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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More people than ever were injured in auto accidents in New York City and the number of cyclists deaths was back at its highest during the second trimester of 2019.  Despite a significant decline in the total number of accidents recorded by the NYPD during the period of April, May and June, more motorists, passengers and cyclists were injured in accidents during the second trimester of 2019 than during the same period of 2018. Pedestrians were the only NYC road users that recorded a decline in injuries compared to the same period of 2018.

auto accident nyc second trimester 2019
16,084 people were injured in NYC traffic accidents during the second trimester of 2019 compared to respectively 15,624, 15,315, 15,604, 13,461, 13,703 and 14,443 during the second trimester of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. This is the first time that the number of accident injuries in New York goes over 16,0000 during the second trimester. Motorists are the ones who are the most frequently injured in car accidents. They account for almost half of the cases. Passengers injuries account for almost a third of the injuries.

Car Accident Injuries New York Second trimester 2019
After a steady decline from 2015 to 2018, auto accident fatalities increased again during the second trimester of 2019.  24 pedestrians, 17 motorists, 7 cyclists and 6 passengers died in traffic accidents in New York City last April, May and June.

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helpA total 427 NY sexual abuse lawsuits were filed in courts last Wednesday, on the first day of the one year window during which victims of childhood sexual abuse in New York State have the possibility to sue their abuser independently of  when the abuse occurred. 169 cases were filed in New York City and another 258 cases outside of the city. 45 judges including 12 in New York City have been specifically designated to deal with this increase in cases.

Many of these lawsuits were directed against the Catholic Church including 35 of them against the catholic diocese of Rochester in Monroe County.   A first suit was filed against the ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick who was a prominent figure in the church, was  defrocked by the pope in February 2019 after an internal investigation revealed that he had sexually abused minors and adult seminarians.

Several suits were directed against the Boy Scouts of America. Claims were also filed against Rockefeller University Hospital where Dr. Reginal Archibald is accused of abusing hundreds of boys who were sent by their parents to his clinic because they were having medical issues related to growth.

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E-Cigarette-1E-Cigarettes are dangerous products that can lead to serious personal injury.  The New York Health Department is investigating 11 cases of teens and young adults who suffered severe lung illnesses after vaping. Their cases are among the 94 cases reported nationally to the Center for Disease Control. The CDC announced a few days ago that investigation in these cases were ongoing.

In New York, parents and kids will be protesting teen vaping Today in front of the JUUL offices in Manhattan.  Among the cases reported to the CDC, an 18 year old teenager said that he checked in at the emergency room after he had been using JUUL e-cigarette for a year and half. He felt like he was having a heart attack. Doctors found his lungs had collapsed and he had to go for immediate surgery. The doctors said that the inflammation in his lungs could have come from something he inhaled.

Vaping is extremely popular among young adults especially with high school and middle school students

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location-of-the-deadly-pick-up-truck-accidentA 67 year old pedestrian died from injuries sustained in a pick-up truck accident in New York.  On Saturday August 10th around 9.00 pm, Melissa McClure was in the crosswalk next to her sister at the corner of 15th Street and 6th Ave in Manhattan when a Chevrolet Silverado making a left turn slammed into them. Both women were transported to the hospital. The sister, 59 year old Dorry Chitwood who was visiting from Georgia, suffered a cut in the back of the head. She was treated at the hospital and released shortly after. Melissa sustained major head trauma during the accident.  After she arrived at the hospital, she was put on life support. She never woke up and died from her injuries almost a week later. Melissa who’s nickname was Missy, lived in Chelsea with her two cats. Her sister was visiting from Georgia. After her return flight was cancelled she decided to stay with her sister for an extra night. Both women were on their way for a dinner in Chinatown when the accident occured. The driver of the pick up truck stayed at the scene of the accident.

Dangerous Avenue

Busy 6th Avenue is dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists alike. In June Robyn Hightman was riding her bike when she was fatally stuck by a truck near the intersection of 6th Ave and 23rd Street.  Then at the beginning of August another Chelsea resident, Michael Collopy, died after he was hit by a bicycle. Since January 2016, 18 pedestrians and 15 drivers were injured at this specific intersection.

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a woman was killed in this location after her husband pinned her between the car and the guard railA woman was killed after her husband mowed her down at a NYC car wash. 50 year old Marco Salas and his wife, 51 year old Isabel Cohetero were washing their car at a BP service station on Eliot Ave in Queens when the accident occurred. The couple had finished rinsed off their jeep when it started to slowly roll backward. The husband realized it was in reverse and jumped in the car to stop it. In the rush he hit the gas instead of the breaks and pinned her between the car and the guardrail. The husband realizing what he did, frantically ran to the station to ask for help. Isabel was rushed to the hospital but she didn’t survive.

The couple has been living for the last 24 year at the same address in Ridgewood. They have two sons and a daughter. According the the NY Daily News, the husband was struggling to keep it together after the terrible accident.

Bringing a claim against a family member is always difficult

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Howard Hershenhorn was named NYC Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year 2020Congratulation to our partner New York Personal Injury Lawyer Howard Hershenhorn for being named 2020 NYC Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers® . Best Lawyers® rankings are entirely based on peer reviews. Howard obtained this unique award because he received the highest overall peer-feedback for personal injury litigation in New York City. Howard was also named “Best Lawyer” in New York City for Medical Malpractice Litigation – Plaintiff.

This nomination comes in the step of  the recent announcement by Top Verdict that Howard and Diana Carnemolla had obtained the #1 jury verdict in New York State for a pedestrian who suffered horrific injuries after he was struck by a double-decker bus in Manhattan.

7 other of our attorneys were also named 2020 NYC Best Lawyers for various practices. These are:

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craneAfter two successive crane accidents in New York including one fatal, the company United Crane and Rigging was temporary barred from continuing work at 22 construction sites in the city. The NYC DOB will allow the company to restart work only after it replaces some of the employees involved in the recent accidents that occurred on July 30 in the East Village and in April in Soho. On July 30, the company had a crane working at a site located at 749 FDR Drive. The operator of the crane was lifting steel beans when the boom of the crane bent and partially collapsed. The operator then lost control of the load which struck the building before falling on the ground. Thankfully nobody was injured but investigators found that the load lifted by the crane weighted 4,400 pounds while the maximum lifting capacity was 3,700 pounds. Back in April,  34 year old Gregory Echevarria, a war hero who served several deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan died and two other construction workers were injured after a counterweight fell and crushed him during a crane installation by the same operator (see previous blog).

To be able to restart work on its 22 construction sites, United Crane and Rigging has to provide proof to the NYC Department of Buildings that the engineer of record, master rigger, lift director, assembly and disassembly and hoisting machine operators have all been replaced with new staff. Additionally the company also has to hire an independent monitor who will report to the DOB on United Crane and Rigging’s safety compliance.The negligent crane company was also hit with 5 DOB violations for:

  1. inadequate safety measures on site
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Jose-Alzorriz was riding his bike when he was fatally hit by a car in NYC52 year old Jose Alzorritz died in a horrific bicycle accident in New York City on Sunday afternoon. Alzorritz was on his bike at the intersection of Coney Island Avenue and Avenue L when a reckless driver speeding down Coney Island Ave blew the red light and collided with a minivan that was crossing the intersection from Avenue L. The impact was so intense that the minivan slid through the intersection and violently struck the cyclist. When the EMS arrived to the scene of the accident, they found Alzorritz unconscious on the ground with major head trauma. He was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved. A pedestrian suffered a leg injury and the driver of the van multiple body trauma. They were both hospitalized but their lives are not in danger.  The police didn’t reveal the identity of the reckless driver who caused the accident. They only revealed that he was 18 year old. He was taken into custody and charges are pending. A dashboard video of the accident clearly shows that the driver was reckless and sped through the red light (see below).

Dangerous Avenue

Coney Island Avenue is a dangerous avenue. Last month a pedestrian was killed at the intersection of Church Avenue. Maria Del Carmen Porras-Hernandez was in the crosswalk when she was fatally hit by a car. 19 cyclists, 43 pedestrians and 114 motorists were injured in traffic accidents between July 2018 and July 2019 on Coney Island Avenue. Speeding is frequent and so is double parking. Transportation Alternative published a statement in which the traffic safety advocate is asking Coney Island City Council to unite behind Speaker Corey Johnson’s Streets Master Plan bill, which would accelerate the schedule of redesigning deadly corridors like Coney Island Avenue.

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One-and-Only-campaignSince 2001 more than 150,000 patients in the US have been notified by their healthcare providers that they might have been potentially exposed to bloodborne pathogens  such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after a health provider committed medical malpractice by failing to observe standard injection safety protocols.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is worried that too many healthcare providers are failing to observe what is considered basic infection control when injecting patients. A recent “One and Only” campaign seeks to raise awareness among healthcare providers and patients about safe injection practices.

These practices might seem obvious but incidents happen quite commonly and the consequences can be deadly.

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ProfessorDanielPollackA few years ago, 18 year old Conrad Roy killed himself after his 17 year old girlfriend Michelle Carter encouraged him to commit suicide over text messages. Michelle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and is now serving a 15-month jail sentence. Her conviction was appealed by her lawyer to the US Supreme Court but despite the numerous First Amendment issues related to the handling of the case, Michelle was ordered to serve her sentence.   In a recent article, Daniel Pollack, a professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work in New York City, takes a look at some of these issues and suggests  what can public human services agency or child protective services (CPS) do to discourage this macabre text taunting to suicide activity.

The article can be downloaded here