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_WorkersMuskuloskeletal Disorders or MSDs are soft tissue injuries that affect many construction workers. Globally MSDs are the largest category of workplace injuries and account for 30% of all US worker’s compensation costs. MSDs affect all the parts of the body that are responsible for movements such as the muscles, the tendons, the nerves, the ligaments, the disks or the blood vessels. They are the result of sudden or repetitive motions, forces or awkward positions.

Due to the nature of their activity, construction workers are among the workers who are the most at risk of suffering from MSDs with the most common cause being overexertion from activities such as pushing, pulling, holding carrying and catching as well as lifting and lowering. In its quarterly report the Center for Construction Research and Training provides an in-depth analysis of  MSDs in the American construction industry.

In 2017, 19,690 WMSDs injuries resulted in days away from  work in the construction industry with the most common injuries being sprains, strains and tears. Back injuries were the most predominant, followed by lower and upper extremities. Age is a main factor in muskuloskeletal disorders and the older a construction worker is the higher the risk is that he might suffer from WMSDs resulting in days away from work.

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Broad Channel fatal bicycle accident Tweet
65 year old Bogdan Darmetko died in a bicycle accident in New York City on Sunday. Bogdan was riding his bike on Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel around 2:30 pm when he was hit by a 32 year old man driving a 2008 Ford SUV. According to the police report the cyclist who was riding in the unprotected bike lane made a left into the path of the car and was fatally struck by the front of the vehicle. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged. When the EMS arrived they found Bogdan lying on the ground. They rushed him to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved. Bogdan Darmetko is the 25th person to die in a NYC bicycle accident this year. He had been riding his bicycle in the city for the last 10 years.

Residents have long complained that speeding is an issue but nothing has been done

The  accident occurred at a spot where some road construction was ongoing and the cyclist might have swerved to avoid it.  Speed might have been a factor in his death as well. Cross Bay Boulevard is known for excessive speeding and Broad Channel residents have long been asking the DOT to install stop lights to address this problem. The bike lane on both sides of the road is not protected. Many accident have occurred previously on this Boulevard. NYC Crash Mapper reports that in the area where Cross Bay Boulevard crosses through Broad Channel a total of 273 crashes were reported since the beginning of 2016 until the end of last September.  8 cyclists, 4 pedestrians and 82 motorists were injured  in some of these accidents.

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food-safety“Unsafe food handling” was the third most common citation for American nursing homes in 2018 behind “lack of infection prevention and control” and “accidents related to  hazards, lack of supervision or devices” according to data from the from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. From 1998 to 2017, The Center for Disease Control recorded 230 food outbreaks in nursing homes resulting in 54 deaths, 532 hospitalizations and 7648 sickened residents.

33 % of all nursing homes in the nation were cited for food safety violations last year.  Among them, the nation largest chain of nursing homes, Genesis Healthcare had 47% of its nursing homes cited for food safety violations. The chain owns around 400 nursing homes in 27 states.

Unsafe food handling incidents reported at nursing homes all over the country recently included hundred of mouse droppings on the hood of the stove, flies in under-cooked hamburgers, moldy ice machines, mysterious debris in meat slicer and of course numerous complaints of cockroaches invasions and employees not washing their hands before handling food. These unhealthy conditions can potentially sickened and killed fragile nursing home residents.

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E-Cigarette-1After a 17 year old boy recently died from vaping in the Bronx, the city of New York announced that it filed a federal lawsuit against 22 online sellers of e-cigarettes who have been caught selling their products to underage clients. These sellers allegedly targeted young people through social media and advertising for flavored e-cigarettes such as “Lemon Twist,” “Freddy’s Pebbles” and “Whipped Salted Caramel”. They also accepted online purchases from teenagers.

According to the lawsuit that was filed yesterday in US District Court in Brooklyn, the defendants sold e-cigarettes to two New York City residents who were younger than 21 year old but older than 18 year old.  In order to purchase the e-cigarettes online, the two young New Yorkers created an email address and used prepaid Visa gift cards. Among the 22 sellers who accepted the orders some of them didn’t use age verification services or sold the e-cigarettes despite the buyers indicating that they were younger than 21.  The companies then shipped the orders to an address in New York City that was controlled by the New York City Sheriff’s Office. No signature or identification were required.

Last month an emergency ban of flavored e-cigarettes was voted by New York State officials (see previous blog) but last week a New York Court halted the ban one day before it was supposed to take effect after an industry trade group named Vapor Technology Association appealed the decision. The case will now be heard by the Supreme Court in Albany on October 18th. Until that date the ban can’t be applied.

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leave raking can lead to injuriesSummer is over, the trees are changing colors, the kids are back to school and the weather is getting colder and wetter.

The change of season also affects doctor offices and emergency rooms where typical summer injuries such as injuries related to water activities or burns from BBQ are slowing down and autumn injuries are increasing.

While in the city most people do not have a private yard, most people living in Upstate New York or in New York City suburbs ares starting to rake leaves around their house. While raking leaves might be perceived as a fun autumnal activity it can also lead to serious injuries. In the US 76,000 people are injured every year while raking leaves or using manual garden tools related to this activity. Many of these injuries include back strains or wrist strains due to the repetitive movements of raking.

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Heart_transplant-wikipediaTo boost transplant patient survival rates, Dr Mark Zucker and his team have allegedly been keeping vegetative patients on life support for an entire year without family consent according to a recent investigation by ProPublica.  For hospitals that have organ transplant programs, the patient survival rate is the most important number tracked by the US Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. If a hospital has a “one year survival rate” falling bellow an expected number calculated by an algorithm, an audit might be launched by the agency. If the audit uncovers serious problems, the transplant program can potentially loose its Medicare certification. As a result the hospital would loose the procedures paid by Medicare and by some medicaid and private insurance plans that only reimburse for transplants at Medicare approved transplant programs. A hospital charges around 1.4 million for a heart transplant.

Newark Beth Israel advertises itself as one of the best heart and lung transplant hospitals in the country. For 30 years, Dr Mark Zucker has been leading the heart and lung transplant program. His heart transplant surgeon, Dr. Margarita Camacho, has been performing most of the heart surgeries since 2005. She developed a strong and successful reputation as a heart transplant surgeon,  travelling in person to donors hospitals to inspect the facility and the donor’s heart before traveling back to Beth Israel with the organ.

Very unethical decisions made by the hospital to game the system

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location of the car accidentAn 18 year old girl driving a red Camaro ran a red light and was T-boned by a by a Chrysler minivan that had the green light, injuring passengers in both cars as well as  a pedestrian.

The car accident took place on Monday afternoon around 2:30 pm at the intersection of 54th Street and 4th Avenue in Sunset Park in Brooklyn, NYC.  5 teenage girls were riding in the Camaro and a man and his 5-year-old son were inside the minivan.  A female pedestrian in her 40ies who was crossing the street was also hit by the Camaro. Another car, a Honda Pilot was damaged in the crash.

The pedestrian suffered serious injury and was transported to the hospital. The father and his son as well as one of the teens aboard the Camaro were also transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

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location of the fatal bicycle accidentA NYC child riding a bike in a crosswalk was killed by a motorist who failed to yield while making a left turn. The accident occurred on Saturday morning around 10:30 am in Brooklyn, NYC. 10 year old Dalerjon Shahobidinov was on his bike in the crosswalk on Foster Avenue when 29 year old Victor Mejia made a left turn from Seton Place and recklessly slammed into him. Mejia stayed at the scene of the accident. The police found that he was driving without a license and charged him with failure to exercise due care, failure to yield and driving without a license. The driver  who never applied for a license, has a long history of reckless driving with 22 summonses that include two running red lights.

24 bicyclists killed in NYC in 2019

Dalerjon was a fourth grade student at PS 134 and has 3 other siblings. When the accident occurred he was riding with a group of friends with whom he was playing soccer in Prospect Park. The child is the 24th cyclist to die in a traffic accident in New York City this year. The victim before him was a senior e-bike rider. 62 year old Abul Bashar was a delivery cyclist for a restaurant. He was struck by a private sanitation truck on September 8th and could never recover from his injuries. He died on September 18th.

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rubinowitz_torganIn their recent Trial Advocacy column in the New York Law Journal, NYC Personal Injury Lawyers Ben Rubinowitz of Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf, and Evan Torgan of Torgan & Cooper discuss time tested ways to cross examine experts to achieve successful results at trial. Examples from recent trials are used to help illustrate the points. Each of these techniques have been used by the authors to develop powerful arguments for summation and assist in bringing home a successful verdict.

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One construction worker died on the job in New York City in June bringing the total of deaths to 5 for the first half of 2019 compared to respectively 6, 2, 5 and 6 for the first semester of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015. The June fatality occurred in Manhattan. 4 of the 5 fatalities on NYC construction sites occurred in Manhattan and the other one in Brooklyn during this first semester. No deaths were recorded in the Bronx, Queens or Staten Island construction sites during the first six months of the year.June 2019 fatalities on NYC construction sites

A total of 4 construction accident fatalities were recorded in Manhattan during the first semester of 2019 compared to respectively 2, 1, 3 and 3 during the first semesters of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015. This last semester was the deadliest in Manhattan since 2015.

Manhattan Construction worker fatalities June 2019
One hard hat died in Brooklyn during the first semester of 2019 compared to respectively 1, 1, 1 and 2 during the first semesters of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015.