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 Premises Liability

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snoop Dog42 people were injured at a Snoop Dog and Wiz Khalifa concert last Fridat night in Camden NJ. The two artists were performing at the BB&T Pavillon when  a railing collapsed causing dozens of fans to fall several feet below onto the concrete (see video at the bottom). One person was critically injured and dozens of them were transported to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries such as bruises and broken bones.

Accidents at concerts and festivals are not very common however when they happen they are often catastrophic because they include a large number of people that are often intoxicated. It is the responsibility of the event organizers to make sure the venue is safe and that contingency plans are in place in case of complications.  Inadequate protection and planing can quickly lead to dramatic disasters during crowded concerts and festivals.

Here are some of the most terrifying concert accidents that happened in the past, the most deadly were due to fire accidents in venues where organizers neglected attendees safety:

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21 East 115 StreetA greedy Harlem landlord put a family at risk of serious injury or death while starting to demolish a building while they were still living there. Ephraim Vashovsky tried to evict all tenants  to pull the building out of rent stabilization. He almost succeeded but a large family of undocumented Mexicans who had nowhere else to go  decided to stay despite the fact that the landlord was gutting the building (see Google map picture on the left ).

The heartless landlord deprived the family of water, electricity and heat and put the family at risk of dangerous accidents. He is now in custody and charged with various crimes ranging from endangering the welfare of a child and grand larceny to coercion and conspiracy Read more in the NY Daily News 


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A few days after a NYC toddler died by falling from a window, another one injured himself badly in a similar manner. The 5 year old boy fell from the 5th floor of a 6-story building and miraculously survived. The New York Daily News reported that something may have broken the fall and saved the boy.

The apartment where the boy was living had no window guards. In New  York City,  family’s with young children must have their apartment protected with window guards. It’s the law. The building owner is responsible to make sure that any of the apartments where a family with young children lives has window guards installed.

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Harlem River HousingA 3-year old boy died after he fell from a window in a  public housing development in Harlem, New York City.  Latyre Sene fell  from the 13th floor of a building located in the Harlem River II Houses on Frederick Douglass Blvd. near W. 151st St (picture).  The window guard was found next to him. Police are investigating why the window guard fell and didn’t protect the toddler.

Building owners have the responsibility to install and maintain window guards in any apartment where a family is living with children. Because Latyre Sene’s family was illegally subletting the apartment,  it wasn’t clear if  NYCHA who owns the building was aware that a child lived in this apartment.

On Monday, a maintenance employee was seen leaving the apartment with a drill and 3 guards in his hands. Following the tragic accident, several other residents of the building also asked for a revision of their window guards.

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Fire escapeA 23 year old man suffered critical injury after he stepped on a defective fire escape and fell 4 stories to the ground. 23 year old Chad Miller was about to move to a new apartment on Bedford Ave near Lefferts Boulevard in Brooklyn, NYC. He was hanging out with a friend on the fire escape outside his new place when the railing broke. Chad fell 4 stories and was critically injured. According to his dad, his son is still in a coma.

The owner of the building  received a violation for failure to maintain the fire escape. It could cost him up to a $5000 penalty. There is also a good chance that the family of the victim files a premises liability lawsuit against him. In 2011 we settled a case for $5,000,000.00 when a fire escape landing on which a man was standing on collapsed causing him to fall approximately 30 feet to the ground. Discussion of case here.

Read more in the NY Daily News and here 

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co_detectorA whole family was injured by a carbon monoxide gas leak in NYC early morning yesterday. Initially called for a fall accident, the firefighters arrived to a Flushing home in Queens and found the mother unconscious in the bathroom and the dad circling the apartment and talking in a way that didn’t make sense. One of the two kids was crying. An elderly man was also present in the house. The FDNY checked the house for carbon monoxide and found that the level of CO was at 755 parts per million, an extremely high and fatal level. The family was immediately transported to the hospital to be treated. They are now in stable condition.

The family had recently moved into the Queens house. They hadn’t installed CO detectors which are mandatory in New York City. According to the FDNY, the gas leak was coming from a defective heating unit that was venting CO in the house. The FDNY told the NY Daily News that “some work was recently done to the furnace and it wasn’t done to code”.

Carbon monoxide is a very dangerous gas because it has no smell and no color.  The first symptoms of CO poisoning are upset stomach, vomiting, headache, chest pain, dizziness and confusion. Further intoxication can make people pass out and ultimately die. People who are sleeping or who are drunk may die without even feeling the first symptoms.

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The NYC Department of Health is urging New Yorkers with respiratory symptoms such as cough, chills, fever and difficulty breathing to seek immediate medical attention after 7 people from Morris Park in the Bronx were hospitalized for Legionnaire’s disease. This outbreak is different from the one that occurred this summer in the South Bronx (see previous blog) and that was attributed to Legionella found in the cooling tower of the Opera House Hotel.

The Department of Health is actively investigating this new outbreak. Health alerts have been disseminated and hospital ER’s in Morris park are checking for higher than usual cases of pneumonia. Nursing homes and senior centers are being visited to educate staff and patients about the disease.

Scientists are taking samples of all cooling towers and lab tests are being conducted. So far 7 cooling towers in the area of Morris Park have tested positive and 10 people have been hospitalized. 9 of them are still in the hospital and one has been treated and released. Read more here

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Death or personal injuries such as burns, smoke inhalation and wounds from falling merchandise are among the risks faced every day by New York High end store Idea Nuova’s employees. According to OSHA, the aisles are clogged with merchandise and, at the time of the inspection, an emergency exit was blocked by disco balls, desks and lamps preventing a quick evacuation in case of a fire. Additionally many stairwell exit doors that must remain closed to prevent the fire from spreading were propped open, haphazardly stacked merchandise was  threatening to fall on  anyone passing to close to it and exposed electrical outlets were a risk for electric shock.

This is the second time in two years that OSHA found unsafe conditions at the high end store located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The company was cited in 2013 for similar hazards at the Manhattan location as well as the Brooklyn location.

Read the OSHA press release

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Stone_Retaining_wallIn a busy city like New York retaining walls that are not proprely maintained can cause serious damages to the public and to adjacent properties. Retaining walls are built to retain soil on steep slopes.  They are designed to resist the lateral pressure of the soil’ however hot weather conditions such as those experienced this summer in New York City can accelerate their deterioration.

After a 75 foot-high stone retaining wall that was built in 1908 collapsed on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Upper Manhattan in May 2005, the NYC department of Buildings launched an Annual no penalty retaining wall inspection program that allows property owners to request an inspection of their property by an NYC Buildings Inspector without incurring violations.  This free service is available until September 18th. For more info click here

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A famous Broadway actor died this week-end after falling from the fire escape of an apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, NYC. Kyle Jean-Baptiste was the youngest and the first African-American actor to play the role of Jean Valjean in the Broadway Musical “Les Miserables”. According to the New York Times, Kyle was sitting on the fourth floor fire escape with a 23 year old female friend when he stood up, slipped and fell backwards to the street below.