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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School busFor years safety advocates have recommended that school buses be equipped with  3-point seat belts to protect children from injuries or deaths in case of a bus accident. Yesterday the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) joined in by recommending for the first time that all US School buses be equipped with lap and shoulder belts.

Based on previous studies, The NTSB also recommended  that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mandate automatic emergency braking systems for all American school buses.

States such as New York, New Jersey, Florida and Louisiana that already have buses equipped with lap belts should also upgrade to lap and shoulder belts.

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location of the fatal pedestrian accident BK NYCOn March 5th, Ruthie Ann Blumenstein was crossing the road with Abigail, her 5 year old daughter when a reckless driver struck them (see our previous blog). Abigail died at the scene of the accident and her mother suffered serious injury. At the time of the accident she was 39 weeks pregnant with Sophia Rosemary Wong Blumenstein. On Wednesday our managing partner, Ben Rubinowitz who represents Mrs Blumenstein announced that sadly her unborn child had died from the injuries suffered during the crash. “The pain suffered by Ruthie and Jonathan is nearly impossible to fathom,” Mr. Rubinowitz said. “As you might imagine, they are overwhelmed by the sadness of the deaths of their children.”

Ruthie Ann Blumenstein is a Tony-Waward winning actress. The actress and her daughter Abigail were among a group of pedestrians who were crossing the intersection of Fifth Ave and 9th street in Park Slope, Brooklyn, when Dorothy Burns ran a red light and erratically plowed into them.  Abigail and 20 month old Joshua Lew died at the scene of the accident. Several pedestrians were injured including the pregnant Ruthie Ann Blumenstein.

Dorthy Burns was recently indicted by a Grand Jury and was charged with manslaughter, assault and criminally negligent homicide (see previous blog).  Burns suffers from multiple sclerosis. Prior to the fatal accident she received 12 driving violations for speeding in school zones and running red lights. Her license is now suspended. It is outrageous that she was still allowed to drive at the time of the accident.

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New York Personal Injury Attorney Christopher DonadioOur NY personal injury attorney Christopher J. Donadio has been invited to lecture at a joint American Board of Trial Advocates and Defense Association of New York continuing legal education event titled “Frye Hearings and the Effective Use of Biomechanical Experts” which will be held on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 5:30pm at Battery Gardens at 1 Battery Park, New York, New York. Mr. Donadio has been asked to provide a plaintiff’s attorneys perspective to the current trends in Frye hearings involving biomechanical experts.

A Frye hearing involves a hearing in front of a judge, where the judge is asked to determine whether an expert witness is permitted to testimony. The “Frye hearing” was established by the Federal District of Columbia Circuit court in Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923). “[T]he Frye test asks ‘whether the accepted techniques, when properly performed, generate results accepted as reliable within the scientific community generally.” Parker v. Mobil Oil Corp., 7 N.Y.3d 434, 446, 857 N.E.2d 1114 (2006), citing People v. Wesley, 83 N.Y.2d 417, 422, 633 N.E.2d 451 (1994).

Biomechanical experts are experts that are typically hired by defendants in motor vehicle collision cases who claim that an injured party could not have been injured by the collision due to the physics involved in the crash. Although biomechanical science has been generally recognized by the courts of New York as a science that generates results that are accepted as reliable within the scientific community, it does not mean that each and every biomechanical expert is offering testimony that is based on methods that truly are accepted.

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Location of the garbage truck accident in BrooklynA private garbage truck struck and seriously injured a 78 year old woman who was crossing the street yesterday in New York City . The hauling truck that belongs to MIST Entreprise was making a left turn from East Fourth Street onto 18th Ave in Kensington, Brooklyn, when it hit the pedestrian. The accident occurred around 11:00 am. Witnesses saw the victim being pinned under the wheel of the truck. She was screaming and her leg was completely mangled.  The 78 year old woman was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries.  The driver of the truck stayed at the scene of the accident and so far hasn’t been charged.

KILLING MACHINES

The truck that crashed into the pedestrian has a history of reckless driving. According to city records, over the last two years, the truck was cited 5 times for running red lights.  Privater garbage truck haulers have a very bad reputation in New York City. Drivers are forced to drive long hours and cover large routes, making them prone to reckless driving.  Between 2010 and 2017, 43 New Yorkers died after being struck by private carting companies’garbage trucks. Organized labor believes that the Business Integrity Commission that regulates them is not doing enough to prevent this carnage. Not even a month ago another elderly resident from the Bronx was fatally struck by a private garbage truck. Police investigated the accident and discovered that the driver had previously fatally ran over a colleague with his truck 6 months before. He lied to the police about it and was still allowed to drive without being charged. (see previous blog).

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NYC personal injury lawyer Ben RubinowitzJeff KorekNew York Personal Injury Attorneys Ben Rubinowitz (our managing partner),  and Jeff Korek from Gersowitz, Libo and Korek will be co chairing the 2018 edition of the “25 Trial Issues That Keep You Up In The Middle Of The Night” Seminar. Organized by the New York State Trial Lawyers Institute for the third consecutive year, this program  is an informal panel discussion encouraging audience participation for attorneys trying cases faced with  the many challenges capable of keeping them up through the night.

Over two evenings, June 5 and June 12 2018 from 6:00 PM  to 9:00 PM, the Honorable George Silver and an elite panel of trial attorneys including Elizabeth Cornacchio, David Dean, Judith Livingston, Richard Maltz, Daniel O’Tool, Deborah Scalise and Evan Torgan will discuss an array of perplexing issues that attorneys face during trial that require fast, strategic thinking.

Some of the subjects discussed will include

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location of the accident between taxi and Uber car NYC6 people were injured including 5 pedestrians in a NYC car accident between a livery car and a taxi. The accident occurred last Thursday night a little bit after 7:00 pm. The street was busy with pedestrians when a yellow cab violently T-boned  a livery car at the intersection of West 21st Street and Eighth Ave in Chelsea. The impact was so strong that the livery car jumped the curb and careened into a corner deli completely destroying the storefront and sending the freezers and the ATM machine flying and injuring nearby pedestrians. The police are still investigating the accident. So far none of the drivers has been charged but one of them may have burned a red light.

Mayhem scene

As the livery car jumped the curb and careened into the Deli, pedestrians on the sidewalk tried to dive for cover but the out of control car was going so fast that some of them didn’t have the time to move out of the way. Witnesses estimate that the car hit the deli at a speed of 20 to 30 mph. A 56 year old mother landed unconscious on the top of a car, another man was removed from the debris by the emergency crew and put on a stretcher. A young man who was at the deli counter also suffered injury and told journalists that everything went so fast that he had no time to dodge the car.  A total of 6 people were injured including the Uber driver. The five others were pedestrians. Among them were a 56-year-old mother and her 13 year-old-son, a 62-year-old man and a 41-year-old-man. The two drivers remained at the scene of the accident.

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keyless carMultiple owners of key-less cars have been dying of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning after mistakenly thinking that their car had stopped running. In most scenarios the car owner parks the vehicle in the house garage and takes the wireless key fob thinking that the car has shut down while it hasn’t. Overnight the garage and the house fills with odorless carbon monoxide gas, leaving the owner and other potential house residents dead or severely injured.

There are no exact records of how many people have died or how many people were left with serious injuries such as brain damage after inadvertently leaving their car running but 24 deaths nationwide were reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since 2006 when the first known case occurred. 70 year old Jeanette Colter, a Florida resident who  left her Toyota Avalon running in the garage ended up collapsing and dying between her kitchen and her living room. Her 89 year old husband died in the bedroom.

In 2009 after several other similar accidents were reported, the Society of Automotive Engineers formed a panel to develop recommended practices to address key-less ignition hazards. In 2011, the group recommended an externally audible or visual alert or automatic shut off of the engine if all doors are closed and the key fob is not present. That same year the NHTSA proposed a new rule with similar recommendations.

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location of the bicycle accident Bay RidgeA NYC cyclist who was struck by a SUV is likely to die according to a recent article in Street Blog.  The man who’s name wasn’t released is a 29 year old black male. He was riding his bike northbound on Ridge Boulevard when he was hit by a SUV driving westbound on 73rd Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. According to the police the driver of the SUV, a 63 year old woman, had the green light when she hit the cyclist. She wasn’t charged and the police said “No criminality was suspected”.

It is not the first time that a collision occured at this intersection. According to the Vision Zero Map One person was injured in an accident at the same intersection in 2011, another one in 2012, two in 2013, one in 2014 and one in 2016 previous to this accident.

A Bay Ridge resident told StreetBlog that the intersection was dangerous. “I’ve had a few close calls crossing here, too,” he said. “There’s a lot of racing to beat the light and a lot of failure to yield to people in the crosswalk.”

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DWIAn intoxicated driver lost control of her vehicle and crashed into a busy Weschester restaurant injuring multiple people including 4 critically. The tragedy occurred at Enzo, a popular Italian restaurant in Mamaroneck on Sunday night around 8:00 pm.

79 year old Roseanne Cassano of Yonkers just had diner at Enzo with a friend and both women left the restaurant and got into Roseanne’s car that was parked in a handicap parking space. According to witnesses, the women stayed in the car for almost 10 minutes before Roseanne started to back up. The video below shows the driver trying to exit the parking space, first clipping a car before crossing the street in reverse and crashing into the restaurant.  The intoxicated driver injured 9 people including 4 critically.

When the police arrived, the woman refused the voluntary alcohol test and the police had to get a court order. She is due back in Court on Thursday after being released on bail.

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Two months ago Dorothy Burns ran a red like, killed two young children and injured 3 pedestrians in a horrific accident in Brooklyn, NYC (see previous blog). The 2 children were 20-month-old Joshua Lew and 4 year old Abigael Blumenstein, the daughter of  Tony award actress Ruthie Ann Miles.  Burns was indicted by a Grand Jury last Wednesday and was charged with manslaughter, assault and criminally negligent homicide. Burns had a history of reckless driving. Since 2016 she accumulated 12 driving violations from speeding in school zones and running red lights. Burns  suffers from multiple sclerosis and it is unclear why she was still allowed to drive at the time of the accident. Her license is now suspended.

Read more in the Daily Beast