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.

March 18, 2014

Campaign to reduce pedestrian accidents in New York: 10 Neighborhood communities that have applied for "Slow Zone" and that have been rejected protest by installing fake "20 is plenty" speed limit signs

20%20is%20plenty.pngA pedestrian struck by a car is twice as likely to survive if the car speed is 20 mph instead of 30 mph. To increase traffic safety and combat speeding in residential areas, the DOT started in 2011 a Community based Neighborhood Slow Zone Program which includes a reduction of the speed from 30 mph to 20 mph with signage, gateway and speed bumps (see previous blog). The program was an immediate success and the DOT received so many applications that not all of them could be immediately accepted. Also some of those that were accepted were vetoed by community boards.

Last week-end with the help of the Right of Way advocates, residents of 10 NYC communities who believed their applications have been unfairly rejected by the DOT or who have been waiting for more than 2 years for the city to implement the Slow Zone Program installed "20 is plenty" speed limit signs in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Park Slope, Greenpoint, Astoria, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, the Upper West Side, the Lower East Side, Tribeca and the West Village.

As part of Vision Zero, Mayor de Blasio has called for a rapid expansion of the Neighborhood Slow Zone. The communities are calling on the mayor to stick to his promise.

March 18, 2014

The number of people who died in a MTA bus accident in New York jumped from 4 in 2011 to 8 in 2012 and 10 in 2013. Since the beginning of 2014 5 have died to date and if the trend continues that would be 12 for 2014.

martinez-marisol.jpgAn increased number of people dying in MTA bus collisions in NYC prompted Traffic Safety Advocates to ask that The MTA be included in the Vision Zero plan to end traffic fatalities. (See New York Post)

For the first 3 months of 2014, 5 people lost their lives in a MTA bus accident. In the most recent case a young pedestrian, 23 year old Marisol Martinez (picture), was killed in a crosswalk after witnesses said the bus driver didn't yield. (see previous post). Another young women, Martha Tibillin-Guamug, 25, died after she was struck by a bus in a busy intersection of Brooklyn (see Streetblog) and in January, Pedro Santiago a bicyclist died after colliding with a MTA bus in Harlem. (see previous blog)

In another case, a motorist died after having a stroke and striking a bus. In the fifth case the bus driver died after an out of control drunk driver crashed into his bus (see previous blog).

If the number of MTA bus accident deaths for the first 3 months was projected to the complete year that would make an estimated 12 deaths related to MTA bus accidents for 2014. Something has to be done to stop this trend and it may be a good idea that MTA be included in the Vision Zero Initiative.

March 18, 2014

4 New York City auxiliary police officers suffered serious personal injury in an auto accident in Queens, NYC

police%20car%20accident.jpg4 NYPD auxiliary police officers and a civilian were seriously injured after the police car was struck by another car in Queens, NYC, yesterday afternoon. The accident happened at the intersection of 172nd street and 73rd Ave. Police said they are still investigating the crash.

Read more in the New York Post

March 17, 2014

6 injured in bus accident after driver suffers stroke behind the wheel

6 people suffered serious personal injury after a MTA bus crashed into a row of parked cars in Brooklyn, NYC. The bus driver apparently suffered a stroke behind the wheel and lost the control of the bus. Read more in the New York Daily News

To prevent accidents caused by medically unfit drivers, bus drivers are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to pass a medical test every two years. The quality of this medical test has often been criticized. Therefore starting May 21st 2014, only specially trained medical examiners will be allowed to give the test. Additionally in the future the results will not be on paper anymore. They will be recorded in a unique database and integrated electronically to the driver's license. (see our previous blog)

NYC%20bus%20accident.jpg

March 17, 2014

5 year old struck and killed by a car backing up in Brooklyn, New York

Roshard%20Charles.jpgA young boy died after he was hit by a minivan on Empire Blvd in Brooklyn, NYC. The minivan driver, 23 year old Elysabeth Mayard, backed up, drove over 5 year old Roshard Charles (picture) and ran away as the mother of the boy was banging on her window asking her to stop. Mayard returned to the scene after she was chased by witnesses who convinced her to come back. She was charged with hit and run, reckless driving and driving through 3 red lights.
Read more in DNA Info New York

March 17, 2014

GM's Defective Cars and Product Liability: according to NHTSA FARS database, 303 people died in a car accident after the airbag failed to deploy on two GM models that were recalled last month

General-Motors-Ignition-Switch.jpgAs GM is facing multiple product liability lawsuits related to the defective ignition switch and the late recall of several of its models, the Center for Auto Safety, a private watchdog group in Washington just published a review that questions the efficiency of the NHTSA in detecting the problem.
According to the review , "the examination of NHTSA’s Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reveals 303 deaths of front seat occupants in the recalled 2005-07 Cobalts and 2003-07 Ions where the airbag failed to deploy in non-rear impact crashes".

Read more in the New York Times

March 17, 2014

The Metro-North Train Accident in New York was the result of a deficient safety culture according to the safety review performed by Federal Railroad Administration

NYC_train_derailment.jpgA FRA investigation prompted by the Metro North Deadly New York Train Accident found that "Metro North's management emphasis on-time performance to the detriment of safe operations and adequate maintenance of its infrastructure, resulting in a deficient safety culture, increased risk and reduced safety on the Metro North system". Metro North has 60 days to submit a plan to the FRA on how to address these safety concerns.

Continue reading "The Metro-North Train Accident in New York was the result of a deficient safety culture according to the safety review performed by Federal Railroad Administration " »

March 16, 2014

New York Personal Injury Lawyer Richard M. Steigman to chair the NYSTLA seminar "2014 CPLR Update: Learn the Cutting-Edge Decisions Every Litigator Must Know"

r_steigman_small.jpgOur partner, NY Personal Injury Attorney Richard M. Steigman, will be the Chair of the "2014 CPLR Update: Learn the Cutting-Edge Decisions Every Litigator Must Know" Seminar presented by the New York State Trial Lawyers Association on March 25th 2014 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Hon. Ariel E. Belen (Ret) will also be on the faculty.

One of the key requirements of successfully managing a civil caseload is staying abreast of legislative changes and court decisions in the field of New York Civil Practice. This seminar will provide an in-depth review of these new developments, including practice tips and pitfall warnings that are invaluable for the civil litigator with perspectives from both the practitioner and the bench.

Topics will include:

What you need to know about the new amendment of General Obligations Law 3-335 regarding liens of health care insurers.

An update on how the Courts are dealing with the timing of serving an expert response and a summary judgment motion, in the aftermath of the Second Department's decision in Rivers v. Birnbaum.

Issues surrounding the videotaping of a defendant doctor's physical exam of a plaintiff.

Judicial error involving juror misconduct and inconsistent verdicts, mandating reversal of judgments.

How a plaintiff's additional surgery led to dismissal of the case on the grounds of spoliation.

And much more!

For more info and to register click here

March 14, 2014

Failure to provide timely diagnosis and properly treat cancer in African American women linked to much higher rate of mortality

Black%20woman.jpgOften because they receive a late diagnosis or because they are not properly treated, African American women with breast cancer are on average 40 percent more likely to die than their white counterparts according to a study that was published last week in the Journal Cancer Epidemiology.

The reason for this disparity was that black women were less likely to get a mammogram than their white counterparts and therefore were less likely to be treated on time. However the gap has closed and now the rate of mammography is similar for black and white women.

Today the reason for the higher rate of mortality among black women with breast cancer is related to what happens after the mammogram. According to the C.D.C., even when they have similar insurance coverage, 20 percent of black women with an abnormal mammogram wait more than 60 days for a diagnosis, compared with 12 percent of white women. And 31 percent of black women wait 30 days to begin treatment, compared with 18 percent of white women.

What can be done to change this situation? In an Op-Ed for the New York Times, DR. Harold F. Freeman, relates his experience as a cancer surgeon in a Harlem Hospital to provide an in-depth analysis of this situation and to look for solutions.

Failure to timely diagnose Breast Cancer may be Medical Malpractice. Visit our website to learn more about it.

March 14, 2014

A new proposal from the FMCSA to replace paper logs by electronic logbooks can help reduce bus and truck accidents related to fatigued drivers and prevent an estimated 20 deaths and 434 personal injuries every year

Electronic%20Logbook%20for%20truck%20drivers.jpgBus and truck accidents related to driver fatigue often happen because drivers have been tampering with the paper logbook by not accurately reporting the time they really spent behind the wheels.

To reduce hours of service violations and decrease the paperwork burden associated with hours-of-service recordkeeping, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed yesterday the use of mandatory Electronic Logbooks for interstate commercial bus and truck companies (dowload proposal here).

The proposal covers all technical aspects of the electronic logbook as well as the costs and benefits for commercial carriers. To protect the drivers from harassment, the device will have the option of being muted or turned down when the driver is in sleeper berth mode.

The proposal received a positive reaction from the American Truck Association but a more cautious stance from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. The OOIDA is concerned that Electronic Log Devices may be used to "harass and coerce truck drivers into continuing to drive regardless of driving conditions"

Read the Press Release from the FMCSA