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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Last April the explosion at a fertilizer plant in West Texas was of the magnitude of a small earthquake. It killed 15, destroyed houses, businesses and municipal buildings, and left a 93-foot crater. To avoid such a tragedy in the future, President Obama last week signed an executive order directing Federal agencies to work with stakeholders to improve chemical safety and security.

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truck%20inspection.jpgTo prevent truck accidents and protect public safety, truck drivers are required by law to conduct pre and post trip inspections and to file a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) after each inspection whether or not an issue requiring repairs is identified. The US Department of Transportation wants to change this rule and have truck drivers required to file a DVIR only if a defect or issue is found during the inspection.

DVIRs are daily lengthy paperwork for truck drivers and only 5% of them are reporting an issue. The Obama administration believes that a defect-only reporting system may lead to $1.7 billion in savings annually while not adversely impacting safety.

What do you think? Would truck drivers continue to diligently inspect their truck before and after a trip if they wouldn’t have to file a report or would this new proposal open the door to negligent behavior and increase truck accidents?

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A bridal party on a speedboat turned into a horrible tragedy when then intoxicated skipper of a of a 19-foot Stingray bowrider collided with a construction barge on the Hudson River near the Tappan Zee Bridge , north of New York City. The best man and the bride died in the accident leaving behind an injured and unconsolable husband-to-be.

Alcohol use is the number one contributing factor in deaths for recreational boating in the US.

Last year in New York 11 people died in boating accidents where alcohol use was cited as the primary contributing factor. This number is the highest among all states with a total of 140 deaths for the totality of the US territory in 2012.

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Lead poisoning is the primary environmental health threat to young children because they are more likely to put lead contaminated toys in their mouth than older children or adults. Lead poisoning does not cause immediate symptoms but it can permanently damage children’s brains and cause serious developmental problems.

The recent statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on port surveillance show that during the fourth quarter of the 2012 fiscal year, toys containing lead represented 62% of the children products that have been refused at port entries because they were violating US safety rules or were found hazardous. A significant amount of children products with small parts representing a choking hazard and child care articles with excessive phthalate level were also kept away from young american customers. Children’s product represented 87% of all stopped products in the fourth quarter of the 2012 fiscal year.

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An elderly woman with an history of pancreatitis was admitted for an emergency laparotomy after she showed symptoms of acute abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. The diagnosis was small bowel obstruction. Her heart stopped during anesthesia and she had to be resuscitated and sent to the ICU. She died there the day after. The hospital’s case review committee concluded it was a misdiagnosis: the patient suffered acute pancreatitis and not a small bowel obstruction therefore surgery was contraindicated and death could have been prevented. This type of cases raises questions about the decision process in emergency surgery, specifically for elderly people. The complete case as well as a medical commentary, references and World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist can be found at Web M&M.

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Doctors should be vigilant when they decide to send home some pediatric cancer patients who still need to use a central venous catheter for their treatment. Because the central line is a tube that is placed directly into a major blood vessel, it can easily become a gateway for bacteria in the blood stream if it is not handled properly. Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) can lead to serious personal injury such as organ damage and sometimes death.

A recent study from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center published yesterday in the journal Pediatric Blood & Cancer followed 319 children with cancer between 2009 and 2010. Most children were first treated in the hospital and then sent home to continue their treatment. 19 children developed a central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) while hospitalized and 55 while at home.

Hospitals have been fighting for a long time against bloodstream infections and they have made serious progress in reducing them. They have experienced clinicians following precise protocols.Things are different when children are treated at home by family members. More should be done in preventing development of CLABSIs at home.For example teaching family members how to handle and clean central lines should be part of the formal discharge protocol. It is not the case yet.

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Nail%20Gun%20Injury.jpgNail gun injuries send more construction workers to the hospital than any other tool-related injury. Most injuries are punctured hands or fingers but in some cases the injuries are far more serious and can even lead to death.

To prevent these type of injuries OSHA just created a new Nail Gun Safety web page and a complete guide on Nail Gun Safety that can be downloaded by construction workers directly to their mobile phones in English or in Spanish.

The new webpage offers great links to relevant content from the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as access to training, regulations and additional resources.

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Failure to diagnose cancer most commonly breast cancer, colon cancer, melanoma, lung cancer and malignant tumors in the female genital tract are the most common misdiagnoses in the primary care setting. The second most common type of misdiagnosis is failure to diagnose myocardial infarction. Failure to diagnose meningitis in children is also among the most misdiagnosed conditions by primary care doctors.

Medications errors such as prescription errors, contraindicated medication, administration errors leading to adverse reactions are the second most common types of medical malpractice committed by general practitioners.

These findings are the result of a computerized literature search that compiled 34 relevant studies mostly in the US but also in Canada and Europe. The complete results of the research, led by Dr. Emma Wallace from the HRB Center for Primary Care Research of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical School, in Dublin can be found at BMJ open.

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Children exposed to anti-seizure medication in the womb have a higher risk of suffering from early developmental issues according to a study led by Dr. Gyri Veiby from Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway.

The study covered a 9 year time frame and looked at the risk of adverse outcomes in children according to epilepsy in the mother or father, and with or without antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) exposure in the womb. At 18 months, the children exposed to AEDs in utero had increased risk of abnormal gross motor skills and autistic traits and at 36 months an increased risk of abnormal gross motor skills, sentence skills, and autistic traits compared to unexposed children.Further analysis determined that AED-exposed children had increased risk of birth defects compared to children not exposed to the drugs in utero.

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Gross Medical Malpractice related to blood transfusion seems to occur again at Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. According to the New York Post, the hospital blood lab was shut down yesterday after a 40 year old man died following a botched transfusion in which he was given blood that had been mislabeled by a lab technician. Today the Daily News reports that an 86 year old lady died after she was given the wrong type of blood on June 9th, just a month ago.

According to statistics the probability for a patient to receive the wrong type of blood is one out of every 14,000 transfusion.

Coney Island Hospital has a history of serious malpractice in handling blood. From 1990 to 1994 the hospital recorded five nonfatal transfusion mistakes. In 1995 , Ira Medjuck , a 30 year old paramedic, agonized for a month before her death after she was given a botched blood transfusion.