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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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accident sceneA 10 year old boy and a 68 year old woman died in two separate truck accidents in New York City last week. Both accidents occurred on the same day.

10 year old boy killed by NYC Sanitation truck

The first accident occurred in Queens last Tuesday around 7:00 am.  10 year old Shreejan Panthee was on his way to school with his mother Mina. Both of them were crossing the 57th Avenue crosswalk near 97th Street in Corona, Queens, when a NYC Sanitation truck made a right turn onto 57th Street from a nearby driveway and struck them. The boy was run over by the rear wheels and the mother was knocked down on the ground.  Both the mother and the child were rushed to the hospital. Shreejan died a few hours later. Her mother Mina was critically injured but survived. A man who witnessed the accident told the media that he screamed at the truck driver: “Slow down, you are going to hit them!”. Mina, her husband Purushottam Panthee and their son Shreejan came from Nepal in 2010. The husband works as a chemist in Long Island and the mother works in a beauty salon in the Bronx. Shreejan was a smart boy who won spelling bee prizes and enjoyed swimming. The Queens Nepali Community was in shock. A vigil was organized at night at the location of the accident. The truck driver wasn’t immediately charged by the police however he was placed on “modified duty,” and stripped of driving responsibilities by the NYC Sanitation Department.

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1200px-Falling_Ice_25789489572
Injuries or even deaths related to ice falling from buildings in New York City isn’t something new and it is quite common for NYC pedestrians to see sidewalks partially closed during the winter because of the potential risk of ice chunks falling from buildings.

Recently however, entire streets of the city were closed for several days by the police because of massive chunks of ice falling from supertall glass skyscrapers.

https://youtu.be/3MnUmG4UA4I

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burn injuries suffered by Claudette in the botched chemistry experiment18 year old Claudette Joseph and another female student suffered severe burn injuries in a botched chemistry experiment that occurred in October 2018 at the Morris Academy for Collaborative Studies High School for Violin and Dance located in the Bronx, NYC. Our partner Jeffrey Bloom is representing Claudette and recently filed a lawsuit on her behalf.

Claudette was burned in an accident similar to the one suffered by Alonso Yanes, another client from our firm who was represented by Ben Rubionowitz ( read more about this personal injury case). She was part of a group of students attending a so-called “Carbon Snake Experiment”. The experiment consists in burning sugar and baking soda together. As the sugar and the baking soda burn and decompose, carbon dioxide gets trapped within the carbon and creates gas pockets that extend longer and longer like a black snake. Students were gathered around Eric Broussard, the teacher  to look at the experiment. Despite a recent CSB_Back_to_School_Safety_Alert  asking chemistry teachers to use only small quantities of flammable chemicals during experiments, the teacher used a bottle of rubbing alcohol for the experiment. Vapors came out of the opened bottle and ignited in a fireball that severely burned Claudette and another student on their face, torso and hands.

Both students were rushed to the hospital to be treated. Claudette suffered second degrees burns that have left her with permanent scars. The young woman who is an accomplished violonist  is still traumatized by the horrific accident. “This has been extremely traumatic for her and her family,” Jeffrey Bloom told The Post. “Every time she sees these scars, she is reminded of what happened that day.”

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Despite an increase in bicycle accident fatalities and in motorist injuries the total number of NYC motor vehicle accidents and the total number of resulting injuries and deaths decreased during the third trimester of 2019 compared to the third trimester of 2018. The total number of accidents declined from 57,642 during the third trimester of 2018 to 52,567 during the third trimester of 2019. This is the lowest number of crashes since the same period of 2014.

auto accident NYC third trimester 2019
While a high number of fatal bicycle accidents painted a very negative picture of New York street safety, not all numbers are bad. For example pedestrians fatalities were at their lowest during the period of July, August and September 2019. Motorists fatalities were lower than the two previous years during this same period and passengers fatalities were stable.

traffic fatalities in NYC third trimester
The total number of auto accident related injuries were slightly lower than the previous year. A total of 167,083 people were injured in traffic accidents during over the summer 2019 compared to respectively 16,300, 15,860, 16,048, 13,998, 13,472, and 14,900 during the same 3 months of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Motorists injuries account for almost half of the injuries and continue to increase. While efforts to protect pedestrians has led to a substantial decrease in pedestrian injuries and deaths, distracted driving remains the number one cause of  motor vehicle accidents in New York City and needs to be addressed.

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Personal Injury Attorney Ben RubinowitzOur managing partner, Ben Rubinowitz, will be a panelist at the “Expert Witnesses” CLE program presented by the Federal Bar Council in New York on December 5th.

Expert witnesses are at the center of modern litigation of all kinds, from personal injury litigation, complex commercial cases to mass torts and white collar crime. This program will cover Daubert motions and other limitations on expert testimony, best practices for drafting expert reports, tips on how to effectively present complex expert testimony to a jury, and strategies for cross-examining experts. The panel will also discuss innovations that may improve expert practice in the federal courts.

Ben will be part of of a group of 5 panelists that includes Jonathan P. Bach, Esq. from Shapiro Arato Bach LLP, Sheila S. Boston, Esq. from Arnold & Porter, Mark R. Seiden, Esq. from Jones Day as well as Professor Daniel J. Capra,  Reed Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law and Reporter for the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Evidence. The judicial moderator of the program will be The Honorable Colleen McMahon, Chief U.S. District Judge, Southern District of New York.

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Our Partner, NY personal injury attorney Christopher J. Donadio has been invited by the New  York Medical Malpractice Attorney Christopher_DonadioCounty Lawyers Association to lecture at a continuing legal education event titled “From Voir Dire to Verdict: Trying a Personal Injury Case” which will be held on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 6:00pm at the New York County Lawyers Association office at 14 Vesey Street, New York, New York. Mr. Donadio has been asked to provide a plaintiff’s attorney’s approach to all aspects of a personal injury trial.

In addition to Mr. Donadio, the event will also include a defense attorney’s approach to personal injury trials, provided by Alecia Walters-Hinds of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, as well as the perspectives of the Honorable Kathryn E. Freed and the Honorable Louis L. Nock, judges in the New York State Supreme Court, New York County.

Please click on the following link to register for the lecture: https://www.nycla.org/NYCLA/Events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=CLE111419

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rear-car-seatSince November 1st, all children under the age of 2 instead of 1 previously, must use a rear-facing car seat when riding in a car in New York State. This requirement is coming on top of the actual New York State Child Passenger Restraint Law that was enacted in 1982 and requires that:

  • all children under the age of 4 ride in child safety seats
  • all children ride in child restraint systems until their 8th birthday
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NYC construction workersConstruction workers and extraction workers not only have a high risk of getting injured on the job but also they are the most at risk of getting addicted to drugs such as non prescription opioid, cocaine and marijuana according to a recent study published by NYU. The study looked at 290,000 workers belonging to 13 different industries and found out that 3.4% of construction workers were misusing painkillers compared to a 2% average for the rest of the professions.

The study confirms that the opiate crisis is a major problem in the construction industry but also found that construction workers were also consuming more marijuana and cocaine than other workers. The study links the increased risk of addictions to all 3 substances to the precarious condition of employment sustained by construction workers and found that absenteeism is a trigger  for increased used of all 3 drugs. The study also found that  employers with written drug policies  have less workers dealing with cocaine addiction and employers using drug testing had less workers using marijuana.

Drug addiction treatments not proposed by employers

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Location of the fatal bicycle accidentAn 87 year old cyclist who was struck by a car in New York City last week died from his injuries. While the police blame the accident on the victim saying that he blew a red light, witnesses told the NY Daily News that the bicyclist had the right of way and that the car driver blew a red light.

The accident occurred last Tuesday at the intersection of Avenue P and Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn. The cyclist was riding west on Avenue P and was struck by the car as he was in the crosswalk. One of the witness, a female pedestrian, told the News that she was also about to cross the street after the light turned green in favor of the pedestrians when a black minivan zoomed out of nowhere, ran the red light and hit the cyclist. The witness saw the cyclist falling on the top of the car and said there was blood everywhere. The 36-year-old driver stayed at the scene of the accident and was not charged. The police maintained he had the green light.

The elderly cyclist was transported to the hospital in critical condition. He died from his injuries a few days later.

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Our form was named Best Law Frim 2020Our NYC Personal Injury Law Firm was named a 2020 Best Law Firm by U.S. News and Best Lawyers for the 10th consecutive year and we would like to congratulate our attorneys and staff for their continuous effort and great work.

Also for the 10th consecutive year, Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf was named

  • A Tier 1 Firm for Personal Injury Litigation  – Plaintiff in New York City