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.

Articles Posted in Negligence

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Reports of  medical staff suffering personal injury after being attacked by patients or patient’s visitors are on the rise.  Recent cases of extreme violence such as one involving a 68 year old patient attacking nurses with a metallic bar that he pulled from a bed (see video) or the death of a prominent cardiologist at a Boston Hospital who was shot by a gunman last month have led hospitals to revisit their security policy.

Shootings in hospitals are not that common but violence against hospital staff is happening daily. Workers are being kicked, scratched, punched beaten and even sexually assaulted by patients. Emergency room and psychiatric nurses and other workers dealing with elderly patients are the most at risk of being assaulted and injured by a patient. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics hospital workers are five time more likely to be assaulted on their jobs than workers in other industries.  Last year a study entitled “Incidence and Cost of Nurse Workplace Violence Perpetrated by Hospital Patients or Patient Visitors” and published by  the Journal of Emergency Nursing indicates that in the last year 76% of nurses experienced violence  (verbal abuse by patients, 54.2%; physical abuse by patients, 29.9%; verbal abuse by visitors, 32.9%; and physical abuse by visitors, 3.5%). Perpetrators were primarily white male patients, aged 26 to 35 years, who were confused or influenced by alcohol or drugs.

Hospitals have started to initiate various programs to train their staff on how to recognize and deescalate potentially violent situations but too little is being done to stop the assaults. According to a recent article, Epidemic of Violence against Health Care Workers Plagues Hospitals  published in Scientific American,  hospital administrators and the judicial system do little to prevent assaults by patients. The cost of violence prevention is small, however, when compared to the amount that hospitals lose in worker-compensation claims every year and in time off due to injury—roughly a third of which is patient-inflicted, according to OSHA statistics.

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Co-Op%20City.jpgAfter 12 cases of Legionnaires’s disease were diagnosed in the Bronx, the NYC Department of Health started an investigation to find the source of the disease.

Preliminary tests found Legionella Bacteria in Co-Op City Cooling Towers. The Health Department has instructed River Bay Corporation, the manager of the cooling towers, to decontaminate the towers to mitigate the risk of further contamination.

The health department also stated that only the water used to cool the heating and electrical system is contaminated. This water is self self-contained and is separate from the water used by Co-Op City residents for drinking, cooking and bathing. The water at Co-Op City is safe to drink, bathe and cook with.

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When child protective services investigators are facing an obvious case of child abuse or child neglect and the child is facing immediate danger, they will immediately take the child into protective supervision. However in many cases evidence is not always obvious but the investigator believes that for the child security it would be prudent to have him temporarily removed or for certain changes in the household to take place. Toward that end, the investigator may try to influence, encourage, or persuade the caregiver to take certain actions for the child’s betterment. If that influence, encouragement, and persuasion crosses the line into coercion has the investigator behaved unethically or illegally?

In a recent article, Daniel Pollack, a professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work in New York City looks at specific cases for which cohersion by child services inspectors may be acceptable and sometimes necessary to protect a child from neglect and abuse.

Download complete article

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Daniel%2BPollack-1.jpgThere are no uniform data at the national level that provide us with a global picture of the prevalence and incidence of abuse and maltreatment of people who are severely disabled. We know these numbers are high. We also know that perpetrators are often the people closest to the disabled person such as guardians, caregivers, neighbors or acquaintances, family members, healthcare providers or other residents.
In a recent article, Daniel Pollack, MSSA (MSW), JD and professor at the School of Social Work of Yeshiva University, examines the reasons why it is so difficult to quantify these abuses at a national level and what can be done to better protect people with profound disability.
Download a PDF of the complete article

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sleep%20depravation.jpgSleep deprivation is not only responsible for many traffic accidents daily but experts now believe that it also played a role in previous catastrophic accidents such as the Exxon Valdez Oil spill, the Staten Island Ferry crash and the Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown. In “Sleepless in America” a two hours documentary that started Sunday, The National Geographic Channel in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and The Public Good Projects indicate that 40% of people in America do not get enough sleep. Not only can this condition lead to irreparable health damage but it can also have dramatic consequences especially for people who are operating heavy machinery or for people who are on the road.

Read more in the Washington Post and see trailer below

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A woman who was crossing a Brooklyn street suffered serious personal injury after she was hit by a driver who fled the accident scene.

Two witnesses said the car ran a red light on Fourth Avenue, then struck the woman and sped away from the scene. They said “She landed on its windshield, flew up in the air and landed on the ground. The car just left,” .

The woman was in serious condition with an open skull fracture and was hospitalized.

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Freedoom%20Tower.JPG34 serious personal injuries suffered by workers during construction accidents at the New York Fredoom Tower have not been reported to OSHA according to a NY Daily News investigation that came out Yesterday. Some of the non reported accidents left workers with spinal fractuers, broken limbs and fractured hips.

The study also mentions that for 3 years in a row the injury rates at the WTC were higher than the New York State and the National average rates.

Among the non reported accidents at the New York construction site, the study mentions a worker struck in the head by a 60 pound bundle of rebar, a worker who fell 20 feet after the collapse of a scaffold and another worker struck by a large steel plate.

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Brooksdale%20Hospital.jpgIn 2012 there were more than 100 open lawsuits against the hospital including a dozen alleging patients died due to medical malpractice or negligence. The hospital has financial problems and struggles to stay open. The latest report from the federal Labor Department indicates that some employees have been the victims of extremely violent attacks by patients. A 70 year old nurse required brain surgery after a patient repeatedly stomped on her head while beating her and a staffer was punched in the back by a patient. OSHA fined the hospital $78K and recommended the installation of panick buttons and alarm systems at workstations as well as video systems.
Read the complete OSHA News Relase
Read the article in the NY Daily News

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General%20Motor.jpgThe potentially defective cars are recalled mostly because they may have ignition defects that lead to inadvertent key rotation. The models recalled are models of the Cadillac CTS and SRX, and the Chevrolet Malibu, Monte Carlo and Impala, as well as the Oldsmobile Intrigue and Alero, and Pontiac Grand Am and Grand Prix. The model years range from 1997 to 2014. The trading of GM shares was temporarily suspended during the announcement.

Read more in the New York Times

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Following the New York Metro North Train accident that killed four and injured more than 70 people, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Richard Blumenthal announced yesterday that the recently filed Appropriation bill includes $ 185 million for the Federal Railroad Administration to hire additional inspectors, inspect far more track, and begin sending safety “strike teams” to railroads around the nation in order to conduct additional safety audits.

The agency is underfunded and unable to fully evaluate existing and future rail-safety programs across the nation’s freight and passenger railroads.

Read the press release