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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Only one Manhattan acute care hospital obtained a Top A grade in the Spring 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades: the NYC Health Hospitals –  Metropolitan in East Harlem.

Most of the others, NYU Langone Medical Center, NYC Health + Hospitals / Bellevue, Mount Sinai West, New York-Presbyterian , Northwell Health System – Lenox Hill Hospital, The Mount Sinai Hospital, NYC Health + Hospitals – Harlem and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s all obtained a C. Mount Sinai Beth Israel had the worst Manhattan score with a D on a scale of A for the best to F for the worst.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades is a nationwide bi-annual rating that focuses on acute care hospital errors, accidents, injuries and infections that collectively are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Based on the data provided by the report here is what we found for Manhattan hospitals.

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location of the fatal pedestrian accident BK NYCOn March 5th, Ruthie Ann Blumenstein was crossing the road with Abigail, her 5 year old daughter when a reckless driver struck them (see our previous blog). Abigail died at the scene of the accident and her mother suffered serious injury. At the time of the accident she was 39 weeks pregnant with Sophia Rosemary Wong Blumenstein. On Wednesday our managing partner, Ben Rubinowitz who represents Mrs Blumenstein announced that sadly her unborn child had died from the injuries suffered during the crash. “The pain suffered by Ruthie and Jonathan is nearly impossible to fathom,” Mr. Rubinowitz said. “As you might imagine, they are overwhelmed by the sadness of the deaths of their children.”

Ruthie Ann Blumenstein is a Tony-Waward winning actress. The actress and her daughter Abigail were among a group of pedestrians who were crossing the intersection of Fifth Ave and 9th street in Park Slope, Brooklyn, when Dorothy Burns ran a red light and erratically plowed into them.  Abigail and 20 month old Joshua Lew died at the scene of the accident. Several pedestrians were injured including the pregnant Ruthie Ann Blumenstein.

Dorthy Burns was recently indicted by a Grand Jury and was charged with manslaughter, assault and criminally negligent homicide (see previous blog).  Burns suffers from multiple sclerosis. Prior to the fatal accident she received 12 driving violations for speeding in school zones and running red lights. Her license is now suspended. It is outrageous that she was still allowed to drive at the time of the accident.

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New York Personal Injury Attorney Christopher DonadioOur NY personal injury attorney Christopher J. Donadio has been invited to lecture at a joint American Board of Trial Advocates and Defense Association of New York continuing legal education event titled “Frye Hearings and the Effective Use of Biomechanical Experts” which will be held on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 5:30pm at Battery Gardens at 1 Battery Park, New York, New York. Mr. Donadio has been asked to provide a plaintiff’s attorneys perspective to the current trends in Frye hearings involving biomechanical experts.

A Frye hearing involves a hearing in front of a judge, where the judge is asked to determine whether an expert witness is permitted to testimony. The “Frye hearing” was established by the Federal District of Columbia Circuit court in Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923). “[T]he Frye test asks ‘whether the accepted techniques, when properly performed, generate results accepted as reliable within the scientific community generally.” Parker v. Mobil Oil Corp., 7 N.Y.3d 434, 446, 857 N.E.2d 1114 (2006), citing People v. Wesley, 83 N.Y.2d 417, 422, 633 N.E.2d 451 (1994).

Biomechanical experts are experts that are typically hired by defendants in motor vehicle collision cases who claim that an injured party could not have been injured by the collision due to the physics involved in the crash. Although biomechanical science has been generally recognized by the courts of New York as a science that generates results that are accepted as reliable within the scientific community, it does not mean that each and every biomechanical expert is offering testimony that is based on methods that truly are accepted.

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Location of the garbage truck accident in BrooklynA private garbage truck struck and seriously injured a 78 year old woman who was crossing the street yesterday in New York City . The hauling truck that belongs to MIST Entreprise was making a left turn from East Fourth Street onto 18th Ave in Kensington, Brooklyn, when it hit the pedestrian. The accident occurred around 11:00 am. Witnesses saw the victim being pinned under the wheel of the truck. She was screaming and her leg was completely mangled.  The 78 year old woman was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries.  The driver of the truck stayed at the scene of the accident and so far hasn’t been charged.

KILLING MACHINES

The truck that crashed into the pedestrian has a history of reckless driving. According to city records, over the last two years, the truck was cited 5 times for running red lights.  Privater garbage truck haulers have a very bad reputation in New York City. Drivers are forced to drive long hours and cover large routes, making them prone to reckless driving.  Between 2010 and 2017, 43 New Yorkers died after being struck by private carting companies’garbage trucks. Organized labor believes that the Business Integrity Commission that regulates them is not doing enough to prevent this carnage. Not even a month ago another elderly resident from the Bronx was fatally struck by a private garbage truck. Police investigated the accident and discovered that the driver had previously fatally ran over a colleague with his truck 6 months before. He lied to the police about it and was still allowed to drive without being charged. (see previous blog).

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NYC personal injury lawyer Ben RubinowitzJeff KorekNew York Personal Injury Attorneys Ben Rubinowitz (our managing partner),  and Jeff Korek from Gersowitz, Libo and Korek will be co chairing the 2018 edition of the “25 Trial Issues That Keep You Up In The Middle Of The Night” Seminar. Organized by the New York State Trial Lawyers Institute for the third consecutive year, this program  is an informal panel discussion encouraging audience participation for attorneys trying cases faced with  the many challenges capable of keeping them up through the night.

Over two evenings, June 5 and June 12 2018 from 6:00 PM  to 9:00 PM, the Honorable George Silver and an elite panel of trial attorneys including Elizabeth Cornacchio, David Dean, Judith Livingston, Richard Maltz, Daniel O’Tool, Deborah Scalise and Evan Torgan will discuss an array of perplexing issues that attorneys face during trial that require fast, strategic thinking.

Some of the subjects discussed will include

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location of the accident between taxi and Uber car NYC6 people were injured including 5 pedestrians in a NYC car accident between a livery car and a taxi. The accident occurred last Thursday night a little bit after 7:00 pm. The street was busy with pedestrians when a yellow cab violently T-boned  a livery car at the intersection of West 21st Street and Eighth Ave in Chelsea. The impact was so strong that the livery car jumped the curb and careened into a corner deli completely destroying the storefront and sending the freezers and the ATM machine flying and injuring nearby pedestrians. The police are still investigating the accident. So far none of the drivers has been charged but one of them may have burned a red light.

Mayhem scene

As the livery car jumped the curb and careened into the Deli, pedestrians on the sidewalk tried to dive for cover but the out of control car was going so fast that some of them didn’t have the time to move out of the way. Witnesses estimate that the car hit the deli at a speed of 20 to 30 mph. A 56 year old mother landed unconscious on the top of a car, another man was removed from the debris by the emergency crew and put on a stretcher. A young man who was at the deli counter also suffered injury and told journalists that everything went so fast that he had no time to dodge the car.  A total of 6 people were injured including the Uber driver. The five others were pedestrians. Among them were a 56-year-old mother and her 13 year-old-son, a 62-year-old man and a 41-year-old-man. The two drivers remained at the scene of the accident.

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keyless carMultiple owners of key-less cars have been dying of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning after mistakenly thinking that their car had stopped running. In most scenarios the car owner parks the vehicle in the house garage and takes the wireless key fob thinking that the car has shut down while it hasn’t. Overnight the garage and the house fills with odorless carbon monoxide gas, leaving the owner and other potential house residents dead or severely injured.

There are no exact records of how many people have died or how many people were left with serious injuries such as brain damage after inadvertently leaving their car running but 24 deaths nationwide were reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since 2006 when the first known case occurred. 70 year old Jeanette Colter, a Florida resident who  left her Toyota Avalon running in the garage ended up collapsing and dying between her kitchen and her living room. Her 89 year old husband died in the bedroom.

In 2009 after several other similar accidents were reported, the Society of Automotive Engineers formed a panel to develop recommended practices to address key-less ignition hazards. In 2011, the group recommended an externally audible or visual alert or automatic shut off of the engine if all doors are closed and the key fob is not present. That same year the NHTSA proposed a new rule with similar recommendations.

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location of the bicycle accident Bay RidgeA NYC cyclist who was struck by a SUV is likely to die according to a recent article in Street Blog.  The man who’s name wasn’t released is a 29 year old black male. He was riding his bike northbound on Ridge Boulevard when he was hit by a SUV driving westbound on 73rd Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. According to the police the driver of the SUV, a 63 year old woman, had the green light when she hit the cyclist. She wasn’t charged and the police said “No criminality was suspected”.

It is not the first time that a collision occured at this intersection. According to the Vision Zero Map One person was injured in an accident at the same intersection in 2011, another one in 2012, two in 2013, one in 2014 and one in 2016 previous to this accident.

A Bay Ridge resident told StreetBlog that the intersection was dangerous. “I’ve had a few close calls crossing here, too,” he said. “There’s a lot of racing to beat the light and a lot of failure to yield to people in the crosswalk.”

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Berylium62,000 workers including 11,500 construction and shipyard workers are exposed to beryllium in their workplace according to OSHA estimates. Beryllium is a metal used in many applications and industry including medical specialties, aerospace, defense, telecommunications and automotive electronics. Workers who are exposed to dust or fumes of beryllium and beryllium compounds without adequate protection can develop an immune response known as Beryllium Sensitization and progressively develop chronic beryllium disease (CBD) and/or lung cancer. Workers with CBD suffer from lung lesions and lung fibrosis that can prevent the lung to expand fully and oxygenate the blood. While CBD symptoms can be treated, there is no cure for the disease itself.

To protect workers from CBD and lung cancer, OSHA  started Yesterday the enforcement of some of the requirements of its New Rule on Beryllium. The new standards were issued last January by OSHA  and were initially scheduled to be enforced 60 days ago.

The requirements that will be enforced starting Yesterday  are

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Construction_workers_not_wearing_fall_protection_equipmentContractors who failed to protect construction workers from fall accidents and contractors who didn’t follow excavation and trenching safety rules were the ones hit with the biggest OSHA violations. Before Trump was elected, OSHA used to publish a high volume of press releases “shaming contractors” for violating safety rules. The number of press releases decreased but the penalties are among some of the highest OSHA has ever proposed. However many of them are negotiated down. Here are the top 10 recent largest fines:

  1. $1,523,710 for Great White Construction in Jacksonville, Florida related to fall protection and eye hazard violations. This commercial and residential roofer was cited 22 times for the same violations before being fined.  OSHA also listed the contractor in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
  2. $1,475,813 for Atlantic Drain Service Co. in Boston, Massachusetts.  This fine is related to an accident during which two construction workers died after a trench collapsed on them. Atlantic was cited for 18 safety violations and a new regulation was created that requires contractors to disclose their safety history when applying for a building permit in Boston. The owner of Atlantic was charged with manslaughter.