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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Personal Injury Attorney Ben RubinowitzOur managing partner, New York Personal Injury Lawyer Ben Rubinowitz, is co-chairing with NYSTLA Past President Jeff Korek the 2019 NYSTLA Seminar “25 Trial Issues That Keep You Up In The Middle Of The Night”.

Held over two evenings (Monday June 17 and Monday June 24 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm) this seminar consists of an informal panel discussion with Top Trial Attorneys, Judges and Ethicists during which audience participation is highly encouraged.

The program is modeled after the 1962 Herman Glaser seminar in which Glaser gathered the “greats” of his era to impart their collective wisdom to aspiring trial lawyers.  Thirty years later, Harvey Weitz assembled a round table panel at NYSTLI that included the Hon. Ira Gammerman, Hon. Gabriel Krausman, Hon. Eve Preminger and attorneys Ivan Schneider, Richard Shandell and others . The panel borrowed from Moe Levine , Al Julien and James Dempsey while setting out to demonstrate how best to deal with difficult trial issues. Harvey’s NYSTLI seminars formed the basis of his book the “Compendium of the Art of Summation” which with Harvey’s permission has served as the inspiration for Ben and Jeff to put together this seminar.

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When a nursing home is understaffed, patients have a higher risk of getting neglected. Studies show that patients in understaffed nursing homes have a higher risk of  weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration, pneumonia, infections and bedsores. When there is not enough staff, nursing home patients do not get proper attention and as a result neglect and medical errors can occur. Additionally working conditions in understaffed nursing homes are difficult. Nursing homes who are trying to minimize their costs are not hiring as many registered nurses and certified nurse assistants as they should and stretch the existing staff as much as they can. Stressed and overworked workers get frustrated and that’s when nursing home patient abuse has the highest risk to occur.

It is estimated that approximately 90% of nursing homes are understaffed in the US. Many nursing homes do not have any registered nurse available for days. In an effort to crack down on this problem, Medicare recently revised its five stars ranking system and automatically downgraded to one star the staffing ranking section of all nursing homes that do not have a registered nurse on site for four or more days instead of 7 or more days in the previous ranking. As a result 1638 nursing homes in the US now have a one star rating for their staffing.

The change in the staffing comes in the aftermath of a decision by the government last year to require nursing homes to submit payroll records to verify staff level. While analyzing the records, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services became alarmed by the frequency of under staffing of registered nurses. Registered nurses are the most qualified nurses. When staffing level increases so does the quality of care.

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New York Construction workersConstruction workers fatalities and injuries are on the rise in New York City. The boom in construction has lead to a shortage in experienced construction workers and as a result many contractors have been hiring workers with less or little experience without providing them proper safety training.  To reduce the number of injuries and deaths on NYC construction sites and make sure every construction worker is proprely trained about safety, the New York City Council introduced  new legislation “NYC Local Law 196”  that increases the minimum number of training hours for a construction worker to 59 hours.

What does NYC Local Law 196 mean for construction workers and contractors?

NYC Local Law 196 is being implemented in 3 phases

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Location of the fatal pedestrian accident Little Italy New YorkA pedestrian was fatally struck by a taxi in New York on Saturday afternoon. The accident occurred on a busy and sunny Saturday afternoon in Little Italy, Downtown Manhattan. Around 4:00 pm a woman in her 80ies whose identity wasn’t revealed was crossing Broom Street in the crosswalk when a taxi making a left turn from Center onto Broom Street struck her. She was rushed to the hospital with severe personal injury. She was pronounced dead when she arrived there.

The cab driver, 44 Bouchouata Miloudi, stayed at the scene  of the accident. He was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to use due care.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Oz_3NPX_DI

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Prospect park bike lanes5 bicyclists, 15 pedestrians and 201 motor vehicle occupants were injured and 1 pedestrian died  in traffic accidents on Flatbush Ave between Grand Army Plaza and Ocean Avenue from 2013 to 2017. This section of Flatbush Avenue was identified by Vision Zero as a priority corridor and the DOT proposal to install a protected bike lane was recently unanimously supported by the members of the Community Board 6. Work is scheduled to start this summer.  This segment of Flatbush Avenue connecting to Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park, The Brooklyn Public Library,  Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Brooklyn Zoo is being used by an average of 500 bicyclists a day during the week-end and 350 during the week. It is also one of the busiest bus routes and more than 1100 vehicles per hour cross it at peak hours.

The DOT proposal should not only lead to a decrease in bicycle accidents but also improve bike  access to Prospect Park and on-street bike network

According to the DOT, the Prospect Park edge condition is ideal for two-way protected bike lanes that would provide 2-way routes around the park compared to one now and also provide alternative routes at night time when the park is closed.  Another protected bike lane project is in development for the segment of Ocean Ave that is at the edge of Prospect Park and the DOT is studying options to install bike lanes on Parkside Avenue and Prospect Park SW (see illustration).

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A man in a warehouse was fatally pinned against a wall by a tractor-trailer backing up. On Friday morning around 6:00, a 2012 Freightliner tractor trailer backed up into the loading dock inside Sun King Produce Corp located on Morgan Street near Jackson Street in East Williamsburg.  63 year old Son Ngoc Nguyen who was standing near the back wall was crushed against the wall by the truck. He was transported to the hospital in critical condition and died from his injuries a day later. The truck driver wasn’t charged. Read more in the NY Daily News 

Dock workers at high risk of accidents

The loading dock is one of the most dangerous area in a warehouse. OSHA has specific regulations about loading dock safety that can be found in 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.176 material handling. While forklift accidents such as forklift overturning,  are the most common in warehouses, it is also quite frequent for warehouse workers to be crushed by trucks and sadly most of these accidents are deadly . Here are some of the most recent cases reported by OSHA:

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A school bus driver who fatally hit a pedestrian back in February appeared in Bronx Criminal Court yesterday. On February 14th, 68 year old Agnes Egan was crossing the street at the intersection of Havemeyer Street and Story Avenue when she was struck by 66 year old Anton Goodhall who was driving a mini school bus south on Havemeyer. Video footage of the accident shows the minibus rolling over the pedestrian, stopping after the impact and then leaving the scene of the accident. Agnes Egan was critically injured and died 40 minutes later.

In Court the bus driver claimed he never saw the pedestrian. He said he stopped after the accident because he dropped a bottle of water. He also said that his visibility was reduced because two other cars were in  the intersection. He also mentioned a big pile of trash on a corner.

He is due to appear in Court again on July 11.

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location of the bicycle accidentA 22 year cyclist who was hit by a car in Brooklyn, NYC during the week-end died on Tuesday according to the NY Daily News. Kenichi Nakgawa was riding his bike South on Brooklyn Ave on Saturday around 5:25 pm when the 66-year old driver of a Toyota Sienna struck him. The young cyclist was rushed to the hospital with severe head trauma. He couldn’t survive his injuries and died 3 days after the accident. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged.

One day after Kenichi Nakgawa died, a 16 year old Brooklyn cyclist also lost his life after being run over by a van.  Yisroel Schwartz was riding North on 17th Avenue near 53rd Street in Borough Park when he was forced to swerve into the traffic to avoid a passenger who was opening the door of a parked car on the side of the road.  He lost control of the bike and fell on the ground. He was then run over by a  a white 2013 Econoline E350 van driving in the same direction. Yisroel was rushed to the hospital where he died from his injuries. Both drivers stayed at the scene of the accident. They weren’t charged.  Read more in Street Blog NYC

Yisroel Schwartz and Kenichi Nakgawa are the 9th and 10th cyclists killed this year in NYC traffic.

 

 

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location of the dangerous siteA hard hat suffered life-threatening personal injury after falling in a shaft at a NYC construction site. The worker whose identity wasn’t released was working at a site located at 19 Richardson Street in Brooklyn. He fell head first into a concrete wall and as a result suffered major head trauma.

The worker was installing masonry around the shaft of an unfinished stairwell. He was trying to pry loose a wood plank with a crowbar when the accident occurred.He fell nine feet in the shaft of the yet-to-be-installed stairway and landed on his head in the basement. He was rushed to the hospital where he is listed in critical condition. The worker wasn’t wearing any fall protection equipment and no guardrails were installed around the shaft way.

The NYC Department of Buildings issued a Stop Worker Order and the contractor, AVO Construction LLC was slapped with several violations. The construction site has a history of violations and had a stop order issued last October as well.

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According to statistics from the NYC Department of Buildings there were no fatalities at New York City construction sites during the first trimester of 2019 compared to 2 during the last trimester of 2018 and 4 during the same period a year ago. A total of 137 construction workers were injured in NYC during the first 3 months of the year compared to 158 during the previous trimester and 174 during the same period a year ago.  From April 1st 2018 to March 31st 2019, 8 construction workers died on the job, compared to 16 for the same period a year earlier. (click on graphs for full size)

Fatalities in the New York City Construction Industry
Among the 137 workers who were injured, 90 of them were working at Manhattan construction sites, 10 at Bronx sites, 23 at Brooklyn sites, 13 at Queens sites and 1 at  a Staten Island construction site.

Construction Accident Injuries NYC by boroughs
Most construction accident fatalities and deaths in New York City occur in Manhattan. Both fatalities and injuries are on a rising trend in Manhattan. However, on a positive note, it is the first time since 2015 that no hard hat death was recorded in Manhattan over a 5 month-period. 25 workers were injured at Manhattan construction sites in both January and March with a spike at 40 in February.