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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FChildrenor 100 years, we at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf have had the privilege of representing individuals and families whose lives were torn apart in an instant because of another person’s negligent conduct.

Through our clients’ lives we see the unimaginable: pain on parents’ faces as they struggle to accept that their child is dead; pain on a child’s face when the child realizes that their Mom or Dad will not be coming home; someone trying to learn to walk again after suffering a devastating spinal cord injury; spouses realizing that their partner in life is not the same after suffering a life changing injury.  At our firm we work tirelessly to right these wrongs that result in families being torn apart.  Our work is motivated by the fact that every day we witness firsthand what happens to families when a loved one is injured or lost.  We know our clients would do anything to make their families whole again. We know there is nothing more important to them than their health and the health, safety and well being of their family and friends.

That is why we feel obligated to speak out against the policy recently implemented by the government of separating families who seek shelter and a better life in the United States.  The fact that our government is intentionally separating children from their parents and purposefully causing unbearable suffering goes against everything that we stand for.  The harm that occurs when a family is torn apart, whether through negligent or intentional conduct, is irreparable.  This unconscionable policy must come to an end.

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VA nursing homeFor years, the VA has been hiding statistics on the quality of care at its nursing homes because it didn’t want the public to know how bad it was. Recently, pressed by the Boston Globe and US Today the VA finally made its data public and it is scary.

Among the 133 VA nursing homes located all over the US, 60 (almost half of them) received one star out of  five for their quality of care. Pennsylvania has five of these facilities. Texas and California both have four of them. Only two facilities received five stars: Castle Point, NY and Carrollton, GA.

Families had no access to nursing home ranking and information

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A woman was seriously injured in a building collapse in Poughkeepsie yesterday afternoon around 4:00 pm. It took four hours for the firefighters to be able to secure the building and rescue 43-year old Rotanya Hargorve who was trapped in heavy debris. The woman suffered very bad leg injuries and had to be brought out of the accident scene on a stretcher. She was transported to the hospital to be treated.

At the time of the accident, Rotanya was working in a boutique in the building next to the vacant 7-story building near the corner of Canon Street and Academy Street in Poughkeepsie. When the tall building started to collapse, heavy debris fell onto the adjacent 3-story building and caused the roof to cave in. Debris and brick crashed through the building and fell onto Rotanya who was working in the boutique on the first floor located at 15 Academy.

Authorities believe that the collapse was caused by a heavy storm that had just made its way through the area and produced winds exceeding 60 mph. Located a 19 Academy Street, the vacant building was built in 1911 by Manning Cleveland, a businessman who was planning to bring skyscrapers to Poughkeepsie. It was recently sold to Pok 23 Acad and Pok Acad, limited liability companies with New York city addresses. The limited liabilities companies also own the next 2 vacant adjacent buildings located on Academy 21 and Academy 23.

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Staten Island fire injured 20 firefightersTwo elderly women died in separate fire accidents in Queens on Monday. The first accident occurred early morning Monday around 2:10 am in the Rockaways, Queens. A fire caused by careless smoking quickly spread through the 15th floor of  a high rise apartment located at 7-11 Seagirt Ave. There was no smoke alarm in the house. The 71 year old woman who was living in the apartment died in the fire.

Later on during the day another fire caused by an electrical  extension killed 82 year old Audrey Hebling. The woman was found unconscious in the kitchen of her house located at 252nd Street between 87th Road and 87th Drive in Bellrose Manor. Again there was no smoke alarm in the house.

Last week-end the FDNY also had to battle a massive blaze in Staten Island during which 20 of them got injured, including 4 seriously.  The fire that destroyed several properties on Steinway Ave was sparked by a kid who was playing with a lighter.

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Road work in NYCurrent extreme temperature and humidity are exposing New York construction workers to higher risks of accidents related to heat. Road workers especially those handling asphalt as well as house builders working in attics can get easily dehydrated and suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

It is important during hot days, like those we have this week in New York, that employers remind their workers to drink a lot of water and make sure they are well hydrated while they are working. Employers should also ensure that their supervisors are proprely trained to recognize signs of heat exhaustion. When a supervisor sees that a worker starts to be lightheaded, that his color seems a little off or that he starts to sweat more than usual, he should pull him aside and make sure he takes a break in a shady area.

WATER, REST, SHADE

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Thankfully nobody was injured or killed in another NYC accident involving a garbage truck belonging to a private company. On Saturday morning, 40 year old Anthony Castaldo was drunk behind the wheel of his garbage truck. He was driving on 60th Street between 19th Street and 20th Street in Borough Park, Brooklyn, when he lost control of his vehicle, slammed into 8 cars, then a tree before ending up in the front yard of a private property. He tried to run away on foot but he was quickly caught by the police. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, drunken and reckless driving and resisting arrest. Castaldo was immediately suspended by his employer, Viking Sanitation, a private company with a garage in Bath Beach.

A month ago, a 78 year old woman had her leg crushed by a private garbage truck in Brooklyn (see previous blog). Two month ago a pedestrian was killed by another private garbage truck driver. The driver had killed another person with his truck 6 months before but was still behind the wheel (see previous blog).

Private carting companies are responsible for the deaths of 43 pedestrians between 2010 and 2017.  They have a terrible reputation, forcing drivers to work extended hours and cover large geographical zones. How many innocent people will still suffer terrible injuries or die until the City does something to strengthen the regulations for these reckless companies?

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Staten Island Pedestrian accident locationA pedestrian died in New York City on Sunday morning. He was hit by a drunk driver around 4:40 am. 32 year old David Bloomer, a father of four, was crossing Tompkins Ave at Broad St. in Stapleton, Staten Island, NYC when he was struck by a car. The driver tried to speed off but one of David’s cousins rallied a group of people to run after him. They were able to catch him a block away from the accident. The driver, identified as 25 year old, John Rudder was allegedly drunk.

During the accident, Rudder hit Bloomer so violently that the pedestrian went flying into the air and crashed through the windshield of a jeep that was parked nearby. The firefighters had to remove the roof of the jeep to try to save him. Unfortunately Bloomer died at the scene of the accident.

Bloomer left behind him 2 children, 17 year old Charlie Perez, 8 year old Mikayla Papon and 2 stepdaughters, 14 year old and 6 year old Yolanda and Dakota Makins.  He was a DJ and a beloved member of the Stapleton Community.

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MTA BX21 busA pickup truck crashed into a MTA bus injuring 13 bus passengers in the Bronx, NYC. The crash occurred on  Friday afternoon around 1:20 pm. 25 passengers  were on board of the Bx21 MTA bus. As it was making a stop at E. 180th St and Morris Park Ave, it got rear-ended by a pickup truck. The impact was so intense that 13 bus passengers suffered personal injury.  11 passengers were transported to the hospital to be treated. Among them, 6 were seriously injured. Two other passengers who were also injured refused medical attention. The driver suffered from lower back pain. The police are still investigating the cause of the accident. The pickup driver wasn’t arrested.

Read more in the NY Daily News

Picture: Courtesy of Wikipedia

 

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New York Personal Injury Peter SagirCongratulations to our partner NYC car accident lawyer Peter J. Saghir who obtained a verdict in Queens in a difficult liability case involving a pedestrian who was struck by a car at 42nd Street and 12th Avenue in Manhattan.

The trial was bifurcated and the defendant denied all liability and faulted the plaintiff for the happening of the accident. The driver claimed that the plaintiff was running across the street outside of the crosswalk to catch a bus at the time of the accident while the plaintiff maintained she was walking across 42nd Street in the crosswalk with the light in her favor. Geico, who insured the driver, refused to tender the full policy prior to trial.

After summations and 25 minutes of deliberation, the jury of 3 men and 3 women returned a unanimous verdict finding the driver was 100% negligent and the plaintiff completely free from fault. After the verdict, Geico tendered the full policy and the driver made a substantial personal contribution.

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12 people died and 4,578 were injured in traffic accidents in New York City in April. Among the fatalities were 7 pedestrians, 3 cyclists and 2 motor vehicle passengers. The number of fatalities recorded last April is the lowest number of traffic fatalities ever recorded in April since Vision Zero started. Last year during the same month 20 people died in NYC motor vehicle accidents. In 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013, there were respectively 14, 19, 21 and 15 fatalities.

Traffic fatalities NYC April 2018
Sadly, the number of people injured in accidents in the city was higher in April 2018 than it was in April 2017. It wasn’t as high as in 2016 but it was higher than in 2014 and 2015 and also back at the level where it was before Vision Zero was implemented.  While pedestrians and cyclists account for most deaths, motorists and passengers sustain most of the injuries.Motor vehcile accident injuries New York City April 2018

Motorists injuries continue to be on an ascending trend with a record number of 2,117 motorists injured last April compared to respectively, 1,922, 2,061, 1,363, 1,305 and 1,599 in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Distracted driving might be one of the reasons why this number continues to increase.