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.
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Truckdrivers.jpgIn order to better prevent truck accidents and save lives, a new provision that took effect a year ago was added to the Hours of Service rule for truck drivers. The provision limits the maximum average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours instead of 82 hours. The provision also allows truck drivers who reach the maximum 70 hours of driving within a week to resume if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights when their body clock demands sleep the most – from 1-5 a.m and require truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.

This week at the Senate Hearing on Truck Safety, the 34-hour restart provision was at the center of the discussions. Some senators waned to suspend the provision while the FMCSA studies its impact on safety arguing mostly that too many trucks are hitting the road at dawn. Anne Ferro, chief of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, defended the restart. She said that the provision helps in saving 400 lives a year and doesn’t affect truck companies. She also said that the agency estimates the provision is putting about 250,000 more trucks on the road, “a drop in the bucket compared to the 10 million” already on the road.

Read more in Heavy Duty Trucking website
Picture: courtesy of Wikipedia

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11 firefighters and 2 residents suffered personal injury in a 4-alarm fire that burned two houses on Hill Avenue in the Bronx, NYC yesterday afternoon. The fire started at 4519 Hill Ave and spread to 4515 and 4523 Hill Ave. One of the firefighters was seriously inured, 8 of them were taken to the hospital for minor wounds treatment and 2 others were treated on site. Two residents also suffered personal injury. One of them was injured after he jumped from a second floor window to escape the flames.

add twiter image from FDNY

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Gary%20Messina.jpgA skydiving student died and his instructor suffered critical personal injury in a skydiving accident in Calverton, Long Island, NY, yesterday. According to officials, the student, Garry Messina, a NYC correction officer who was celebrating his 25 year old birthday, died on impact after a parachute failure during a tandem jump.
In a statement, Rich Winstock, the director of the United States Parachute Association (USPA), said that the accident was under investigation with the Federal Aviation Administration and that wind may have been a factor.
According to statistics from the USPA, in 2013, there were 24 skydiving fatalities out of 3.2 million jumps, that’s a 0.0075 fatalities per 1000 jumps. For tandem skydiving the fatality rate is 0.003 student fatalities per 1000 tandem jumps. The rate of personal injury is approximately 3 per 10,000 skydives.

Read more in Riverhead News

Below is a video of a tandem jump at the Skidiving facility in Calverton Long Island

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How in the middle of the day, did a driver fail to see an 80-year-old crossing the street in front of her on a one way residential street?
In a recent article in StreetBlog, Brad Aaron is questioning why the police didn’t charge the driver who crashed into 80 year old Margherita Nanfro as she was crossing Rutherford Place at Bay 16th Street in Bath Beach, Brooklyn, NYC, around noon on July 25th. Pictures from the accident suggest that the driver may have been speeding as the impact was strong enough to throw the elderly woman onto the windshield. Reports also suggest that the victim had the right of way.

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An 87 year old woman who was trying to cross the street was hit by a car near Willets Point Blvd and 163rd St in Flushing, Queens, New York, yesterday night. She suffered severe head injuries and later died in the hospital.

In New York City, senior pedestrians have a higher risk to die in a car accident than adult pedestrians. Recent statistics from the DOT show that seniors represent 12% of the NYC population but account for 36% of NYC pedestrian traffic fatalities.
Source: DOT Safe Street for Seniors New York City

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3 children who were trapped in an apartment fire in Brooklyn were rescued by courageous New York firefighters. The firefighters who arrived at the scene 2 minutes after a call was made first spotted two young boys at the window of the apartment, They were trapped and crying. The firefighters used a bucket ladder to rescue the 5 and 8 year old brothers. The children told the firefighters that their 4 year old brother was still inside the apartment. Justin Tallett a 27 year old rookie firefighter and a former army medic who was in Afghanistan in 2012 was able to get in the apartment. He fought the smoke and the flames and was able to rescue the third brother. The boy who was seriously injured was resuscitated on his way to the hospital and is expected to survive. The grandfather who was supposed to supervise the children bolted out of the department leaving the children behind.

Read more in the New York Daily News

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Tito%20Morales.jpgA young man was found dead in an elevator shaft at a public housing building in the Bronx, NYC. 20 year old Tito Morales died after he got crushed between the wall and the elevator car. Morales was visiting his girlfriend last night at the Adams Houses in the Bronx. He went out to buy cigarettes at 3:00 am and was found unconscious crushed between the 18th and the 19th floor an hour later. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Residents of the building said that they were often getting stuck in the elevators and that they would sometimes wait for hours before being rescued. Another resident mentioned that the only way to get out was to try to get out through the top.
It is not clear yet what exactly happened to Tito Morales. The NYPD is invetigating the elevator accident.

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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

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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

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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.