and struggles to stay open. The latest report from the federal Labor Department indicates that some employees have been the victims of extremely violent attacks by patients. A 70 year old nurse required brain surgery after a patient repeatedly stomped on her head while beating her and a staffer was punched in the back by a patient. OSHA fined the hospital $78K and recommended the installation of panick buttons and alarm systems at workstations as well as video systems.
Read the complete OSHA News Relase
Read the article in the NY Daily News