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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Our partner New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer  Jeffrey Bloom was recently invited to appear on Today’s Verdict show hosted by David Lesch to discuss legal malpractice and medical malpractice (see the video of the show below)

Our firm receives many phone calls from people who are upset with their lawyer or unhappy with the result of their lawsuit. Attorneys do make mistakes however not every mistake is grounds for a lawsuit. It is not just because you are upset with your lawyer that you can sue him. Someone has a legal malpractice case if it can be proven that not only the lawyer was negligent not but also that the client would have won the underlying case. This is also the reason why our firm  only handles legal malpractice cases related to personal injury including Medical Malpractice. Often cases we handle are related to issues involving missed statute of limitations and court deadlines.

In the video below Jeff  discusses a legal malpractice case in which the underlying case is a medical malpractice case that he is working on now. The case involves a patient who died in the emergency room of an Upstate New York hospital. The patient showed up at the emergency room complaining about chest pain. The nurse saw him and noted that the patient needed a cardiac consult. The patient  then waited for 4 to 5 hours to be seen. While waiting he died from cardiac arrest at the hospital.  The family of the victim retained a lawyer to sue the hospital. The lawyer who handled the case didn’t file the lawsuit and missed the statute of limitations date which is 2 years for wrongful death and 2 and a half years for medical malpractice. The lawyer then tried to forge documents to make his clients believe that the case was re-opened.

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Three construction workers were injured, two critically and one seriously after 1200 pounds of laminated beams fell on them at a construction site in Queens. The accident occurred wednesday afternoon at a site located on 28th Road near 31st Street in Astoria where workers were converting  a 2 story building into a 3 story one. As they were working inside, the roof collapsed  after a heavy load of  construction material had been previously placed on it. Beams and bags of cement fell from the top floor to the basement. 3 workers were pinned under the debris. One of the workers, a 37 year old man was seriously injured but he was able to free himself before the firefighters arrived. Another 40 year old worker was rescued from the debris in critical condition. The third worker, a 28 year old man, was trapped under thousands pounds of construction material. Firefighters were able to administer medication through an IV to keep the young man stable while they were frenetically digging through the debris to try to free him. Firefighters had to use a hydraulic jack to be able to rescue him. After an hour of intense work, they  finally were able to save him and to hoist him into the ambulance in critical condition. (see here a detailed description of the amazing job the FDNY did to save the workers)

Neighbors said the heavy construction material was previoulsy delivered  onto the roof by a crane. The New York City Department of Buildings is now investigating the accident.

On New York construction sites, heavy equipment is supposed to be delivered at ground level. For any heavy equipment delivery at higher levels, contractors are supposed to obtain proper permission. It was not clear yesterday if a proper authorization was obtain for the Astoria construction site previous to the crane delivery.

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A man was injured in a scary bus accident in Brooklyn, NYC yesterday around 12:30 am.   The accident occurred on Palmetto Street in Bushwick.

For some unknown reason, the bus driver, Shatimma Simmons, decided to exit the bus. It was Shatimma’s third day on the job and she mistakenly left the bus in neutral instead of park. After she stepped out of the vehicle, the bus started to roll backward down Palmetto street. According to witnesses, the driver started to run after the bus while screaming “Help! Help! Please stop the bus!”. The vehicle rolled backwards down 3 blocks  at full speed and without a driver  while witnesses watched in horror.

The bus slammed into several vehicles before crashing into the wall of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on Knickerbocker Ave. The bus first drove through the church fence and then hit one of the brick columns. Nicholas Rivera was in the process of changing headlights on his BMW when the bus slammed into it. The man was sent flying into the street. Witnesses saw blood pouring out of his face while he was lying on his back.  He was transported to the hospital to be treated. Fortunately he only suffered minor injuries and was released the same day. The 30 year old bus driver was also taken to the hospital to be observed. She wasn’t physicality injured but she was definitely under intense stress. She was mumbling and seemed extremely upset.  Her error caused thousands of dollars of damages on at least 10 cars and the church property.

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New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer Jeff Bloom with client Lissy McMahonCancer patients who have been misdiagnosed by New York doctors or hospitals will now have a fairer chance to be compensated. Yesterday, the New York Senate finally passed the Lavern’s Law which is moving the starting date of the statute of limitations to the date of the discovery of the medical error instead of the date when the medical error was committed for cancer patients. The Assembly has also passed the law by a vote of 105-23. It will now be sent to The Governor to sign.

The original version of Lavern’s Law proposed to start the statute of limitations from the date of the discovery for all  medical malpractice cases  but a compromise had to be found with the Senate GOP.  Despite being a restricted version, the passage of this law is excellent news for many  cancer patients who were misdiagnosed but weren’t able to get compensation because the misdiagnosis was discovered too late.

Our partner, New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Jeffrey Bloom has been relentlessly pushing for Lavern’s Law to pass.  Jeff represented Lissy McMahon, a single mother who discovered that doctors misdiagnosed her cancer after the statute of limitations had passed.  Jeff and Lissy fought together to help pass Lavern’s Law. Jeff traveled to Albany to support the passage of the Law. Unfortunately, Lissy passed away before the law was passed leaving behind her 4 year old son Jack.

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Colgate Total potentially dangerousTriclosan and triclocarban are two potentially dangerous antimicrobial ingredients that can be found in many consumer products. These two ingredients as well as 17 other antimicrobial ingredients were banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last September in “antiseptic wash products that are intended for use with water and are rinsed off after use, including hand washes and body washes”. However the scope of  the FDA final rule was too narrow and many consumer products such as Colgate’s Total toothpaste still contain these dangerous ingredients.

According to “The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban”, a recent scientific statement published by the journal “Environmental Health Perspectives”, the usage of these two chemicals  is still widespread. Because they are mostly used in wash products, they end up in the sink with the water and have negative repercussions on the environment.  They have been detected in aquatic plants and animals as well as in human blood and breast milk. It is present in the urine of most humans. Previous studies have  linked Triclosan and Triclocvarban to developmental problems in animals. They may potentially affect pregnant womenand harm human fetuses and newborns.

In the “The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban” the scientific community, health professionals from all around the world and various US  universities and medical institutions are urging manufacturers around the world to limit or to stop using these ingredients in their products. They also ask that regulatory authorities such as the FDA re-evaluate the safety of these chemicals and to make sure that products that still contain them are banned or at least clearly labelled.

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An 88-year-old woman died and her husband were critically injured in a fire that erupted in their apartment in Harlem.  Firefighters rushed to a fire alert at their apartment located at 70 LaSalle Street near Amsterdam Avenue in Morningside Heights, NYC. They found the couple inside and rushed them to the hospital. Unfortunately the wife didn’t survive. The husband is still in critical condition. The couple’s apartment was located at the 15th floor of the building. The cause of the fire is still being investigated. Read more in the NY Daily News

In New York City, seniors have a higher risk of dying in home fires than the rest of the population. According to statistics from the New York City Fire Department , smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in the homes of adults who are 65-years-old and older. Heating equipment is the second cause of  fatal fires at seniors apartments followed by cooking equipment and electrical.

Leading Causes of fire Death for elderly in NYC
Elderly people who are smoking have a much higher risk to be the victim of a residential fire than those who are not smoking. The FDNY recommends elderly people who are smoking:

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A construction worker died in a scaffolding accident in New York City last Sunday. The 58-year-old hard hat was working on a construction site located at 1382 Nostrand Avenue in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, NYC. The man was found on the ground by a paramedic team. He was transported to the hospital in critical condition. He didn’t survive his injuries and was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at the hospital. A preliminary investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that a part of the scaffolding went vertical causing the worker to fall.

The site was immediately issued a stop work order by the NYC Department of Buildings. The building and the ex building owner have a long history of violations, neglect and non compliance. This building as well as another one next door located at 241 Linden Blvd were sold to an LLC associated with investor Steven Vegh for $3.7 million in December 2016. They previously belonged to Lewis Alleyne and other associates. Lewis Alleyne is a Brooklyn slumlord who miraculously escaped jail in 2011 after failing to fix more than 500 building violations and ignoring fines. Together this building and the other building located at 241 Linden Blvd have lost all but 3 of their rent stabilized apartments between 2007 and 2014.

The building where the construction worker fell has several open violations some of them immediately hazardous such as defective stairs and windows and exposed lead paint. Also it wasn’t exactly clear what type of work the man was doing on Sunday. Despite all the violations the owners were able to get a permit for a sidewalk shed.

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A pedestrian was fatally struck by a tractor-trailer truck early this morning in New York City. The pedestrian who is believed to be in his twenties was crossing Flatlands Avenue near East 79th Street around 4:00 am this morning when he was hit by a car carrier trailer. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident. The pedestrian who suffered multiple body trauma was transported to the hospital where he was declared dead (Read more in the NY Daily News). 

During the week-end in Queens, two young men were killed in a car accident related to speeding. 22 year old Blake Garry had just received a car from his dad a few months ago and was driving with two of his friends in a residential block in Hollis Queens.  He was speeding and lost control of his vehicle. He hit a tree and a fire hydrant so violently that the front of the car flew 50 feet away and landed on the lawn of a house across the street. The driver was ejected from the car. He died at the scene of the accident. The back seat passenger, 21 year old James Montague was rushed to the hospital where he died shortly after his arrival. The front seat passenger, Christian Baptiste, miraculously, only suffered a few scratches to his face and refused medical attention. (Read more in the NY Daily News)

Also in Queens, at the beginning of Friday evening, a collision between two cars sent seven people including 4 children to the hospital.  The accident occurred around 5pm in Flushing, Queens. A BMW heading South on 162nd Street collided with a Nissan that was crossing on 32nd Ave. According to the NY Daily News, the BMW may have run the stop sign. As a result a 2 month old boy was transported to the hospital in critical condition. 2 other children were seriously injured and 3 adults suffered minor injuries.

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Mamoukakis was a bicyclist fatally struck by a bus in NYC A few days after Citi Bike rider Dan Hanegby was fatally struck by a bus, another cyclist died after being hit by a charter bus just a few blocks away. 80 year old Michael Mamoukakis was riding his bicycle on 7th Ave near 29th Street when he was hit by a charter bus who was making a right turn on 29th Street. The accident occurred Saturday around 1:30 pm.  The bus driver stayed at the scene of the accident. The bus driver told the Post that she didn’t see the bicyclist. She heard a a dull heavy sound and immediately after people in the street started to scream to stop the bus, which she did. The bus is registered to Buckeye Limousine and Charters Corporation of Ohio. Witnesses said they saw the bus driving over the man. He screamed and then became unconscious. He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. New York City Council Member Corey Johnson expressed his anger in a statement and asked for an emergency meeting of the NYC DOT, the NYPD, Members of the government, the Community Board 4 and representatives of the charter buses operating in Chelsea.

Read more in the New York Times,
Picture: Facebook

 

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medical malpracticeIn 2003 Florida lawmakers decided to limit non economic damages for negligence of practitioners to $500,000 or $1 million “if the negligence resulted in a permanent vegetative state or death”.  At the time lawmakers said the cap would stop the medical malpractice insurance crisis and prevent doctors from leaving Florida. However there is no evidence of crisis Today and the Supreme Court of Florida recently ruled that this cap was unconstitutional.

The ruling arose from the case of  a victim of medical malpractice who saw the initial amount awarded by a jury substantially reduced by a judge based on this cap. Susan Kalitan had her esophagus perforated during an outpatient surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. She spent 3 months in the intensive care unit including six weeks in a medically induced coma. She sued the North Broward Hospital District  and other people involved in her care at the public district. She was initially awarded $4.7 million  by the jury for pain and suffering. This amount was reduced to $1 million by Broward Circuit Judge Jack Tuter based on the cap described above.  After the cap was found unconstitutional by the Fourth District Court of Appeals, the hospital appealed the decision. In a 30-page opinion the Supreme Court confirmed that the cap was unconstitutional.

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