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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construction accident7 people died in construction accidents in New York City since the beginning of the year. This is almost as many as  during all of 2014 a year during which 8 fatal construction accidents were recorded.  A 22 year old construction worker died on April 6th at a construction site where the restaurant Pastis used to be in the meatpacking district. The young worker was digging below the foundation of the building when dirt fell on him and buried him up to his neck. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and pronounced dead upon his arrival. A day later 4  construction workers suffered serious personal injury during an accident at a demolition site located at 331 Madison Avenue near 43rd street. A chandelier and a heavy marble banister collapsed on the workers after they fell from a height of about two stories while doing interior demolition. The week before a construction worker fell to his death in Brighton Beach. Two people—not workers—died after a suspicious explosion this week in an apartment building where plumbers were working on gas lines. In March a pedestrian died after being hit by a  piece of plywood that detached from a construction site security fence . In February a construction worker installing grass on the Barclay Center in Brooklyn was crushed to death by falling beams and in January another worker fell to his death down an elevator shaft on the Upper West Side.

According to Crain’s New York, 19 people died in construction accidents in 2008 during the last real estate boom in New York City. When comparing the number of construction-related accidents and deaths in 2014 with 2008, the figures show that construction sites aren’t necessarily getting any safer. Though there has been a dramatic drop in deaths, from 19 in 2008 to eight in 2014, the number of accidents has spiked  to 231 from 151 over the same time period, a jump of more than 50%. Last year, the city issued about 142,000 building permits, up 20% from 2008. Combined with the deaths-to-date this year, the potential for increasing construction activity “puts this year on track to be another fatal one,” Crain’s reported.
Picture: courtesy of Wikipedia

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Two men suffered personal injury in a collision between a car and a motorcycle in the Bronx, NYC. The accident happened at the busy intersection of Baychester and Nereid. During the investigation the police discovered a bullet hole in the car which led them to suspect that the car driver may have ran a red light before the crash as he was fleeing the scene of a shooting that happened a few blocks away. Both the driver – who was shot – and the motorcycle driver were injured and rushed to the hospital.

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Every year around 250,000 children visit the ER because they were injured at the playground. Broken bones as well as bruises and cuts are the most common injuries suffered by kids. Death can also happened in more rare cases. If you are bringing children to the playground the video below offers a few tips that can help you avoid dramatic outcomes.


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Two men suffered severe personal injury in two separate accidents that happened in Brooklyn, NYC, on Sunday night. One of them was a 46 year old cyclist who crashed his bike into the back of  an MTA bus in Williamsburg and the other one was a pedestrian who was struck by a car three hours later in Crown Heights. Both were transported to the hospital in critical condition.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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The salt used to melt ice and snow on the roads can corrode old car’s brake pipes which may result in dangerous car accidents. People who own a model older than 2007 should get their brakes checked and thoroughly clean their vehicle including the undercarriage warned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in a recent press release.  The NHTSA found that seven to eight years of exposure to winter road salts could result in brake pipe corrosion as the agency was conducting an investigation of brake pipe failure due to corrosion on 2 million 1999 through 2003 models of GM trucks and SUV’s. The investigation determined that the brake pipe failure was the result of end-of-life wear out and the NHTSA decied not to recall the vehicles. However the agency is asking vehicle owners that drive cars older than 2007 to check their brakes if they live in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

Brake corrosion can lead to traffic accidents

Picture source: NHTSA


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Carbon monoxide is suspected to have caused the death of 4 elderly people in a house in Queens, NYC on Friday.  83 year old Jerry Hugel and his 80 year old wife Marie as well as their tenant 70 year old Gloria Greco and Walter Von Thadden a 70 year old friend were all found dead in their house on 86th street Avenue in Floral Park. According to the authorities the house filled with gas after a car was left running in the basement. The house didn’t have any carbon monoxide detectors even though it is required by Amanda’s law in New York since 2009.

Amanda’s Law  is named after a 16 year old girl who died of carbon monoxide poisoning while sleeping over at a friend’s house. This law requires that  every one or two-family dwelling, condominium, cooperative and each unit of a multiple dwelling shall have an operable carbon monoxide (CO) detector.  The use of a battery operated detector is allowed for homes built before 2008. All homes built after this date must have the alarm hard-wired in the building.  Amanda’s Law also requires contractors to install a CO alarm when replacing a hot water tank or furnace if the home is not equipped with an alarm. CO detectors are required only if the dwelling unit has appliances, devices or systems that may emit carbon monoxide or there is an attached garage.

Read more in the New York Times

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Our partners, New York personal injury lawyers Ben Rubinowitz and Peter Sagir represented the family of Marilyn Dershowitz, a retired Manhattan Supreme Court special referee who died in a bicycle accident during which she was hit by a postal tractor trailer truck.  Following a two-week bench trial in February U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn found the federal government 100% liable for the fatal accident in a 72 page Opinion.

The accident happened on Saturday July 2, 2011. Marylin and her husband Nathan Dershowitz of Dershowitz, Eiger & Adelson, and the brother of Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz,  were riding their bikes on West 29th street between Ninth and Tenth Ave in Manhattan, New York. Both were wearing a helmet. As they rode under an overpass connecting two US postal mail facilities, the road was narrowed by a protruding Postal Trailer that was perpendicularly parked at a dock. As Mrs Dershowitz was about to ride her bike in the narrower side way, just behind her another postal trailer, driven by Ian Clement, was competing with a silver minivan to get in first in the narrower roadway as  due to the parallel parked trailers to the south and the protruding perpendicular Postal Trailer to the north, cars were not able to travel side-by-side. The postal trailer got in before the minivan but he didn’t see the cyclist and hit her as he was veering to the right to be able to fit into the roadway.

Southern District Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn ruled Wednesday that the federal government was 100 percent liable for the accident. Netburn said “a preponderance of the credible evidence” showed that Clement’s driving and the placement of a postal trailer protruding into the street were the “sole, proximate cause of the decedent’s injuries. Mrs. Dershowitz was not contributorily negligent.”

“As tragic an event as this is, the Dershowitz family was relieved to know and vindicated to know the judge found no fault on the part of Marilyn Dershowitz.” commented Ben Rubinowitz. Rubinowitz estimated damages would be approximately $5 million.

Read more in the New York Law Journal and in Courthouse News Service

Download a pdf of the complete ruling

plaintiff Exhibit Truck Bicycke Accident 2 plaintiff Exhibit Truck Bicycke Accident

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yellow cabAs part of the Vision Zero Program to reduce traffic deaths and injuries related to traffic accidents in New York, the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) started to test a warning system in six of its cabs. The warning system uses artificial vision technology such as cameras and radar to warn drivers about  a potential upcoming collision.  This test is a step in the TLC Vehicle Safety Technology Pilot Program.

Read more in the New York Post

Picture: courtesy of Wikipedia

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blood bagIn the US red blood cell units can be stored for up to 42 days after they are collected.  Previous studies have questioned this medical practice and  have implied that the storage duration may impact the quality of the blood cell units. These studies which were based on observations showed a correlation between the transfusion of blood stored for a longer duration and increased morbidity and mortality. However according to National Institutes of Health the clinical significance of these findings was  difficult to determine due to study-design limitations.

In order to get a better opinion on whether red blood cell storage duration impacts a patient’s clinical outcome after transfusion  the NIH  funded the Red Cell Storage Duration Study (RECESS) that was also supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

RECESS was conducted at 27 hospitals in the US including Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University and Columbia University Medical Center in New York. The study evaluated 1,098 cardiac surgery patients who were randomized to receive red blood cell units stored for short (up to 10 days) or long periods (21 or more days).  The study was conducted from January 2010 to January 2014.

The study found no statistical difference in the outcome of adult patients undergoing complex cardiac surgery receiving transfusions of red blood cell units stored for short (up to 10 days) versus long (21 or more days) periods. Therefore the NIH believes that there is no need to alter how hospitals currently transfuse blood in adults going through complex cardiac surgical procedures.

Read the press release