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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location of the reckless driving fatal accidentReckless driving killed another NYC pedestrian: a one year old girl who was in a stroller pushed by her mother on a Bronx sidewalk. The fatal accident occurred on Tuesday afternoon. The mother of 1 year old Djeneba Magassa was pushing her daughter in her stroller on the sidewalk of  East 215th Street near Mama G African Kitchen when a reckless 22 year old driver identified as Kier Boneparte lost control of his white BMW SUV, jumped the curb and pinned the stroller against the wall. A man sitting in front of a grocery store a few steps away heard a loud noise and a woman screaming for help. He ran to the corner and with another man they pushed the car to free the baby. The mother and the daughter were rushed to the hospital. When they arrived, one year old Djeneba was pronounced dead.

The driver of the BMW stayed at the scene of the accident. When the police arrived they tested him to check if he was intoxicated but he wasn’t. However the police found out that he didn’t have a driving license.

Last week 4 pedestrians including a 10 year old boy waiting at a bus stop, were killed by reckless drivers in New York City and none of them were charged (see previous blog).  In this case, the was charged with reckless driving, driving without a license or insurance and failing to yield to a pedestrian.  (Read more in the New York Times )

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An off duty high-ranking NYPD cop died in the Bronx after a garbage truck making a left turn hit his motorcycle. Around 8:15 am on Monday morning, 56 year old Michael McGrath, was riding his bike south on East Tremont Ave when a dump truck making a left turn onto Waterbury Avenue hit him. He was rushed to the hospital where he later died from his injuries. The driver of the truck stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t immediately charged. Inspector McGrath was the commanding officer of the NYPD’s Strategic Services Division. He was in charge of the department’s cadet program providing internships and police training for college students interested in a law enforcement career.

The accident occurred less than 10 days after a 62 year old e-biker suffered critical head injury after colliding with a garbage truck in Gowanus, Brooklyn. The accident was pretty similar to the one that killed Inspector Mc Grath. The dump truck struck the e-biker while making a left turn from third Ave onto 12th Street. The driver was a 52 year old off-duty firefighter working an authorized second job.

Hell on Wheels

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Personal Injury Attorney Ben RubinowitzThis Friday, September 20,  Ben Rubinowitz will be lecturing for the New York State Trial Lawyers annual Decisions Program. Ben will be lecturing on trial practice and will be giving specific examples  from recent cases dealing with thorny evidentiary issues and up-to-date Case law. His lecture will discuss recent issues and holdings by trial and appellate courts. Ben’s lecture is one that has been viewed in the past as essential for any trial lawyer working on medical malpractice, products liability or general negligence cases.

The program will take place at the Hotel Pennsylvania located at 401 7th Avenue In Manhattan. For more information or to register click here

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Police are looking for a reckless driver who fatally struck a pedestrian in Brooklyn, NYC. The accident occurred on Albany Avenue near Park Place in Crown Heights on Sunday morning around 5:30 am. 30 year old Kaseem Mathhew, a father of two  was hit by a speeding car whose driver left him dying in the street. He was found dead in the street by a neighbor who called the police.

3 other pedestrians lost their life in NYC last week after being hit by a car. Last Thursday night 72 year old Juan Mendez, a Queen’s resident was working as a security guard in a booth located in front of a building located on Paidge Ave near Newton Creek in Greenpoint. He was in the booth when a 62 year old driver lost control of his SUV and crashed into the booth. Mendez was rushed to the hospital with severe injuries to his leg where he later died from his injuries. The SUV driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t immediately charged.

Earlier during the week, on Tuesday afternoon around 2:45 pm, 10 year old Enzo Farachio was standing at a bus stop located at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Avenue L in Midwood, Brooklyn. He was fatally struck by a driver who lost control of his vehicle and jumped the curb. The 59 year old driver then crashed into a nearby building with a scaffolding causing the scaffolding to crash on the car. A 9 year old girl who was a passenger in the car suffred pelvic and arm injuries and was transported to the hospital. Again the driver wasn’t charged and the police told the media that “he possibly suffered a medical episode”.  However, reporters ran his license plates through “howsmydriving” and found he previously had 4 school zone speed camera violations.

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E-Cigarette-16 people have now died in the US and 450 others, including 64 of them in New York, have suffered lung injuries connected to vaping. In order to prevent more deaths and injuries related to vaping in New York State, Governor Cuomo just announced that he is planning to issue an emergency regulation to ban all vape flavors beside tobacco and menthol.  By banning fruity and sweet flavors such as bubble gum,  cotton candy or captain crunch that are usually appealing to teenage customers, the governor hopes that he can fight addiction to nicotine at an early age.  Tobacco and menthol flavors will be allowed as some studies have indicated that vaping might help smokers to quit cigarettes. The American Lung Association released a statement criticizing Cuomo’s decision to keep tobacco and menthol flavors saying that it will just make more people addicted to menthol flavor.  The governor said a ban of menthol might be considered in the future.

Investigation by the NY Department of Health

In addition to the ban, the NY Department of health will also investigate the 64 cases of lung injuries that occurred in New York State.  So far it has been difficult to identify exactly what caused some vape users to check in to the emergency room however according to the NY Department of Health many cases were linked to cannabis products which contained a high level of vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E acetate acts as a thickening agent for vaping products. As a result of this preliminary investigation, Cuomo also directed the Department of Health to subpoena companies that are manufacturing and selling what is called “thickening agents” which are often added to black market products.

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51 pedestrians, 13 cyclists 11 passengers and 28 motorists died in auto accidents in New York City during the first semester of 2019. After two consecutive years of decline, traffic fatalities in the city went back above 100 at 101 during the first six months of the year compared to respectively 84, 96, 107, 107, 97 and 121 in the same period of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Fatalities increased for all categories of road users except for motorist deaths which stayed stable at 26 during the first semester of this year and the previous one. Auto-accident-fatalities-NYC-first-semester-2019

NYC Traffic injuries reached a record high at 29,081 during the first semester of the year compared to respectively 28,544, 27,923, 27,540, 23,530, 24,508 and 26,119 during the first semester of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. All category of road users except pedestrians suffered more injuries during this semester than during the previous one.

Car Accident Injuries New York first semester 2019
While the total number of bicycle accidents reported to the NYPD during the first semester of 2019 was slightly lower than the number of accidents reported during the same period of 2018, cyclist fatalities more than doubled during the first six months of the year compared to the first semester of 2018 to reach a record high of 13.  Bicycle accident injuries jumped to 1,907, a record high as well. These numbers came as a bad surprise as 6 months earlier, the de Blasio administration which had been promoting using bicycles to commute around the city was proudly announcing that the number of cyclists killed in the city reached a record low of 9 for the entire year of 2018 and that Vision Zero Initiatives were working. A similar pattern occurring in 2015 and 2016 is an indication that despite all Vision Zero improvements, the city remains a dangerous and deadly place to ride a bicycle.

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Riding-mower-WikipediaAn alarming number of very young children have been seriously injured and some of them even died after someone, often a parent or a family member backed over them while riding a mower.  Most common injuries reported are amputations of hands, fingers, legs feet toes and limbs as well as mangled and ripped internal organs. In a recent article, Fair Warning, found 133 cases in court records since 2004 until now. Among them 8 of the victims died from their injuries. Another study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that there was an average of 65 children injured every year in the US by riding mowers back-overs.

In the 1980ies after an epidemic of injuries related to walk-behind power mowers, The Consumer Product Safety Commission implemented mandatory safety standards for mowers but riding mowers were excluded from them. Some manufacturers propose riding mowers that can mow in reverse. These type of mowers are the most dangerous to young children. In 2003 after a rise of accidents a voluntary standard was adopted by lawn mower manufacturers. The standard requires that the blade immediately stops to spin when the mower riders back up. However the standard also allowed manufacturers to install a button that allows the driver to override the feature. Manufacturers are claiming that they installed the button at the request of their consumers who want more flexibility but safety advocates reply that the button is a good excuse for manufacturers to protect themselves from lawsuits.  However this excuse didn’t always work for the manufacturer Deere & Co. In a recent lawsuit involving a 2 year old girl whose leg was amputated after her dad backed over her while riding a Deere mower, the jury found that the mower was defective and awarded the victim $12.25 million. The jury found that Deere was responsible for 78% of the damages and put the rest of the blame on the father.

Read more in Fair Warning

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https://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorneysblog.com/files/2019/09/New_York._Central_Park._Carriage.jpgLast week a cyclist died after he collided with a pedestrian in Central Park. The fatal accident occurred at a dangerous crossing intersection at about 74th Street on East Drive. 43 year old Charles Cheeseboro was riding a e-bike when he struck a 77 year old pedestrian, lost control of his bike and fell on the ground striking his head. He was transported to the hospital where he died from his injuries two days later.

Chaotic Situation

Adrian Benepe who was a Parks Commissioner under Mayor Blooomberg told Streetblog in a interview that Central Park had become so chaotic that he gave up cycling there. He described the actual situation in Central Park as the Wild, Wild West. The Daily News mentioned that when the police was investigating the accident they also had to respond to 3 other accidents that occurred less than 100 feet away. Among them, two cyclists crashed into each other and one of them was transported to the hospital. In another one, a cyclist fell off his bike after being allegedly on his phone while riding.

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A man intentionally struck a cyclist and killed him in Brooklyn. The accident occurred Sunday morning around 6:00 am on Broadway near Ellery St. in Bushwick. The driver of the SUV whose car had been broken in earlier saw the cyclists fiddling with cars and got out of his Jeep Grand Cherokee to question him. The conversation got heated and the cyclist took off on his bike. The driver got back into his SUV and chased him. He sped after him in the oncoming lane of traffic and slammed into him, crushing him against the parked cars. The impact was so violent that the SUV flipped onto its side. The entire accident was caught by a surveillance video.

The 47 year old cyclist died at the scene of the accident and the 41 year old driver was taken into custody. Charges are pending. Two parked cars and a semi-truck were also damaged in the collision. The police found two car stereos, a screwdriver, a set of Allen wrenches, and a fake pistol laying amidst the wreckage.

Using a car as a weapon for a vigilante act is completely unacceptable

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Speed Camera flyer nycTo prevent young pedestrians from being injured in car accidents, the NYPD announced that as kids go back to school today, they will be cracking down on drivers speeding or driving recklessly in school zones.

Not only the NYPD will be reinforcing its presence in school zones but more than hundreds of new speed cameras installed all over the city during the summer will provide extra protection for children as they are going back to school.

A total of 750 speed cameras are being installed in New York City school zones