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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The family was awarded a record $58 million for medical malpractice
Daniel D'Attilo

A Connecticut family received a record medical malpractice award in a lawsuit, after a jury determined that Daniel D’Attilo’s medical problems were preventable. Daniel needs constant care and cannot speak, eat or walk due to these injuries. Last week, he and his family were awarded $58 million in a medical malpractice case against the obstetrician who delivered him.

According to lawyers, Daniel’s mother’s amniotic fluid dropped by half before going into labour, but her physician, Dr. Richard Viscarello, waited days to perform a Caesarian section. After a month-long trial the Jury decided that the D’Attilos should be paid $58 million compensation for ‘pain and suffering’ and for the Daniel’s past and continuing medical care.

The attorneys at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf have more than 90 years of experience representing patients who have been injured or have died as the result of medical malpractice involving birth injuries.

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In Brannan v Korn, Second Department, May 24, 2011, an action to recover damages for personal injuries, The Court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint based on the emergency doctrine. The plaintiff, while attempting to walk across Ring Road, in Garden City, New York, was struck by a hit and run driver and, as a result of the impact, was propelled onto a second vehicle operated by the defendant Joseph D. Korn. The Court held that while “… the existence of an emergency and the reasonableness of the response to it generally present issues of fact, those issues “may in appropriate circumstances be determined as a matter of law” (Vitale v Levine, 44 AD3d 935)…” The Court went on to hold that the defendants were entitiled to judgment as a matter of law.

“The evidence submitted by the respondents in support of their motion for summary judgment established that Korn was faced with an emergency situation, not of his own making, leaving him with seconds to react and virtually no opportunity to avoid a collision (see Lonergan v Almo, 74 AD3d 902). Under these circumstances, the respondents established their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. In opposition, the plaintiff’s speculative and conclusory assertions failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether Korn’s reaction to the emergency was unreasonable, or whether any negligence on his part proximately contributed to bringing about the emergency or the accident.”

One must wonder if plaintiff submitted a detailed affidavit of an accident reconstruction expert. In any auto accident case in which the emergency defense is applicable the plaintiff’s attorney must retain an experienced accident reconstruction expert, not a “generic” expert who will do a detailed site scene analysis, review all testimony, police reports, etc. and be able to state, not speculate, that to a reasonable degree of professional certainty, the defendant driver had time to react and avoid the accident. The affidavit must explain in minute detail the foundation for the expert’s opinion that the defendant had sufficient time to avoid the accident.

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Ben Rubinowitz has been asked to be one of the featured speakers at the New York State Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education Program “How To Commence A Civil Lawsuit.” Mr. Rubinowitz will be speaking about Depositions. His lecture will focus on appreciating and understanding the New Rules of Depositions; How to effectively prepare a client for a deposition; and How to take an adversarial and Non-Party deposition.

For more than 25 years Ben Rubinowitz has been recognized as an expert in his field in representing severely injured people as a result of car and motor vehicle accidents, premises accidents, civil rights violations, construction accidents and medical malpractice cases. In addition to his work at his firm, Gair Gair Conason Steigman Steigman Mackauf Bloom & Rubinowitz, Ben is a featured writer on Trial Practice in the New York Law Journal. To date, Ben has obtained 19 Verdicts and 83 settlements in excess of one million dollars for his injured clients.

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In Blackstock v.Board of Education of the City of New York, decided on May 12, 2011 by The Appellate Division, First Department, a special education speech therapist employed by the defendant Board of Education, claimed that she suffered personal injury as the result of an assault by a student. She alleged defendant failed to properly supervise its students. The Court granted defendant summary judgment holding plaintiff failed to show that defendant owed her a special duty of protection. The Court held as follows;

“Under these circumstances, in order to impose liability, plaintiff had to show that defendant owed her a special duty of protection (see Bonner v City of New York, 73 NY2d 930, 932 [1989]; see also Vitale v City of New York, 60 NY2d 861, 863 [1983]). Plaintiff’s failure to allege or provide the factual predicate for the special relationship theory in her notice of claim or complaint is fatal to maintenance of this action (see Rollins v New York City Bd. of Educ., 68 AD3d 540, 541 [2009]). Moreover, the record shows that plaintiff could not prove all of the necessary elements of that theory (see Cuffy v City of New York, 69 NY2d 255 [1987]). Accordingly, there are no material issues of fact, and summary judgment was properly granted.”

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In Churchill v Malek, 2011 NY Slip Op 03673, decided May 3, 2011, The New York Appellate Division, First Department held that a plaintiff in a personal injury action cannot be compelled to disclose confidential psychological or psychiatric records. The Court stated as follows;

“Given that, in this personal injury action, there is no claim to recover damages for emotional or psychological injury (see Valerio v Staten Is. Hosp., 220 AD2d 580 [1995]), or aggravation of a preexisting emotional or mental condition (see Sternberger v Offen, 138 AD2d 480 [1988]), plaintiff cannot be compelled to disclose confidential psychological or psychiatric records (cf. Carr v 583-587 Broadway Assoc., 238 AD2d 184, 185 [1997]). Defendant’s unsubstantiated claim that plaintiff’s mental illness might have caused the accident is insufficient to warrant mental health disclosure (see Zimmer v Cathedral School of St. Mary & St. Paul, 204 AD2d 538, 539 [1994]).”

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In Fox v H&M Hennes & Mauritz, L.P;et.al., 2011 NY Slip Op 03205, decided April 19, 2011, The Appellate Division, Second Department rejected defendant’s claim that plaintiff was enagaed in routine maintenance and thus Section 240(1) was not applicable.

The facts as set forth by The Court were as follows;

“The plaintiff was employed by the fourth-party defendant Garrity Electric, Inc. (hereinafter Garrity), as a mechanic performing general electrical contracting work. Pursuant to an agreement between the defendant third-party plaintiff, H & M Hennes & Mauritz, L.P. (hereinafter H & M), and the third-party defendant/fourth party plaintiff Maintenance, Etc., LLC (hereinafter Maintenance), which provides retail companies with vendors for construction services, Garrity was hired to replace bulbs and ballasts/transformers in 78 overhead light fixtures, located approximately 12 feet above the floor, in a retail store leased by H & M. Garrity had done business with H & M since 2000, performing electrical work for which it was paid the sum of $30,000 to $50,000 per year. Garrity furnished a team of “seven or eight” workers, including the plaintiff, which was led by a team foreman, to perform the subject work in the H & M store. The plaintiff allegedly was injured when he fell from a ladder while engaged in this work. The Supreme Court, inter alia, granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability on the Labor Law § 240(1) cause of action.”

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busOur partner Ben Rubinowitz successfully resolved a claim against the New York City Transit Authority for $4 million. At the time of the accident, a young woman was crossing a New York City street when she was struck by a bus driven by a N.Y.C.T.A. employee. The defense claimed the accident was her fault asserting that she had not crossed in the crosswalk and that she failed to pay attention to the traffic conditions. The injured victim asserted that the bus driver failed to keep a reasonable and proper lookout failing to pay proper attention and in failing to avoid the pedestrian. As a result of the impact the woman suffered a degloving injury to her knee and pelvic fractures.

Rubinowitz, who recently won a $27.5 million verdict for another client struck by a bus said: “This successful result was part of a team effort. Howard Hershenhorn, Diana Carnemolla and Peter Saghir also worked timelessly for our client.” Rubinowitz continued: “We have the ability to secure the very best results for our clients because of two main reasons: We work harder and put in more effort than any other law firm.”

Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf has had remarkable results for its clients in car accident, construction, premises liability, civil rights and medical malpractice cases. Ten of its lawyers have been listed in Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers.

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nassaubar

The Nassau Academy of Law is hosting a 6-session hands-on workshop series to learn and develop effective trial skills, from jury selection through summation.
On Monday,  April 4, 2011 our Partner Ben Rubinowitz will co-chair and present a lecture and interactive workshop on cross examination to lawyers who attend this lecture series.  Recognized for obtaining some of the largest verdicts in the State, Ben has always been willing to share his expertise with fellow trial lawyers. “I view it as an honor to be asked to speak at the Nassau Academy of Law and look forward to speaking on this subject.”
Ben’s firm,  Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is known for their expertise in representing victims of car accidents, bus and train accidents, construction accidents, products liability, wrongful death  and medical malpractice claims and is the only Plaintiff’s Firm in New York with 10 of its lawyers listed in “Best Lawyers.”
Monday, April 4
DELIVER OPENINGS WORKSHOP DIRECT & CROSS EXAMINATION LECTURE
Marvin Salenger, Esq.,
Salenger Sack
Schwartz & Kimmel, Woodbury
Ben Rubinowitz, Esq.
Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf, New York

Event Program

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In Jose Miguel Moran v 200 Varick Street Associates, LLC, et al., 80 A.D.3d 581; 914 N.Y.S.2d 307, The Court granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on his 240(1) cause of action. The plaintiff suffered injury when he fell from a scaffold that lacked proper safety railings. Of particular interest is The Court’s holding regarding intoxication of the injured worker;

“The evidence that the plaintiff was not engaged in a statutorily protected activity or was intoxicated was not admissible (see Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 563, 404 N.E.2d 718, 427 N.Y.S.2d 595; Maniscalco v Liro Eng’g Constr. Mgt., 305 A.D.2d 378, 380, 759 N.Y.S.2d 163; Madalinski v Structure-Tone, Inc., 47 AD3d at 688). Moreover, since the scaffold lacked safety railings, the defendant’s alleged intoxication was not the sole proximate cause of his injuries (see Bondanella v Rosenfeld, 298 AD2d 941, 942, 747 N.Y.S.2d 645; Podbielski v KMO-361 Realty Assocs.., 294 A.D.2d 552, 553-554, 742 N.Y.S.2d 664; Sergeant v Murphy Family Trust, 284 AD2d 991, 992, 726 N.Y.S.2d 537).”

The New York Construction Accident Lawyers at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf have years of experience representing construction workers who have suffered injury in construction accidents in New York.

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nylj.gifWe are pleased to announce that our partner Ben Rubinowitz and his good friend and colleague Evan Torgan were recently featured in the New York Law Journal. For more than 10 years Ben Rubinowitz and Evan Torgan have been providing Expert Commentary in their column, “Trial Advocacy.” Often, Richard Steigman of Gair Gair Conason Steigman Mackauf Bloom and Rubinowitz contributes to these articles.

This month they wrote an influential article “Using the Internet as a Tool for Cross-Examination.” According to Rubinowitz, “It is common for Internet users to post status updates, personal comments, photographs, videos and tweets that quite often reveal their recent activities, whereabouts, activities and even their thoughts.” Rubinowitz explained the dangers of such conduct: “All of this information can be used as a tool for cross examination. It now becomes obligatory for lawyers to carefully check the Internet not only to dig up information on the witnesses they expect to cross examine but to check the Internet for content about their own clients as well.

Known as experts in the field of personal injury law, wrongful death cases, medical malpractice cases and products liability claims, Rubinowitz and Torgan have not only written numerous articles but each has obtained multiple million dollar awards for their clients.