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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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18 people died (8 pedestrians, 8 motorists, 1, cyclist, 1 passenger) and  4,434 were injured in NYC crashes in November 2021 compared to respectively 28 and 4,039 in 2020. The total number of auto fatalities was also lower than in October 2021 during which 28 people died in crashes in the city. While the pandemic changed the way people are commuting in the city, the number of traffic deaths which had exploded in November 2020, is back to a level similar to the last 3 previous years, hovering around 20. Globally, over the last 8 years, the NYC traffic fatalities trendline is declining, however it is the first time since last May that monthly traffic fatalities are actually below this trendline. (Click on graphs for full view)

NYC auto accident deaths November 2021
Pedestrians and motorists represented most of the deaths with 8 of  each category dying in crashes in November. Additionnally one cyclist and one passenger also died in crashes during that month. In November 2020,  the high number of deaths was mostly caused by a much higher number of cyclists (6) and pedestrians (13) deaths, while the number of motorist and passenger deaths were lower and similar to November 2021 (6 and 1). November 21 was also a better month than October 21 during which  8 motorists, 5 passengers, 3 cyclists and 12 pedestrians lost their lives in crashes.

Motor vehicle accident fatalities NYC November 2021
NYC Auto accident injuries remained lower than usual last November with 4,434 crash injuries compared to respectively 4,039, 4,733, 4,943, 4,892, 5,014, 4,357, 4,222 and 4,692 in November 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Before the pandemic, the monthly number of car accident injuries was usually above 4500 during the month of November. During the pandemic it dropped lower and as a result the trendline which was previously slightly increasing is now slightly decreasing.

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the NYC building where 19 people died in a fireA door that malfunctioned and was left open in an apartment in which a defective heater started a fire caused heavy smoke to spread through a residential high-rise building in the Bronx and lead to the death of 19 people including 9 children. Another 32 people who suffered critical injury and 3 who suffered serious injury were rushed to the hospital. 19 other people suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene. This is the most catastrophic fire in New York City since the Happy Land fire 30 years ago. A couple, Mahamadou Toure and his wife, lost 2 of their 5 children in the fire.

The fire started in a duplex located at the third floor of a building located at 333 E. 181st St. in the Bronx and was caused by a defective space heater.  The door of the apartment where the fire started was left open and a very heavy black smoke invaded all the hallways of the building.  The building had no fire escape and the stairwells that were supposed to be used as emergency exits quickly filled with heavy smoke. The smoke also invaded all the stairwell exits that were left open. Firefighters found victims in cardiac arrest on every floor and in the stairwells. Other people were trapped in their apartments. Those on the highest floor were told by 911 to put towels at the bottom of their door and stay in their apartment until they were told it would be safe to go out. People on the lowest floors closer to the fire were evacuated by their window.

The building that was built in 1972 under federal guidelines had multiple units converted into duplexes. According to FDNY some spaces were hard to reach because of the old design of the building.

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drunk drivingA woman whose identity was not revealed and a 20 year old boy identified as Frankely Nunez-Payano both died in drunk driving accidents in New York City this week-end. Both were passengers in cars driven by young drunk drivers. Both accidents happened minutes apart from each other.

The first accident took place in Jamaica, Queens, on Saturday night around 4:10 am.  23 year old Gilberto Cordova, was allegedly drunk when he was speeding down 112th road in Jamaica, Queens, with 5 passengers in his car. As he was near the intersection of Guy R. Brewer Blvd, he lost control of the vehicle, struck a pole and crashed into a parked van. The impact was so intense that the van jumped onto the sidewalk. All occupants were rushed to the hospital. The female passenger died from her injuries. the other 5 occupants all suffered serious injury but were in stable condition. Cordova was charged with driving while intoxicated, vehicular assault, criminal negligent homicide and vehicular manslaughter.

A few minutes later in the Bronx, another drunk driver, 19 year old Andre Hatcher, crashed his car into a truck, killing his friend, 20 year old Frankely Nunez-Payano. The 19-wheeler truck was driving east on Manida street and Oak Point Boulevard when it was T-boned by the Infiniti driven by Hatcher. The car got crushed under the truck and the passenger suffered critical injury. He later died at the hospital. The driver was taken into custody and later on charged with criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated and driving while impaired.

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skierSki accidents occur every winter season in NY State resulting in injuries and sometimes even deaths. Skiing is a hazardous activity. Most of the time injured skiers are  responsible for their injuries. However in some cases, when the ski accident injury is caused  by the negligence of others such as resort operators or other skiers acting recklessly, an injured skier might be able to obtain compensation for his or her injuries.

In New York where skiing is a major recreational sport and a major industry, there is a “ski law”: Article 18 – (18-101 – 18-108) SAFETY IN SKIING CODE  requires ski facilities to to be proprely maintained and skiers to conduct themselves adequately to minimize the risk of injuries.

To prevent accidents and injuries ski operators have the following duties:

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Personal Injury Attorney Ben RubinowitzOur managing partner, Ben Rubinowitz, will be part of a panel of expert litigators who will explore the latest issues involved in federal court practice, along with commentary by Judicial Chair Hon. Gregory H. Woods, SDNY, in a webinar organized by the New York County Lawyers Association, Federal Courts Committee.  “Winning Cases in Federal Court” is a continuing legal education webinar that will take place tomorrow January 11th in the evening and will continue next Tuesday January 18th, in the evening as well.

Tomorrow evening will focus on “the Trial” and the following Tuesday evening will focus on “Discovery, Depositions and Experts”

AGENDA — DAY 1:– Commencing an Action in Federal Court– Responding to a Complaint in Federal Court– Seeking and Opposing Summary Judgment– Trial of a Civil Case in Federal Court– Overview of Post Trial Procedure: Motions; Commencing an Appeal; Enforcement of JudgmentsAGENDA — DAY 2– Overview of Discovery Methods and Motions– Non-Party Discovery– Electronic Discovery

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carbon monoxide danger signEvery year in the US, thousands of people are injured and an average 70 die from exposure to carbon monoxide after using a portable generator. With more and more power shortages caused by climate events, the number of deaths caused by dangerous carbon monoxide emissions from generators is on the rise in America. Last February in Texas, after a major power shortage, 1,400 people were treated in hospitals for carbon monoxide poisoning and 17 died.

One portable generator can emit the same amount of carbon monoxide as 450 cars together

According to a recent investigation by ProPublica,  the portable generator manufacturers are well aware of the danger of their products and over the years they have been resisting multiple attempts by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to require that their devices emit less carbon monoxide.

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Hospital PatientMost medical devices used by hospitals are legacy devices that are still operating on Windows 7 that Microsoft no longer supports.  Manufactured at a time when cybersecurity was not a preoccupation, these devices can now easily be hacked and potentially be dangerous to patients. As a result, on top of safeguarding traditional IT assets, hospitals now have to figure out a way to secure tens of thousands of legacy devices from hundreds of manufacturers connected to their network.  It is a real headache for most hospitals and healthcare organizations as many of them do not even keep an inventory of their medical devices. According to a recent study only 36% of healthcare organizations know where their medical devices are.

While some devices that can cause fatal injuries, such as insuline pumps or pacemakers, are being actively monitored and recalled by the FDA, it is estimated that all other medical devices have an average of more than 6 vulnerabilities per device and that 40% of devices used by hospitals are at the end-of-life stage and do not have security patches or upgrades available.

Not surprisingly, FDA regulations in this field are lagging with the agency only saying both hospitals and manufacturers are responsible for protecting devices from cyber attacks. Hospitals are pointing fingers at manufacturers for not providing the necessary support and want the FDA to mandate lifetime support of medical devices by manufacturers.  So far, the further the FDA went was to publish post-market guidance for medtechs on what they should do to secure their products. This is not enough as hospitals find themselves dealing with thousands of devices that they are supposed not only to track but also patch to prevent cyberattacks. With the ongoing Covid19 crisis, hospitals are unable to handle this task and as a result they become increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks that could injure or kill patients.

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NY pileup due to icy conditionsFreezing rain caused dozens of car accidents around New York City and in the tri-state area on Wednesday morning. While accidents resulted mostly in pile ups and damages to cars at least one man died and multiple people were injured.

Driver who exited from his car fatally hit by other car sliding on ice

The fatal car accident occurred on a ramp connecting the eastbound Cross Country Parkway to the northbound Bronx River Parkway in Mount Vernon.  After multiple vehicles collided on the ramp due to icy conditions, a man whose vehicle was stopped, got out of his car and was fatally hit by another vehicle that slid on the ice. The passenger of the same vehicle attempted CPR on him and so did the emergency personnel at the scene but the man could not be saved.

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storm drains can be deadlyWhen people died in flooding that occurs after heavy rain there is usually not a lot of information about the cause of the death except for “the person drowned”. However a recent investigation by ProPublica highlights the danger of the actual drainage system in the US. Giant storm drains with no grates have been constantly “swallowing people” during heavy rains and flooding.

A recent case occurred in New Jersey last September. A couple who was driving back from a visit at a North Jersey mall was driving back at night on September 1st when the remains of Hurricane Ida abated in New York and New Jersey. Extremely heavy rain left motor vehicles stranded on the road. The couple, like many other motorists, decided to abandoned their car, thinking it would be safer to walk in the muddy water and find a safe place to stay until a family member could pick them up. As they were walking in the muddy water, they suddenly were sucked under water into what looked like a large black vacuum. The woman, Kavya Mandly was able to grab a bridge railing and did not get sucked in but her fiancée, Dhanush Reddy who was only holding her hand, was not as lucky and disappeared in the drain. Reddy had just been sucked into a 3-foot wide storm drain. As the police arrived they started to look at the exit of the drain. They found another 18 year old man hanging in a tree who also had been pulled in a drain. He was still alive. Reddy was not as lucky and was found dead in a wooded area the following day, blocks away from the entrance of the drain.

Unfortunately Reddy is not the only one that has died after being pulled in a storm drain. Stories like this one are actually quite common but cities and communities are reluctant to put grates in front of these dangerous drains because of the cost of not only installing them but also keeping them clean so they are still functional when a storm occurs.