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 pedestrians and more passengers died in auto accidents in 2022 than in 2021 while cyclists and motor vehicle operators fatalities declined. Bus accidents increased while truck accidents remained stable. Motorcycle accidents remain at record levels.

After reaching a record high in 2021, NYC traffic deaths reached their second highest number since Vision Zero started in 2014

According to traffic collision data provided by the NYPD, 251 people died in crashes in the city in 2022 compared to respectively 254, 239, 214, 199, 209, 223, 235, 250 and 286 in 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. As a reminder, NYPD traffic collision data might differ slightly from the real data, especially for fatalities as sometimes people died from their injuries several days or weeks after the accident occurred.

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FDNY rescuing children in fire caused by Ion lithium battery18 children were injured after a fire erupted in an unlicensed daycare located in Queens. The fire was caused by a defective lithium-ion battery that exploded in the basement.

Firefighters were called yesterday afternoon around 2pm for a fire in a basement located at 147-07 72 Drive in Queens, NYC. When they arrived on location, the basement was filled with heavy fire and smoke. They removed 18 children from the building, most of them on the first floor and one of them in the basement. They found out that an illegal daycare was operating on the first floor.  Most children suffered minor injuries and did not require to be hospitalized. One of them was critically injured and still remains in the hospital. Two adults also suffered injury in the fire.

A neighbor took care of the children as parents were alerted and asked to come pick up their young kids. The fire was controlled in 45 minutes.

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traffic fatalities map NYC16 children were killed in crashes in New York City last year according to a report recently published by Transportation Alternatives.  This is the highest number of child road fatalities in the city since Vison Zero started in 2014. 

Globally a total of 255 people were killed in traffic accidents in the city in 2022 compared to 275 in 2021. After last year this is the second highest number of road deaths in the city since Vision Zero started.

While Vision Zero studies clearly identified areas were safety improvements were needed, the city has left many of them unaddressed and as a result people continue to die. The numbers speak for themselves with 33% of all fatalities and 44% of pedestrian fatalities occurring in what Vision Zero calls “priority corridors”. These dangerous areas which have now been a priority for the last 10 years represent only 7% of all city streets. Fixing them proprely could lead to a significant reduction of traffic fatalities in the city.

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Evelyn_Yang was sexually abused by HaddenA NYC  gynecologist has been sexually abusing patients for over two decades including Evelyn Yang, the wife of New York politician Andrew Yang, was convicted of sex trafficking yesterday.

64 year old Robert Hadden, a former Columbia University gynecologist was convicted of federal sex crimes yesterday after a two-week trial. The gynecologist who sexually abused patients while working at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital sexually abused patients from 1993 to 2012. He was previously convicted of sexual abuse after being accused by 19 patients but had been able to avoid jail time by signing a state-court plea agreement. The plea agreement infuriated hundreds of women who had been abused by the doctor.

Yesterday  Robert Hadden was charged with sex trafficking after four patients complained the doctor induced them to cross State lines for what they thought were medical examinations during which the doctor assaulted them. The doctor enticed his patients to travel to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Nevada to engage in illegal sexual activity.  Robert Hadden’s sentencing is scheduled for April 25th. Despite some victims asking for the abuser to remain in jail, Judge Berman allowed Hadden to remain free for now.  He said Hadden was not a flight risk and was the caretaker for his son who suffers from cerebral palsy and autism as well as his wife who has diabetes and neuropathy.

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The New York City hospital where the deadly medical error occurredA mother about to give birth died from medical malpractice in a New York City Hospital.  On July 2020, Sha Asia Temple, a 26 year old pregnant woman was at Woodhull Medical Center about to give birth to her daughter. Dr Dmitry Shelchkov, the anesthesiologist who was in charge of giving her the epidural inserted the catheter to deliver the anesthesia 13 inches deep in her back instead of the recommended 4 inches and administered a full dose of anesthesia neglecting to first administer a test dose and check on the patient before administering the full dose. As a result the anesthesia liquid was injected into the cerebrospinal fluid. The patient complained that she could not breath anymore and died shortly after. According to the federal hospital inspection report, a doctor who rushed to the rescue screamed at Dr. Schelchkov “I can’t believe this is happening again!”. Sha Asia Temple died but her baby, Khloe, survived.

The causes of the death of Ms. Temple were only recently made public and the investigation report indicates that over the two years preceding the death of Ms. Temple, 6 patients in  labor at Woodhull Medical Center “suffered adverse outcomes related to the administration of anesthesia” and Dr Shlchkov was involved in most of them. The same errors of pushing the epidural  needle too deep and mixing the anesthesia with cerebrospinal fluid as well as not proceeding to a test before administrating the full dose were reported. Despite the obvious pattern, the hospital did not take any measures to monitor the doctor who was finally stripped of his medical license in 2021.

Epidural complications are rare and while epidural complications started to occur regularly at Woodhull Medical Hospital, the system was so dysfunctional that cases went unreported. It took the death of a mother for the administrators of the hospital to notice the pattern.

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nine street where the fatal bike accident occurred37 year old Sarah Schick, a mother of two children, was riding an electric Citi Bike when she was fatally struck by a truck on Ninth Street near Second Avenue in Gowanus, Brooklyn, NYC. Multiple cyclists and pedestrians were previously killed or injured on this notoriously dangerous street. Among them was one of our clients, actress Ruthie Ann Miles whose daughter died after being struck by a reckless driver as she was crossing the road with her mom. The actress herself was seriously injured in the crash and additionally, later on, lost her unborn child as a result of the accident.

On Friday, at a vigil for Sarah, around 100 cyclists and bike activists as well a group of politicians including Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez gathered at the corner of Second Ave and Ninth Street. According to Hell Gate, Ydanis was touring the area with other members of the DOT to figure out exactly what type of safety improvements were needed to make Ninth Street safer. He faced a crowd of angry activists and reminded them that he also was an activist back in the day and that he had only been in office for 4 months. He told them that the DOT was on the job to redesign the street and make it safer.

Previous safety improvements were not enough

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children car accident prevention programCar accidents are the number one cause of death for young children in New York and in the US. According to a recent study, the likelihood of children getting injured or killed by cars in New York City is much higher in school areas than in other areas of the city. Statistics show that there are 57% more auto accidents and 25% more injuries per mile in streets near schools than in other streets in the city.

Not only to reduce these types of accidents but also to provide children with safe outdoor spaces for activities, less polluted air and a safer area for arrival and dismissal, schools can apply with the DOT to get a street adjacent to the school closed to traffic during school days. However, so far the program has not been really popular with schools. Streets safety advocate say that the difficult application process is the main cause of this low popularity.

Free webinar to launch the new School Street Toolkit

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The intersection where Fruchter was struck by the car

Norman Fruchter died from his injuries after being struck by a car near his home earlier this month. Street safety activists as well as grieving family members and friends gathered yesterday night in Bay Ridge’s Owls Head Park to honor the life of  the legendary education reformer and civil right activist. The vigil was also attended by Senator Andrew Gounardes, Comptroller Brad Lander and Council Member Justin Brannan.

The driver who killed Fruchter was backing up the wrong way

Norman Fruchter died on January 4th after two weeks of pain and suffering. The accident occurred on December 22nd. Fruchter was crossing 68th Street from Owls Head Park to get to Bliss Terrace where he lives, when he was struck by a careless driver who was speeding in reverse the wrong way on 68th street. The driver backed up over him and then allowed the car to roll forward, striking the pedestrian again.

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SST new cardNew York City construction workers and their supervisors who are working on large or complex construction sites will be legally required to have a Site Safety Training Card issued by the NYC DOB Training Connect Platform.

These cards are equipped with a chip and can be scanned to validate their authenticity. This new legal requirement will take effect on February 1st 2023. Workers who have a SST card issued before January 1st 2022 have to contact the facility that provided them with training and ask them to replace their card with a new card that can only be issued through the NYC DOB Training Connect Platform.

Since  2017, after a peak in construction accident fatalities in New York City, a new construction law was adopted in an effort to reduce construction workers injuries and fatalities. The law  requires every hard hat working on a New York City construction site to attend site safety training classes and to carry a card attesting that they did it.  Unfortunately, while every worker is supposed to sit in classrooms for a certain amount of hours and learn about site safety, some unscrupulous contractors didn’t want to allow their workers to spend so much time sitting in classes and just issued fake cards to them. Other workers got fake cards from unscrupulous individuals and unauthorized course providers started to proliferate issuing invalid certificates to workers.