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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Construction_WorkersMuskuloskeletal Disorders or MSDs are soft tissue injuries that affect many construction workers. Globally MSDs are the largest category of workplace injuries and account for 30% of all US worker’s compensation costs. MSDs affect all the parts of the body that are responsible for movements such as the muscles, the tendons, the nerves, the ligaments, the disks or the blood vessels. They are the result of sudden or repetitive motions, forces or awkward positions.

Due to the nature of their activity, construction workers are among the workers who are the most at risk of suffering from MSDs with the most common cause being overexertion from activities such as pushing, pulling, holding carrying and catching as well as lifting and lowering. In its quarterly report the Center for Construction Research and Training provides an in-depth analysis of  MSDs in the American construction industry.

In 2017, 19,690 WMSDs injuries resulted in days away from  work in the construction industry with the most common injuries being sprains, strains and tears. Back injuries were the most predominant, followed by lower and upper extremities. Age is a main factor in muskuloskeletal disorders and the older a construction worker is the higher the risk is that he might suffer from WMSDs resulting in days away from work.

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leave raking can lead to injuriesSummer is over, the trees are changing colors, the kids are back to school and the weather is getting colder and wetter.

The change of season also affects doctor offices and emergency rooms where typical summer injuries such as injuries related to water activities or burns from BBQ are slowing down and autumn injuries are increasing.

While in the city most people do not have a private yard, most people living in Upstate New York or in New York City suburbs ares starting to rake leaves around their house. While raking leaves might be perceived as a fun autumnal activity it can also lead to serious injuries. In the US 76,000 people are injured every year while raking leaves or using manual garden tools related to this activity. Many of these injuries include back strains or wrist strains due to the repetitive movements of raking.

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location of the car accidentAn 18 year old girl driving a red Camaro ran a red light and was T-boned by a by a Chrysler minivan that had the green light, injuring passengers in both cars as well as  a pedestrian.

The car accident took place on Monday afternoon around 2:30 pm at the intersection of 54th Street and 4th Avenue in Sunset Park in Brooklyn, NYC.  5 teenage girls were riding in the Camaro and a man and his 5-year-old son were inside the minivan.  A female pedestrian in her 40ies who was crossing the street was also hit by the Camaro. Another car, a Honda Pilot was damaged in the crash.

The pedestrian suffered serious injury and was transported to the hospital. The father and his son as well as one of the teens aboard the Camaro were also transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

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rubinowitz_torganIn their recent Trial Advocacy column in the New York Law Journal, NYC Personal Injury Lawyers Ben Rubinowitz of Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf, and Evan Torgan of Torgan & Cooper discuss time tested ways to cross examine experts to achieve successful results at trial. Examples from recent trials are used to help illustrate the points. Each of these techniques have been used by the authors to develop powerful arguments for summation and assist in bringing home a successful verdict.

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One construction worker died on the job in New York City in June bringing the total of deaths to 5 for the first half of 2019 compared to respectively 6, 2, 5 and 6 for the first semester of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015. The June fatality occurred in Manhattan. 4 of the 5 fatalities on NYC construction sites occurred in Manhattan and the other one in Brooklyn during this first semester. No deaths were recorded in the Bronx, Queens or Staten Island construction sites during the first six months of the year.June 2019 fatalities on NYC construction sites

A total of 4 construction accident fatalities were recorded in Manhattan during the first semester of 2019 compared to respectively 2, 1, 3 and 3 during the first semesters of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015. This last semester was the deadliest in Manhattan since 2015.

Manhattan Construction worker fatalities June 2019
One hard hat died in Brooklyn during the first semester of 2019 compared to respectively 1, 1, 1 and 2 during the first semesters of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015.

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FDNY_Haz-TecCity drivers were determined to be at fault in 3,357 motor vehicle crashes in New York City during the last fiscal year that covers the July 2018 to June 2019 period. This number is up by 10 compared to the previous year and despite a diminution of the city vehicle fleet from 31,002 to 30,755.

827 people were injured and 4 died in these accidents compared to respectively 763 and 2 during the previous fiscal year.

The city vehicle involved in the highest amount of crashes were the FDNY vehicles with 10.1 accidents per 100,000 miles traveled followed by Sanitation (7.6), Parks (4.7) and the NYPD (4.4).

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Lead poisoning can cause lifetime injuries especially when it affects unborn children, babies or toddlers. Damage to the brain and the nervous system leading to compartmental behavior issues such as irritability, hyperactivity or inattentiveness, learning and reading disorders, delayed gross and hearing loss are among the most common consequences of lead poisoning. Lead paint in housing was banned in the early 70ies and in New York City, The City’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act (Local Law 1 of 2004) requires landlords to check their propriety for lead and take necessary action to remove it if the building was built before 1960 (or if the owner knows lead paint was used between 1960 and 1978 and if children below the age of 6 live in their property).  The plan of the city was to eliminate lead poisoning by the year 2010 but a report by the New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer found that between January 1, 2013 and October 10, 2018 alone, 26,027 children under the age of 18 tragically tested positive for elevated blood lead levels of 5 micro-grams per deciliter (5 mcg/dL) or greater. Furthermore the investigation found that the city knew about it and didn’t take any measures to protect these children.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) received thousands of alarming blood results each of them with the name and the address of the children but the results where never shared with the the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) so they could proactively inspect the locations at risk and take the appropriate measures to address the dangerous situation. Instead HPD only deployed inspectors on locations after receiving complaints from residents.  The report shows that the city clearly missed its goal to eradicate childhood lead poisoning and protect children from the irreparable arm associated with lead exposure. While the City issued the LeadFreeNYC Plan in 2019, the report shows its complete failure  to leverage its own data related to lead exposure and utilize that data to precisely and methodically inspect buildings and areas most likely to pose a threat to children.

Read Report here

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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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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.