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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Daniel-Pollack-1Sexual grooming can psychologically damage a child or a teenager for the rest of her or his life. In a recent article published in Youth Today, Daniel Pollack, a professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work in New York City is raising awareness about child sexual groomers.

According to Pollack who is also a frequent expert witness in cases involving child abuse and foster care, child sexual groomers are very difficult to catch. They often hide in plain sight and pose like do-gooder teachers, friends, scout leaders, coaches, neighbors, foster parents and first cousins. They have the instinct of a cockroach or a chameleon and the craftiness of a fox.  Just like these animals, child groomers hate to be exposed to the light therefore one of the best ways to scare them is to raise awareness among organizations dealing with children and talk about them.

Read the complete article here 

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children at campConcussion is one of the most commonly sustained injuries by children and teenagers when they are at camp.  Therefore it is important that camps not only have specific requirements and guidelines to prevent traumatic brain injuries but also have a medical staff that is trained to recognize and treat concussions.

In regards to prevention, camps should always make sure that children wear proper helmets for activities involving motorized vehicles as well as activities such as skate boarding and skating.  Helmets also have to be mandatory when kids are involved in adventure activities such as climbing, spelunking or zip lining.  Children should also wear a helmet when bike riding as well as when horseback riding including pony riding.

Despite actively preventing concussions, accidents still happen and the camp medical team has to be ready.  The camp medical staff has to be able to recognize and evaluate a concussion sustained by a camp goer.  After  the camp clinician properly evaluates the young patient, he will have to communicate not only with the child but also with the parents to assure a proper recovery.

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bicycle garbage truck accident locationA garbage truck fatally hit a bicyclist in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NYC early Saturday morning. The driver didn’t stop.  27-year-old Neftaly Ramirez had just finished his shift at a Brooklyn Pizzeria. He was biking home to the Lower East Side around 12:30 am. As he was riding on Franklin Street near Noble Street in Greenpoint, a garbage truck driving South on Franklin hit him. The garbage truck driver continued on his way leaving the bicyclist dying in the street behind him. The investigation is still ongoing and the police haven’t apprehended the truck driver yet. Therefore it is still unclear if the driver was aware that he hit someone. Ramirez was found by the police with trauma all over his body. He was pronounced dead by EMS soon after their arrival at the scene of the accident.

Franklin Ave in Greeenpoint is a link between Kent Ave and the Pulaski bridge. It is narrow but busy with traffic day and night. According to a local resident, trucks are “flying down the street all night”. There is a shared bike and motor vehicle lane that is completely unprotected (see picture). A large electronic sign was installed at the location of the accident  by the police to ask potential witnesses to report information. Detectives were also looking for potential footage from security cameras. So far the police said that the truck that hit Ramirez was green with white with yellow lettering. It was most probably a private garbage truck. Private dump trucks are among the most dangerous vehicles for pedestrians and bicyclists. They have the highest NYC pedestrian-kill rate per mile driven. One may hope that the police may finally launch a safety initiative directed at private garbage trucks but that is not what happening. The police were seen on Sunday afternoon ticketing bicyclists on Franklin Ave.

Read more in Streetblog

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construction site where the elevator accident occurredA construction worker was found dead in an elevator on a New York construction site on Sunday morning.  The man was identified as 53-year-old Stephen Simpson, a native of Jamaica who previously served in the army and was currently working for Patriot Electric. The last time Simpson was seen alive was last Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm. Simpson had just finished his shift at a construction site at 555 Ten, a 56-story Manhattan luxury condominium building located at West 41st Street and 10th Avenue. As he was about to leave the site with his co-workers he told them that he forgot some personal effects and had to go back inside to retrieve them.  That’s the last time he was seen alive.

A security guard found his body at 7:00 am on Sunday. His head was trapped between the elevator floor and the elevator door frame of the 5th floor.  Investigators believe that Simpson used the elevator and that while he was riding it, the building power was shut off by the crew leaving the site. Simpson got stuck inside the elevator. It is unclear why Simpson didn’t use his cell phone to call for help. Instead, he forced the elevator doors open. However as he was climbing out of the elevator, the cabin moved upward and crushed him against the door frame. Investigators don’t know yet if he died immediately as his body was only found the following morning.  His body is now at the City medical examiner’s office where they will determine the time and cause of the death.

Stephen Simpson was married to Crystal Simpson and they were supposed to celebrate their son’s birthday. He was supposed to take his son and his wife  to the store to buy a bicycle for his son. Stephen and Crystal were married for 10 years. His wife told the News “He loved our son to death and he’d get him anything, he’d do anything for him”.

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skateboardA skateboarder died after being struck by a bus in New York City last Friday around 6:30 pm. 25-year-old Kevin Zeng was on the sidewalk of the Union Turnpike near Grand Central Parkway in Forrest Hills, Queens, when his skate board rolled into traffic. The young man ran after it. The skate board rolled into the path of a oncoming MTA bus and Kevin ran behind it. According to the NY Daily News, the bus driver saw him and tried to swerve to avoid him but it was too late.  Kevin was struck by the passenger side of the bus. The victim was rush to the hospital where he later died from his injuries, The bus driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t expected to be charged.

Another skateboarder died this week-end in New York. 18-year-old Alejandro Tello died yesterday at the hospital after he was hit by a hit and run driver. The accident occurred at the intersection of Avenue T and West 10th Street in Gravesend, Brooklyn. The driver was making a right turn when he hit the skateboarder. He drove over his body and didn’t stop. He just sped away leaving behind the teen dying on the street. Witnesses to the accident ran to Alejandro to try to help him. Another car pulled into the middle of the road to protect him from being hit by traffic. He was rushed to the hospital with severe head trauma. He didn’t survive his injuries. The police found the white BMW SUV two miles away from the scene of the accident but so far no suspect was arrested. Alejandro Tello lived in the neighborhood. Residents interviewed by CBS couldn’t believe that the driver never stopped to try help the skateboarder after he hit him. Others said that they previously saw the white BMW driving around the neighborhood during the day.

Picture: Courtesy of Pixabay

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A construction worker suffered critical personal injury while working on the top of an office building in Manhattan last Tuesday afternoon around 1:30 pm. For  some reason that is still being investigated the construction worker was zapped by high voltage electricity. The man was working on the rooftop of a 29th floor landmarked office building located on Park Avenue near East 32nd Street when the accident occurred.  He was transported to the hospital in critical condition. ( Read more in the NY Daily News)

Last week another construction worker was seriously injured at the Brooklyn Navy Yard according to DNA. The accident occurred at a dry dock located at 63 Flushing Ave around 10:30 am last Thursday. The hard hat was transported to the hospital. He is now in stable condition.

The construction boom in New York City has led to a dramatic increase in construction accident injuries and deaths over the last few years, the majority of them occurring at construction sites hiring non union workers. Mayor Bill de Blasio is working on a proposal to increase training for all construction workers in an effort to decrease accidents on construction sites (see previous blog)

 

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Two people were critically injured in a car crash in New York early Wednesday morning. A reckless driver who was speeding north on Third Avenue blew a red light and crashed into a tractor trailer truck belonging to the New York City Department of Transportation. The impact was so strong that a taxi parked nearby was also hit and damaged. The taxi driver suffered serious injury and was taken to the hospital.  The driver and the passenger of the speeding car suffered critical injury. Their car was completely mangled and the FDNY had to cut the top of the car off to extricate them. They were rushed to the hospital. The driver is now in stable condition but the passenger is still clinging to his life. The truck driver wasn’t injured according to the police. Read more in the NY Daily News

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AirbagTakata just recalled an additional 2.7 million vehicles that may have a defective airbag. The recalls affect Ford Mazda and Nissan models from 2005 to 2012 that have a PSDI-5 PSAN airbag inflator. These types of airbags are only installed on the driver side. The PSDI-5 PSAN airbag inflators are a different type of airbag than the type of airbags recalled in the past by Takata.

The PSDI-5 PSAN airbag inflator is a desiccated inflator. Desiccated inflators contain calcium sulfate the purpose of which is to prevent the ammonium nitrate inside the airbag to deteriorate in case of humidity or high temperature. The ammonium nitrate is the most important component of the airbag. It inflates the airbag in case of  an accident. If the ammonium nitrate deteriorates, the airbag may not inflate proprely and may explode causing potential injury or death to the car driver and the passengers.

In its report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Takata indicates that the PSDI-5 PSAN airbag inflator posed a potential risk to the car occupants. When testing the inflator, Takata found that the amonium nitrate used to inflate the airbag was showing signs of deterioration and could lead to a breakage over time. However Takata  also indicates that so far in all the testing conducted none of the inflators tested broke off.

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The police are still looking for a hit and run driver who almost killed a pedestrian in New York. The 36-year-old man was crossing Riverside Drive at the intersection of West 155th Street when a speeding car hit him and sped away in the night. The pedestrian suffered a fractured skull , a broken arm and a deep laceration of his head. He was in critical condition when he arrived at the hospital but he is now stable. After the accident the police said that they were chasing the driver who hit the pedestrian. They had tried to pull the driver over for a traffic violation ten blocks away.

Police chases are triggering too many crashes and often end in killing or badly injuring innocent people like this unfortunate pedestrian.  They should very limited in New York City depending upon the reason for the pursuit.

Read more on CBS New York website

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pregnancyEvery year 700 to 900 mothers are dying from health complications during their pregnancy, during the child-birth or post partum.  According to a recent article written by Nina Martin and Alessandra Freitas for Pro Publica little is known about the circumstances of these deaths except that 60% of them could have been prevented. Often hospitals concentrate on the baby but forget about the mother’s health.  Mothers too can suffer and die from birth injuries.

When such a tragedy hits a family, the grief and sometimes the guilt is so intense that members of the family are reluctant to share their story. The death circumstances are often kept private and not mentioned in the obituary. Medical institutions  have never been a trusted source of information when it comes to deaths related to health complications of their own patients especially if medical malpractice is suspected. Additionally, official statistics on maternal fatalities are so poorly reported by states that the United States hasn’t reported an official maternal mortality rate since 2007 according to a recent study published in The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

In an effort to try to put a face and a name on these 700 to 900 mothers who died in 2016, Nina Martin and Alessandra Freitas decided to launch a major investigation. They hoped that they would gather enough information about the circumstances of these mothers’ death to be able to get picture of  who these women were and why they died. They spent months searching social media and various other sources to identify these mothers. So far they have found 120 of them.