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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11 pedestrians and 1 bicyclist died in auto accidents in New York City last March. In March 2013, before the Zero Vision campaign was launched 11 pedestrians and 1 bicyclist were also killed in traffic accidents in the city.  After a promising start in 2014, the Vision Zero program seems to have lost some of its effectiveness.

After declining to 15,553 last February, the lowest level over 4 years, the number of motor vehicle accidents in New York City jumped back to 19,055 in March 2017.

Traffic accidents are continuing to increase steadily in the city as do the number of injuries related to these accidents. However despite a rising trend, the number of  auto accident injuries in March 2017 was slightly  lower than in March 2016 but higher than in March 2015, 2014 and 2013 (see graph below).

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New York Civil Right Attorney DonadioOur NY civil rights attorney Christopher J. Donadio recently lectured at the American Association for Justice Winter Convention in Austin, Texas. He was asked to speak at the convention to educate plaintiff’s lawyers from around the country on how to litigate cases where police officers have unlawfully used Tasers to injure innocent people.

As of 2016, over 97.5% of police departments in the United States employ officers that carry Tasers, devices that can incapacitate a person with electricity. Although Tasers can be useful in reducing the need for deadly force, unfortunately, many officers have used them inappropriately and severely harmed and/or killed innocent people. As a result, there has been a rise in lawsuits involving the excessive use of Tasers. Despite the seemingly straight forward nature of cases involving excessive force by the use of a Taser, there are complicated legal issues, including the Qualified Immunity Defense, that can prevent those injured from obtaining justice.

Unfortunately many innocent victims have been denied justice because their attorneys did not have the knowledge to negotiate the various complex legal issues. As a result of Mr. Donadio’s success in litigating Taser cases, he was asked to educate lawyers from all over the country as to what must be done to insure that their clients are not denied justice.

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New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer Jeffrey BloomBy: Jeffery B. Bloom; 

Tort reformer Michelle Mello is at it again, this time in the latest New England Journal of Medicine writing about the proposals from Sec. Tom Price and the US House. Instead of caps (about which she states: “caps have not been shown to improve the quality of care, a key goal of the tort system”), Mello is now criticizing the proposals in the US House bills while praising health courts which she calls administrative compensation systems (and others would call a proposal for eliminating the right of trial by jury).

As to safe harbor for doctors who adhere to evidence-based practice guidelines, she concedes that these safe harbors are NOT effective in reducing liability claims or costs.

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Jeffrey-Bloom3On Wednesday, Our partner Jeffrey Bloom lectured and did a demonstration of a deposition of a defendant doctor in a medical malpractice case at Metropolitan Hospital Emergency Department Grand Rounds which was attended by New York Medical College emergency medicine faculty, residents, medical students and other observers and research staff.
Two days before Jeff was also invited by the NY Kings Supreme Court bench & court attorneys to present and discuss issues frequently encountered in the trial of a medical malpractice action in a “lunch and learn” program.

A co-chair of the Medical Malpractice Committee of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and a member of the organization’s board of directors, NYC Medical Malpractice Attorney Jeff Bloom has lectured extensively to law students and fellow lawyers on the preparation and trial of medical malpractice lawsuits. He has also lectured in New York State Bar Association-sponsored programs entitled “Medical and Legal Issues in Breast Cancer and Gynecological Cancers and Surgery” and “Woman’s Health Issues and Malpractice.”

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Fernando Vanegaz died in a NYC construction accident18 year old Fernando Vanegaz died in a construction accident in Brooklyn, NYC, in September 2015. Two of his colleagues were also seriously injured in the accident. The construction workers were hired by  Michael Weiss an unlicensed contractor who was running an illegal construction site. Michael Weiss asked the workers to dig in an area where the NYC DOB had ordered not to excavate. The workers didn’t have much experience in excavating. When they asked for back up, the contractor ignored them. He also refused to provide any underpinning, shoring or bracing  after workers noticed a crack in a wall. Several times the workers expressed their concern about the crack in the wall, fearing for their lives. The contractor continued to ignore them. Then the tragedy happened, the wall collapsed, killing the young Fernando Vanegaz and seriously injuring two other of his co-workers. Both of them had to go through multiple surgeries for injuries to their spine, skull and facial bones.  The reckless contractor is now facing up to 15 year in prison.

Read more in the New York Times

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NYC Construction Accident Attorneys Gair Rubinowitz DonadioOur NY personal injury law firm is proud to announce that our attorneys Ben. B. Rubinowitz, Anthony H. Gair and Christopher J. Donadio obtained a $5.85 million settlement in a construction accident that occurred in Queens.

The case involved a construction worker who was injured while performing asbestos removal work on a building rooftop in Queens, NYC. He fell 15-20 feet into the building when the roof collapsed in the area where he was working.

He was rushed to North Shore University Hospital where he was diagnosed with fractures to his spine. While in the hospital, he underwent a percutaneous fusion from the T10 vertebrae to the L2 vertebrae. He remained in the hospital for three and a half weeks after the accident. Following his discharge, he underwent several months of physical therapy and also received epidural steroid injections in his lower back.

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Inadequate, non existent or defective equipment are putting workers at risk of fall or other dangerous construction accidents. Today as part of the second day of the “Safety Stand Down to prevent fatal falls in the construction industry”, employers are invited to check with their employees if they are using the proper equipment for each job and if this equipment is in good working order.

OSHA requires the 3 following fall protection equipment for all construction sites:

  • Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS) is the most crucial equipment to prevent falls. Anyone working at height including lower height should be using one. The PFAS consists of a fall arrest anchor, a shock absorbing lanyard or retractable lifeline and a full body harness. When used proprely this system can save the life of a worker should he fall. It is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that all employees working at heights of 6 feet or more are provided with this equipment and are using it.
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dangerous-NYC-bike-laneNYC Bicyclist advocates are warning that a fatal bike accident may occur if nothing is done to address safety on the Kent Ave bike lane in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC. The lane is constantly clogged with cars and construction vehicles forcing bicyclists to dangerously veer back and fourth into traffic. A recent video (click on the picture to access video) on Twitter by Transportation Alternative Advocate Maximillian Sholl shows traffic of trucks and cars casually driving on the protected bike lane forcing cyclists to ride on the sidewalk.

Out of the 319 complaints about blocked bike lanes that have been reported to the 311 number since last November when this service was created, 19 were related to clogging on the Kent Ave protected bike lane.

This dangerous situation comes from high traffic activity generated by dozens of waterfront construction sites. According to bicyclists some of the construction sites are very respectful of bicyclist safety while others don’t really care. Fore example the Domino Factory construction site has workers sweeping the bike lane regularly and workers are flagging the traffic to give bicyclists the right of way. Things are different with the 420 Kent Ave construction site. The bike lane in front of the construction site is often obstructed by trucks. Workers who are supposed to flag traffic don’t do it and sometimes curse at bicyclists.

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Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industryThe Fourth National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction kicked off Yesterday and will take place everyday this week in New York and all over the country. Employers in the construction industry are invited by OSHA, NIOSH and NORA to take a break and conduct a discussion or a workshop on fall prevention with their workers.

52 workers fatally fell on the job in New York during the recent construction boom. (see previous blog). Fall are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. They account for 37% of all deaths on construction sites. More than half of these fatal falls occurred in small companies that have 10 employees or less. Construction workers aged 45 to 54 years old are the most at risk of dying in a fall.

Last year in the US, 350 hard hats suffered a fatal fall. 1 out of 3 fefalling from ladders preventionll from 15 feet or less and 1 out of 4 fell from a ladder.  Construction workers may have a false sense of security when using a ladder because it is “not that high” but if they are not using them safely they can get killed. Falls from ladders can be prevented by following safe work practices described below.