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 Personal Injury

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Fernando Vanegaz died in a NYC construction accident18 year old Fernando Vanegaz died in a construction accident in Brooklyn, NYC, in September 2015. Two of his colleagues were also seriously injured in the accident. The construction workers were hired by  Michael Weiss an unlicensed contractor who was running an illegal construction site. Michael Weiss asked the workers to dig in an area where the NYC DOB had ordered not to excavate. The workers didn’t have much experience in excavating. When they asked for back up, the contractor ignored them. He also refused to provide any underpinning, shoring or bracing  after workers noticed a crack in a wall. Several times the workers expressed their concern about the crack in the wall, fearing for their lives. The contractor continued to ignore them. Then the tragedy happened, the wall collapsed, killing the young Fernando Vanegaz and seriously injuring two other of his co-workers. Both of them had to go through multiple surgeries for injuries to their spine, skull and facial bones.  The reckless contractor is now facing up to 15 year in prison.

Read more in the New York Times

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NYC Construction Accident Attorneys Gair Rubinowitz DonadioOur NY personal injury law firm is proud to announce that our attorneys Ben. B. Rubinowitz, Anthony H. Gair and Christopher J. Donadio obtained a $5.85 million settlement in a construction accident that occurred in Queens.

The case involved a construction worker who was injured while performing asbestos removal work on a building rooftop in Queens, NYC. He fell 15-20 feet into the building when the roof collapsed in the area where he was working.

He was rushed to North Shore University Hospital where he was diagnosed with fractures to his spine. While in the hospital, he underwent a percutaneous fusion from the T10 vertebrae to the L2 vertebrae. He remained in the hospital for three and a half weeks after the accident. Following his discharge, he underwent several months of physical therapy and also received epidural steroid injections in his lower back.

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accident scene34 year old Jonatan Segura was drunk and speeding the night he killed one pedestrian and injured another in a car accident in New York last January. Segura plead guilty to manslaughter, two counts of assault, homicide, leaving the scene, and drunk driving as well as misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident. He is facing 4 to 12 years in prison.

On January 30th around 4:00 am, Segura was driving on 181st Street near Amsterdam Avenue when he lost control of his BMW sedan. He was drunk and he was speeding. He hit a pick-up truck and two pedestrians. One of them, Encarnation died form his injury at the hospital, the other one, a 46 year old woman was seriously injured.

Segura fled the scene of the accident on foot leaving behind him two seriously injured people and his car completely destroyed by the high speed impact.

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investigation on workers injured at Case Farms on Pro Publica TwitterOsiel Lopez Perez suffered severe personal injury while working in extremely dangerous conditions at a Case Farms chicken plant. He lost his left leg while cleaning a machine. Perez is an illegal immigrant worker. He’s 17 year old. He left Guatemala after his mother was shot by a gang that also tried to kidnap his sisters. At the time of the accident, Perez had to sanitize a liver giblet chiller. To do so he was supposed to first climb on a ladder to turn off the water valve above the machine. Because there was no ladder available, his supervisor showed him how to climb onto the machine to reach the water valve. One day, as he was standing on the machine his foot slipped into the machine which automatically started. His whole left leg was ripped off by the machine.  For years OSHA inspectors have been warning the plant about the dangerous habits of workers climbing onto the machinery for cleaning purposes.  The accident was completely preventable, simply by providing employees with ladders.

One of the biggest suppliers of chicken for the entire country, Case Farm chicken plant has a long history of abusing vulnerable immigrant workers. According to a recent investigation by  Michael Grabell from ProPublica in collaboration with the New Yorker, Case Farms chicken plants are some of the most dangerous places to work in the U.S. The company was fined $2 million in 2015 for disregarding worker safety. Over the last 7 years the company was cited 240 times for workers safety violations.

Companies that are hiring immigrants workers can be fined for doing so and employers can be sent to jail according to an immigration law that was passed by Congress 30 years ago. However this law is rarely applied, allowing abusive employers to evade responsibilities. Under The Obama Presidency, Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agreed not to go after undocumented workers during labor disputes. Will this agreement remain now that Trump took over? Workers advocates worry that ICE may ditch it. If an employee is injured and complains, employers who have a history of abusing and neglecting illegal immigrant workers may then just call ICE to have them deported.

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A 3 year old girl died in a crash involving a garbage truck in the Bronx, NYC. Sophia Aguire was riding in a car driven by her 52 year old grandfather. She was sitting in the back seat with her 27 year old mom. Her grandmother was in the passenger seat. They were driving on Bruckner Boulevard near 142nd street when the accident happened. The road was stripped for resurfacing. The driver swerved to avoid an exposed  manhole cover and got into the path of a garbage truck in the adjacent lane.  The truck hit the car, propelling it into a concrete pillar of the elevated highway just above the road. (see picture below).

The car was completely mangled. The firefighters had to cut the doors to get the victims out of it. All passengers were transported to the hospital. 3 year old Sophia died an hour later. The 3 other family members who were in the car with her only suffered minor injury.

The garbage truck driver wasn’t injured. He stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged.

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Vanessa Raghubar died in a drunk driving accident in NYCA 22 year old woman died from her injury  after a drunk driver crashed into her car in NYC. The drunk driver, 32 year old Neville Smith is a NYPD detective. He was off duty when he crashed into Vanessa Raghubar’s car.  The accident occurred around 4:00 am Sunday morning on the Van Wick Expressway.  Vanessa  was returning from her sister’s birthday party when the drunk detective crashed his Mercedes into her Honda. The impact was so strong that Vanessa’s car was propelled against a light pole and a tree. She and her two passengers, her sister and her sister’s boyfriend suffered critical injuries. All 3 were transported to the hospital where Vanessa died the following day.

Smith was charged with vehicular assault, assault, driving while intoxicated and refusal to take a Breathalyzer test. More charges are expected.

Vanessa who studied psychology was supposed to graduate in June. Her family wants justice.

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accident sceneA NYC pedestrian suffered critical personal injury after being struck by a motorcyclist who disappeared into the night. The  unidentified middle-aged woman was crossing Bruckner Boulevard at the intersection of Hunts Point Avenue in the Bronx, NYC, when she was struck by a motorcycle. She was in the crosswalk. She suffered serious head trauma and was rushed to the emergency room. She is still fighting for her life. The police are still looking for the reckless biker who was riding a red Suzuki sports motorcycle.

Read more in the NY Daily News 

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Radio-AntennasConstruction workers exposed to radio-frequency (RF) radiation may suffer personal injury such as blindness and sterility. Construction workers who are wearing pacemakers and other medical devices should also be aware that electromagnetic signals could cause their devices to malfunction. Additionally  recent research has found it possible that such radiation may also be carcinogenic to humans. The long term effects of exposures to radio-frequency radiation is still being studied.  Roofers or construction workers who are performing tasks on sides of buildings or near news gathering trucks are the most at risk of exposure to hazardous level of RF radiation.

In recent years the proliferation of cellular antennas and other devices transmitting electromagnetic signals has lead to health concerns about the danger of potentially harmful exposure to radio frequency signals. In 2014, the National Roofing Contractors Association in association with the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers  worked with the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) to reduce the illnesses and injuries in the roofing industry. They created together the Roofing r2p Partnership. This new partnership soon raised concern about the emerging hazard caused by the proliferation of RF antennas and the potential risks faced by construction workers in the roofing industry. As a result, a program was developed by the Roofing r2p Partnership* and the multi-trade labor-management RF Radiation Work Group* to raise awareness about the potential risks of RF radiation.

You can learn more about the new Radio-frequency (RF) Radiation Awareness Program for the Construction Industry in a free webinar that will be hosted by the CPWR on Tuesday April 25th at 2;00 pm ET. During this 45 minutes webinar participants will learn more about the hazard of RF radiation exposure and how workers can be trained to prevent such exposures using the newly developed Radio-frequency (RF) Radiation Awareness Program for the Construction Industry. Click here to register for this webinar. 

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ben1Personal injury attorneys Ben Rubinowitz  and Doris Cheng are the directors of a new training program designed by the  National Institute for Trial Advocacy. Entitled “NITA Drills: a Witness Examination Boot Camp”, this rapid-fire 3-day program will take place June 19th thru June 21st 2017 at the NITA Education Center in Boulder, CO.

Taught by highly experienced trial lawyers, this program will focus on direct examination of of  witnesses, including impeachment and expert witness variations, as well as methods for delivering openings and summations. Using NITA’s method of learning by doing and limiting the enrollment to 24 people, this program will allow each participant to take their trial skills to the next level.

To register or to learn more about this program click here

 

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diatracted driving accidents prevention poster

Just is all it takes

In New York Sate, car crashes involving distracted drivers killed 160 people and injured more than 33,000 in 20015 according to a study from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research that was published a few months ago. The study estimates that around 20 to 22% of the fatal car accidents in New York State are related to distracted driving. The problem is not only in New York but all over The United States.  Nationally during the whole year of 2015, 3,477 people died and 391,000 were injured in distracted driving accidents.

April is “Distracted Driving Awareness Month” and during the whole month the National Safety Council (NSC) is campaigning to crack down on this epidemic. The NSC invites organizations and communities to share information about distracted driving. Various material is available to download on their website.