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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will smithNFL players who suffer repetitive traumatic brain injury during their career have a high risk to develop Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).  CTE  is a progressive degenerative disease. Individuals affected by CTE often show symptoms of dementia such as loss of memory, confusion, depression and aggression.

Dr. Bennet Omalu, now the chief medical examiner, San Joaquin County in California, was one of the first doctors to detect CTE in NFL player’s brains.  Thirteen years ago as he was working at the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office in Pittsburgh he autopsied Mike Webster, a Hall of Fame center for the Steelers. Webster became so mentally ill that he ended up living in his pick up truck. During a dementia crisis, he pulled out his teeth and glued them back with superglue. He also shocked himself with a taser on a regular basis.

malu found that Webster’s brain was riddled with dark tangles of tau protein, which he explained had choked Webster from the inside out. He identified the condition as CTE and attribuDuring the autopsy, Dr Oted it to the estimated 70,000 hits to the head that Webster endured during his career. Dr Omalu then examined other players such as Terry Long, Justin Strezelczyk and Andre Waters and found they were afflicted by the same condition. When he showed the results of his research to the NFL they  publicly ridiculed him and intimidated him calling him a quack.

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Two pedestrians were injured in a car accident in New York this afternoon. The accident happened around 2:30 pm near the intersection of Lexington Avenue and East 102nd Street in East Harlem, N.Y.C. The driver of a SUV who had just left the gas station located at one of the corners of the intersection drove the wrong way down a one way street. He then lost control of his vehicle rolling over an off-duty police officer’s foot before pining a woman against a laundromat. The woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Read more in the NY Daily News 

Car accident location

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Lionel-Hampton-HousesA fire at a New York High-rise left seven people badly injured last Monday night.  The fire started in a trash compactor located on the 9th floor of the Lionel Hampton Houses in Harlem, NYC (see picture).  A heavy smoke spread through the building forcing residents to break their own windows to be able to breath. Seven people had to be transported to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation injuries including a woman who is still in a coma. The fire may have been the result of a negligent tenant who threw something flammable such as a cigarette into a compactor.   Read more in the NY Daily News

Smoke inhalation can result in severe respiratory injuries and sometimes death. Respiratory injuries are the number one cause of deaths related to indoor fire accidents. When an indoor fire erupts, the combustion of multiple building materials releases a hot smoke that spreads toxic amounts of carbon monoxide and cyanide in the air. The heat of the smoke can cause internal burning to the respiratory system. The carbon monoxide and cyanide released during the combustion can lead to poisoning, pulmonary irritation and swelling.  If severe, these injuries combined together are often fatal.

The same night, a 53 year old woman suffered serious burn injuries in a Bronx apartment fire. The investigation determined that the fired was caused by a discarded cigarette. (Read more in the NY Daily News).

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A truck fatally  struck a bicyclist in Brooklyn, NYC. The truck accident happened yesterday at 5 pm in Sheepshead Bay. 54 year old Reng Can Ma was riding his bicycle westbound on Avenue U near Ninth Street.  A truck driver who was riding in the same direction passed him to closely and hit him. The truck driver didn’t stop. Witnesses believe his truck was so big that he may have not realized that he hit the bicyclist. The police are still looking for him. They have released a surveillance video showing the truck passing the cyclist seconds before the accident. The truck was a large Ryder truck with Indiana license plates. Several people who witnessed the accident ran over to the victim and tried to help him but there was little they could do. The man was lying in the middle of the street and wasn’t moving. According to a witness he was bleeding from the head and he was confused. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Read more and see video on ABC7 NY.

Avenue U is Brooklyn’s second Chinatown. It’s a neighborhood that has been developing fast recently. More and more Chinese food markets, bakeries nail salons and electronic stores are opening between Coney Island Ave and Ocean Ave. The traffic has increased as well and numerous complaints have been reported on the Vision Zero map by concerned residents. The Vision Zero map that was used to define the City’s Vision Zero borough safety action plans shows that Sheepshead Bay residents were worried about the safety of Avenue U. Most of the complaints are related to double parking. Residents reported that there were constantly cars double parked on both side of the Avenue.  Jay walking was also reported on several spots. Additionally complaints of running red lights, failure to yield to pedestrians and illegal U-turns were also reported by some residents.

Avenue U


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Brown25 year old Stephen Hewett Brown was killed by a malfunctioning elevator in New York seconds after he saved a mother from being killed herself. New Yorkers moved by the terrible accident helped the family raise almost $14,000 for his funeral. On New Year’s Eve, Brown was in an elevator at 131 Broome on his way to a party on the 25th floor of the building. When the elevator reached the third floor, 43 year old Erude Sanchez stepped out to exit. At the same time the elevator started moving down. Brown immediately understood what happened and pushed the mother into the hallway, protecting her from injury and maybe death. Unfortunately seconds after he pushed the woman to safety he was pinned between the elevator’s roof and the third floor entrance. According to the 10 witnesses who were also trapped in the car, the elevator doors kept opening and closing on him when he was screaming that he couldn’t breath.

According to the New York City Department of Building records, the elevator at 131 Broom Street was defective at the time of the accident. The building had 3 open violations for failure to correct defects in the elevator going back to 2012. Last August, the owner of the building, Grand Street Guild East HDFC, received two Environmental Control Board Violations for failure to maintain the elevator in a code complaint manner. the hearing on that case was schedule the same day of the fatal elevator accident.

Dashia Impaeriali who was the president of the building tenants association from 2006 to 2011 told the NY Daily news that she wasn’t surprised by the accident. She explained that the elevator would sometimes jump several floors and go up and down without reason.

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Polack and LernerIn a recent article, Daniel Pollack, a professor at the School of Social Work at Yeshiva University in New York and Jonathan G. Lerner look at the progressive deinstitutionalization of  individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in favor of community-based services. While some are pleased with the progressive closings of developmental centers others believe that some patients are not fit for community based services and would fair better in an institution.

The article looks at the following subjects:

  • Recent deinstitutionalization trends and services available now for  individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
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brSeven of the best New York personal injury attorneys as well as an ethics attorney and the Honorable Douglas E. McKeon will be discussing some of the most challenging issues that trial attorneys face during trial in a seminar organized by NYSTLA. This seminar will be co-chaired by our managing partner Ben Rubinowitz and by Jeff S. Korek from Gersowitz, Libo & Korek P.C.  It will take place on January 26th and February 9th 2015 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, 132 Nassau Street in Manhattan.  The seminar will also be broadcasted  live. An audio CD and a video DVD will also be available as well as printed materials. They can all be ordered here.

During this seminar  the following subjects will be covered:

  • collateral attacks on expert witnesses
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School bus accident4 children and 3 adults were injured in an accident involving a school bus and a passenger car. The accident happened at the dangerous intersection of First Street and Fourth Ave in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NYC last Friday around 3pm. The school bus was traveling northbound on Fourth Ave and was trying to make a left turn onto First Street when a Mustang struck it. The impact was so strong that the bus flipped on its side. The passengers, 4 children and 2 adults as well as the driver of the mustang were all transported to the hospital.

Located one block away from a school, the intersection of First Street and Fourth Ave is both dangerous for drivers and for pedestrians. On the Vision Zero map two people complained about poor visibility at this intersection.  One of them expressed concern about the fact that many school buses were turning left onto First Street from Fourth Ave with almost no visibility. The other one called the intersection chaotic. Double parking as well as a nearby car wash are also  adding to the chaos according to the comments.

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Hoverboard fireAnother defective hoverboard burst into flames creating a fire in a New York City home last week. According to the FDNY this is the third recent case of  a hoverboard fire in the city. Lorraine White from Staten Island paid more than $400 for a Swagway hoverboard for her son last Christmas. She knew about the risk of fire. Therefore she avoided buying a cheap knockoff and paid over $400 for a popular “Swagway” model thinking that it would be safer. It wasn’t the case.  One evening, the hoverboard started to smoke in her son’s room and then burst into flames destroying part of the bedroom. Thankfully nobody was injured. (read more in the silive)

Another boy from Staten Island suffered personal injury after he tried to clean his hoverboard during a vacation in the Poconos. 11 year old Brandon Miller was hospitalized after the middle finger of his left hand became stuck between the wheel and the base. According to the mother the device started rotating unexpectedly and sucked the boy’s finger in. The boy may risk loosing his finger due to infection and may have permanent burn scares.

Previoulsy the FDNY was also called to stop a fire caused by a defective product in Brooklyn.  (see NY Daily News)

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a 68 year old pedestrian died after being hit by a SUV in New York. The car accident happened last Thursday on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Andrea Kremen from Fort Lee (NJ) was crossing York Ave at East 78th Street in Manhatten when she was hit by a SUV. The SUV was making a right turn onto York. According to a witness the impact was so strong that the victim was thrown 70 yards away from the the initial impact. Witnesses rushed to help the woman before the FDNY arrived. She was bleeding heavily and was rushed to the hospital in cardiac arrest. She didn’t survive. Read more in the New York Daily News

Last year a total of 133 pedestrians died in car accidents in New York City compared to 139 in 2014. This is is the lowest number of pedestrians killed in traffics accidents in New York City in a year.  This decreasing trends in pedestrian fatalities in the city can be credited to the Vision Zero initiative launched in 2014 by the mayor de Blasio administration. The installations of speed cameras and the lowering of the city default speed limit are some of the measures that have helped in reducing the number of pedestrian deaths.

Safer street redesign by the DOT such as the creation of slow zones in residential neighborhoods, the redesign of many dangerous intersections in the city as well as the creation of arterial slow zones also  contributed to make streets safer for New-Yorkers.