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.

February 5, 2014

Pedestrian Accidents in New York resulting in Death or Injury are now an epidemic and it is too difficult to hold drivers criminally Responsible

In New York most drivers who killed or injured a pedestrian will not face charges. In its cover story the Village Voice looks at the recent cases of pedestrian accidents and at the measures that could be enacted to reduce these accidents.

Almost every day pedestrians are being struck by vehicles in NYC. On Monday a bronx woman was struck and killed by a bus while crossing Broadway and 74th Street in Jackson Heights around 6 p.m. Yesterday a man suffered serious injury after being struck by a commerical van in Elmhurst. The same day, a woman was injured after she was clipped by a taxi in midtown

February 5, 2014

High rate of work injury and illness recorded in New York in 2012 among public employees

69,000 work injury and illness claims were filled by New York public employees in 2012. That’s a rate of 7 cases per 100 full-time workers. Nationally, the rate was 5.6 and 2.5 in New York private industry.

Read more here

January 31, 2014

Manhattan Borough President lists 57 most dangerous traffic crossings in Manhattan (New York County)

To help combat the epidemic of pedestrians who die or suffer serious personal injury in New York, Gale Brewer, the Borough President, submitted a list of the NYC 57 most dangerous crossings. This list include 96th street and Broadway where two pedestrians recently died as well as 17 other locations in uptown manhattan..

Read more in the New York Daily News

January 31, 2014

NY car accident: a reckless driver is as guilty of a crime as a drunk or drugged driver

9 year old Cooper Stock recently died after being struck by a taxi. His uncle, Barron Lerner in a column for the New York Times explains why he believes that reckless drivers should be treated as criminals just like drunk and drugged drivers. Lerner who is a professor of medicine and population health at New York University, is also the author of “One for the Road: Drunk Driving Since 1900” . Lerner compares reckless driving these days to drunk driving prior to 1980. He says that reckless driving "is poorly defined in the law, sometimes poorly investigated by police and almost never results in a criminal charge".

January 30, 2014

90% of Medical Malpractice Claims related to Operating Rooms Fires are Claims of Burn Injury sustained during electrocauteization induced fires

Electrocauter.jpgA recent study analysed all Medical Malpractice claims related to fires in the Operating Room that have been filed in the American Society of Anesthesiologists Closed Claims Database since 1985 and found that electrocauterization was responsible for 90% of the claims. The study "Operating Room Fires: A Closed Claims Analysis" was published in the Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists" and led by Dr. Karen Domino, Professor & Vice Chair for Clinical Research Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, Adjunct Professor, Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Electrocauterization or Electrocautery is a procedure that is used in surgery to burn unwanted or harmful tissues or to seal blood vessels to stop bleeding. During the procedure a surgeon uses heat conduction from a metal probe heated by electric current to burn the tissue.

The study found that most Electrocautery induced fires happen during monitored anesthesia care with open oxygen delivery for upper chest, neck and head procedures with plastic surgery procedures on the face accounting for more than half of them.

The percentage of cauterization fire claims have increased exponentially over time. Between 1985 and 1989 they were representing less than one percent of all surgical claims. According to the study they are now accounting for more than 10% of all surgical claims.


January 30, 2014

Plaintiff granted summary judgement in NYC "pedestrian struck by car" accident case

Personal_Injury_Lawyer_Jerry_Katz.jpgOur Partner New York Car Accident Lawyer Jerry Katz obtained summary judgment on the issue of liability for a plaintiff in this "pedestrian struck by car" accident.

This action arises out of a pedestrian/vehicle accident which occurred on December 22, 2011 at approximately 11:00 p.m. at the intersection of First Avenue and East 68th Street, New York, NY. At that time, the plaintiff, a 76 year old woman, was crossing First Avenue in an eastbound direction with the traffic signal in her favor. There were six lanes of travel on First Avenue proceeding in a northbound direction. The plaintiff was struck by the defendants' vehicle which was making a left turn from East 68th Street onto First Avenue while she was in the third lane. Therefore, the plaintiff had successfully crossed two lanes of traffic and was nearing the third lane when the defendants' vehicle, which was making a left-hand turn from East 68th Street onto First Avenue to go north struck the plaintiff. The defendant driver admitted to the police and subsequently in his deposition that although his view of the crosswalk was unobstructed, he did not see the plaintiff until impact, and there was rain and a glare from the road obstructing his vision.

The plaintiff sustained a comminuted fracture of the left olecranon process and proximal ulna; posterior displacement of the proximal major fractured fragment; impacted fracture of the left radial head; joint effusion; extensive peri-articular soft tissue swelling; sub-articular cystic changes of the radial head requiring surgery on December 29, 2011 in the nature of an open reduction and internal fixation of the fracture with the insertion of a T7 reconstruction plate, compression screws, coronoid screw and a long home run screw and surgery on May 16, 2012 for the removal of the hardware from the left upper extremity.

The plaintiff was treated in the emergency room at New York Presbyterian Hospital on December 22, 2011 and December 25, 2011. She was thereafter confined to New York Presbyterian Hospital from December 29, 2011 until December 30, 2011 and then again on May 16, 2012. She plaintiff Nancy Koehler was confined to bed for approximately 10 days following the accident, and generally confined to her home for a period of 6 weeks.

Defendants claim that it was a dark, rainy night, that plaintiff was wearing dark clothes, carrying a dark umbrella and had just left a party.

The motion was granted by Judge Arlene P. Bluth New York Supreme Court New York County. on December 27, 2013.

January 28, 2014

NY DOT's lax oversight of commercial carriers increases the risk of bus and truck accidents according to recent audit by The New York State Comptroller

truck%20inspection%202.jpgMore than 35,000 potentially unrepaired trucks and buses could be putting New York road users at risk of dangerous accidents.

A recent audit by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli found that The New York Department of Transportation is not doing enough to ensure that commercial bus and truck companies whose vehicles or drivers have been found to have violations serious enough to warrant their removal from services, are making timely repairs or corrections.

The audit looked at inspections conducted from September 2008 to 2012 and found that out of 448,842 inspections conducted 20% of them or 90,368 vehicles were cited for one or more out of service violations. 76,229 of them were out of service violations on vehicles (trucks or buses) and 21,417 on drivers.

An out of service violation means that the violation must be fixed before the vehicle can be operated again. The truck or the bus may be repaired on site or towed for repair. An inspection report is established and companies have 15 days to return the inspection report to the DOT certifying that repairs have been made.

According to the audit 35,556 report and repair certifications were never returned to the DOT. This indicates that 39% of trucks and buses that have been found to have serious safety problems may still be on the road unrepaired potentially creating a serious threat of accidents. 26% of the reports were returned late and only 35% were returned on time.

The DOT doesn't use any tracking system and relies on subsequent inspections to find commercial carriers that continue to operate out of service vehicles prior to repairs.

When inspectors discover that a carrier continues to operate an out of service bus or truck without repairs the audit found out that in 60% of cases the DOT did not use progressive enforcement actions. Most of the time violators just received a traffic violation.

The audit recommends that the New York DOT develop and implement a strategy to actively monitor commercial carriers safety compliance and impose progressive enforcement actions when truckers and bus operators continue to operate out of service vehicles.

January 28, 2014

Bus and Truck Accident Prevention: the FMCSA implements a new rule to close a loophole that previously allowed dangerous motor carrier operators to stay in business by submitting a new application for a registration under a different name

FMCSA.jpgTo prevent bus and truck accidents caused by negligent motor carriers the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration just published a final rule that addresses motor carrier management companies with a pattern of safety violations.

Starting February 21st 2014, the FMCSA will have the authority to "suspend or revoke the operating authority registration of for-hire motor carriers that show egregious disregard for safety compliance, permit persons who have shown egregious disregard for safety compliance to exercise controlling influence over their operations, or operate multiple entities under common control to conceal noncompliance with safety regulations".

This new rule will prevent bus and truck operating companies that have been previously placed out of service to submit a new registration under a new name to continue operations or to avoid other negative consequences of non-compliant behavior including a poor safety history.

Read more about the "Patterns of Safety Violations by Motor Carrier Management" rule on the FMCA website and on TruckingInfo

January 28, 2014

Personal Injury Prevention: "Be Smart with Sharps" and learn how to safely discard needles and other sharps at home, at work, at school or while traveling

Every year 850,000 people are injured by needles or other sharp medical devices that have not been discarded properly. Sharps is the medical term for any device with a sharp point that can puncture or cut the skin for example, needles, syringes, lancets, auto injectors, infusion sets or connection needles.

An estimated 9 million patients in the US have medical conditions such as diabetes, allergies, arthritis, cancer, hepatitis or AIDS and use sharps at home, at work, at school and also while traveling. These patients and their caregivers need to properly discard needles and other sharp devices to protect others from injuries and infections spreading such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.

The FDA estimates that 7 billion sharps are loosely discarded yearly in regular trash instead of being safely discarded in a dedicated container.

Patients using sharps should never discard their sharps in a regular trash can but in a dedicated sharp container with a vertical drop slot. These containers are often available for free at doctors offices, hospitals health insurance offices or medical suppliers. They can also be bought online or at any pharmacy. The container should never be more than 2/3 full to avoid injury. Never force sharps into the container. Sharps containers should be brought to sharps disposal program site.

Patients who are travelling or do not have immediate access to a regular sharp container should use an empty household container made of heavy-duty plastic that can be put in the center of a full trash bag if they don't have access to a sharp disposal program. Patients who loosely discard their needles in a trash bag put sewage workers, janitors, housekeepers, household members or children at risk of an injury that can lead to a dangerous infection.

Do not put sharps in recycling, do not flush them in the toilet and keep out of reach of children!

If you have been injured by a needle or a sharp used by someone else, wash the area with water and soap or antiseptic and call your doctor immediately.

Read more about the "Be Smart with Sharps Campaign"

Click on the images to increase size

January 27, 2014

Too many elderly and disabled are being abused and terrorized for their Social Security Checks and Food Stamps allotment often by their own family members

Elder abuse and elder fraud by family caregivers or acquaintances are unfortunately getting more and more common and not enough is being done to stop this epidemic.

Family members are often the first appointed guardians and serve as representative payees when a person is declared incapacitated. In the US 85% of the 5.9 million Social Security payees are family members. Unfortunately payees are not being thoroughly checked and abuse is on the rise.

In a recent article BARBARA LAKER and WENDY RUDERMAN from the Philadelphia Daily News describe recent cases of elderly or disabled people who have been abused and neglected by family members or acquaintances who stole their money.

Read the complete article here