Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf 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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A woman died and at least 13 people suffered personal injury in a New York City gas explosion last week-end.  The gas explosion took place at 4206 13th Avenue near 42nd Street in Borough Park, Brooklyn, around 1 pm on Saturday afternoon. The front of the building was completely destroyed and 200 firefighters were called to stop the blaze.  According to investigators the gas explosion may have been caused by a tenant that had recently been evicted. In the tenant’s apartment, investigators discovered that a stove was disconnected from its gas hook. They suspect that the tenant who is still missing but was identified as Francisca Figueroa, was trying to commit suicide. She had recently posted suicidal messages on social media. Read more in the Gothamist


An article that came out tonight in the Daily News indicates that Francisca Figueroa was working for a Beauty Salon and that she may have used chemicals from the salon to create the explosion. Apparently the gas had been turned off for non payment.

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A 37 year old man died in an elevator accident at the Espoir Building (see picture) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn early this morning. The victim was in the elevator with 14 people. A video depicts the elevator stopping well above the lobby floor. The door opened and the man, identified as Eran Modan was attempting to climb out when the elevator suddenly fell, trapping his upper body between the floor and the top of the cab. His roommate was then able to escape the elevator through a hatch in the bottom. She tried to resuscitate him but the man died in the lobby shortly after EMS arrived.

The building has a history of elevator problems according to the roommate. The Espoir apartment complex received four elevator violations since 2013.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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A car accident in the Bronx, NYC, left two pedestrians in critical condition, three in stable condition and one with minor injury. The two victims in critical conditions are children according to the FDNY.  The accident occurred Wednesday morning at 7:45 at 229 E. Kingsbridge Road in New York City. A group of children and their mothers were waiting for the school bus on the sidewalk when a Uber driver lost control of his vehicle and went flying onto the sidewalk. A 5 year old boy and his 8 year old sister as well as their mother were crushed under the car. Both children suffered broken legs. The boy also suffers chest trauma and his sister has internal bleeding. Neighbors told the media that the area has  high traffic and a history of speeding problems and that the bus stop should not be positioned at this spot.  Read more and see chilling surveillance video on Streetblog NY 

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34 year old Kelly Mayhew died from medical malpractice last May in New York. She had traveled from Maryland with her mom to get cosmetic silicone injections of her buttock in Queens New York, City. Unfortunately, the doctor who injected her was an unlicensed phony plastic surgeon who fled the scene soon  after Mayhew started to gurgle and struggle to breathe leaving her victim to die.  The fake doctor never surrendered and the NYPD believe she know lives in England. The case is currently being presented to a grand jury in front of which the city Medical Examiner said that the cause of the death was “systemic silicone emboli due to cosmetic silicone injections of buttocks” and “the manner of death was homicide”. Read more in the NY Daily News

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Daniel+Pollack-1In a recent article published in Policy & Practice, Daniel Pollack, a Professor at the School of Social Work, Yeshiva University in New York explains why lawsuits against human services agencies are very often settled through mediation.  The article is related to lawsuits against human services agencies but most points can apply to personal injury lawsuits as well. The article provides a detailed definition of  what a mediation is and how it differs from a hearing or an arbitration. Professor Pollack also looks at the benefits of a mediation compared to a trial and refers to specific cases where it is the best alternative for both sides. The article emphasizes the instrumental role of the mediator and what defines a good mediator.

Download the complete article here

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After hearing about multiple complaints of tenants being endangered by construction work in their building often because unscrupulous landlords are trying to push them out and rent at a higher price (see previous blog), the New York City Council today introduced a new package of bills intended to stop these dangerous practices. A total of a dozen bills are pushing for more and quicker enforcement by the NYC Buildings Department. One of the bills proposes the creation of a special unit that would send inspectors to the site within two hours after a complaint of non permitted work is received. Other bills address falsified claims in which the owner pretends the building is vacant when it is not. Tenants advocates are claiming that harassment has reached unbearable levels in gentrifying neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side and that the Department of Buildings is too lenient.

Read more in the New York Times



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The NYC Department of Health is urging New Yorkers with respiratory symptoms such as cough, chills, fever and difficulty breathing to seek immediate medical attention after 7 people from Morris Park in the Bronx were hospitalized for Legionnaire’s disease. This outbreak is different from the one that occurred this summer in the South Bronx (see previous blog) and that was attributed to Legionella found in the cooling tower of the Opera House Hotel.

The Department of Health is actively investigating this new outbreak. Health alerts have been disseminated and hospital ER’s in Morris park are checking for higher than usual cases of pneumonia. Nursing homes and senior centers are being visited to educate staff and patients about the disease.

Scientists are taking samples of all cooling towers and lab tests are being conducted. So far 7 cooling towers in the area of Morris Park have tested positive and 10 people have been hospitalized. 9 of them are still in the hospital and one has been treated and released. Read more here

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Injuries and fatal crashes Woodhaven NYCBased on New York crash statistics analyzed from July 2012 to December  2014, the most dangerous intersections on Woodhaven Boulevard were:

  • 101st Ave & Woodhaven Blvd with 42 crashes, 62 injuries and 1 fatality
  • Jamaica Ave & Woodhaven Blvd with 38 crashes, 52 injuries and 2 fatalities
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imageFalls in hospitals can cause serious personal injury and sometimes death. Every year hundreds of thousands of people are falling in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing facilities or other healthcare facilities. 30 to 50% of them will sustain injury. Elderly people are not the only ones at risk. Medical conditions, medication, surgery, medical procedures or diagnostic testings for example can result in weakening and confusion for any patient independently of his or her age and increase the risk of a fall.

According to a recent alert from the Joint Commission, falls in hospitals are a prevalent patient safety problem. Even though it can be difficult and complex to prevent, hospital can take action to prevent them. Here are recommendations suggested by the Joint Commission:

  • Raise awareness about the risk of falls by communicating it to clinical and non clinical staff at every level as well as to patients and their family
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To prevent car accidents in school areas in New York City, the Department of Transportation completed the installation of 140 speed cameras at the beginning of this month, just on time for the beginning of the school year. The installation of the speed cameras which is part of the Vision Zero initiative to reduce personal injury and death related to traffic accidents in New York City, started 20 months ago. Since then, 945,000 speed camera violations have already been issued. At the beginning of the implementation of the project, there was an average of 192 violations issued per camera per day. Last August this number was down to 69 which demonstrates the efficacy of the cameras in deterring speeding.

100 cameras have been installed at a fixed location and 40 of them are mobile.  Cameras were installed at schools that had a history of  pedestrians, bicyclists and motorist crashes during school hours. School areas located near spots with speeding issues or close to dangerous intersections or corridors could also qualify to be equipped with speed cameras.

In addition to the cameras, the DOT installed 4,000 speed limit signs including “Photo Enforced” language.