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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Lead poisoning can cause lifetime injuries especially when it affects unborn children, babies or toddlers. Damage to the brain and the nervous system leading to compartmental behavior issues such as irritability, hyperactivity or inattentiveness, learning and reading disorders, delayed gross and hearing loss are among the most common consequences of lead poisoning. Lead paint in housing was banned in the early 70ies and in New York City, The City’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act (Local Law 1 of 2004) requires landlords to check their propriety for lead and take necessary action to remove it if the building was built before 1960 (or if the owner knows lead paint was used between 1960 and 1978 and if children below the age of 6 live in their property).  The plan of the city was to eliminate lead poisoning by the year 2010 but a report by the New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer found that between January 1, 2013 and October 10, 2018 alone, 26,027 children under the age of 18 tragically tested positive for elevated blood lead levels of 5 micro-grams per deciliter (5 mcg/dL) or greater. Furthermore the investigation found that the city knew about it and didn’t take any measures to protect these children.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) received thousands of alarming blood results each of them with the name and the address of the children but the results where never shared with the the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) so they could proactively inspect the locations at risk and take the appropriate measures to address the dangerous situation. Instead HPD only deployed inspectors on locations after receiving complaints from residents.  The report shows that the city clearly missed its goal to eradicate childhood lead poisoning and protect children from the irreparable arm associated with lead exposure. While the City issued the LeadFreeNYC Plan in 2019, the report shows its complete failure  to leverage its own data related to lead exposure and utilize that data to precisely and methodically inspect buildings and areas most likely to pose a threat to children.

Read Report here

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Thankfully nobody was injured by debris that fell from the elevated line tracks in Queens, NYC, last week. Last Wednesday, a hunk of rusty metal fell on Fernando Marin’s car, cracking the windshield. The car was parked on Roosevelt Ave below the elevated tracks. The owner, Fernando Martin told the NY Daily News that it was really scary and that the metal could have hit his head. He felt lucky to be alive.

Almost two weeks before the incident, a Uber driver also had a terrifying experience just two blocks away. A wooden plank from the elevated train platform flew into his car. The driver wasn’t injured but he was in shock. The wooden debris came from an old supply platform that was installed under the tracks years ago. MTA workers were seen dismantling the rest of the rotted wood beams a few days later.

On Monday the MTA also announced that the line 7 elevated tracks were safe and that it was perfectly safe to stand or drive under them. They also indicated that a truck hit the track structure recently in the areas of the falling debris and that this accident may have caused the two incidents but no root cause has been identified.

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A woman was seriously injured in a building collapse in Poughkeepsie yesterday afternoon around 4:00 pm. It took four hours for the firefighters to be able to secure the building and rescue 43-year old Rotanya Hargorve who was trapped in heavy debris. The woman suffered very bad leg injuries and had to be brought out of the accident scene on a stretcher. She was transported to the hospital to be treated.

At the time of the accident, Rotanya was working in a boutique in the building next to the vacant 7-story building near the corner of Canon Street and Academy Street in Poughkeepsie. When the tall building started to collapse, heavy debris fell onto the adjacent 3-story building and caused the roof to cave in. Debris and brick crashed through the building and fell onto Rotanya who was working in the boutique on the first floor located at 15 Academy.

Authorities believe that the collapse was caused by a heavy storm that had just made its way through the area and produced winds exceeding 60 mph. Located a 19 Academy Street, the vacant building was built in 1911 by Manning Cleveland, a businessman who was planning to bring skyscrapers to Poughkeepsie. It was recently sold to Pok 23 Acad and Pok Acad, limited liability companies with New York city addresses. The limited liabilities companies also own the next 2 vacant adjacent buildings located on Academy 21 and Academy 23.

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lead-poisoningMany children were poisoned by lead in New York as the result of the city neglecting to inspect and fix lead paint hazards in  apartments belonging to the New York City Housing Authority. Some children died and others now have to attend special-education programs and will never be able to live a normal life. Despite multiple lawsuits De Blasio was recently heard saying “Thank God there has not been harm done to any child because of the mistakes that have been made.” bFor some weird reasons the mayor is still trying to cover for the disastrous NYCHA behavior.

In a recent article the Daily News looks at the story of Juana Bison, the mother of two twin daughters who lived in Cypress Hills Houses. In 2001 after her twin daughters were born, Juana complained about the painting chipping and peeling in her apartment. She was scared that the paint might contain lead and could harm her twins. She asked NYCHA to fix it. Instead of fixing it, a NYCHA worker forged Juana’signature and signed a form indicating that Juana’s apartment had been inspected and no lead paint was found.

When the two daughters were two-yer-old the mother took them for a medical check-up that found a blood-lead level of 20 micro-grams per deciliter in one of the girls. This level is five time the level deemed acceptable by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This level is dangerous and can affect the development of a child. The other child was ok.

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church fails to maintain buildingA man scavenging for construction material in a half demolished building was seriously injured after he fell through the floor. The accident occurred at a dilapidated Brooklyn building located at the intersection of Rutland Road and Brooklyn Ave in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.  The floor gave way under the weight of the 33 year old man and he got trapped. It took an hour for the paramedics and the firefighters to shore up the basement to take him out. The man was then rushed to the hospital where he was listed in serious condition.

Before being bought by the church next door, the building was a lounge. The church received a violation from the city Environmental Control Board for failure to maintain the building  after it partially collapsed. Concerned neighbors told the DOB at the end of January that the structure “was leaning”. The owner was supposed to raze the entire building but only half of it was demolished.

After the accident the DOB issued 3 violations to the church:

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location of the fatal accidentA man and a woman walking on Howard Street in New York City suffered critical injury after being hit on their heads by a falling piece of fire escape on Friday afternoon.

The man, identified as 58 year old Richard Marchhart from Long Island, succumbed to his injuries a day after his hospitalization. He left behind a wife and three children: a daughter going to high school and two sons going to college.

The injured woman is a 24 year old artist who was on her way to a studio at the New York Academy of Art on Franklin Street.

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https://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorneysblog.com/files/2018/02/New_York_City_Housing_Authority_logo.svg_.pngLead based paint exposure can cause serious personal injury, especially to young children. Lead poisoning builds in the body over months, sometimes over years.  A small quantity of lead such as paint on the wall or dust is enough to create severe mental and physical impairments in children and a larger quantity can lead to death. Lead paint was widely used to paint residential interiors in the past but  after its toxicity was discovered it wasn’t used anymore. Lead paint can still be found on the walls of old buildings that haven’t been renovated for a long time. Some of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings for example still have lead paint. NYCHA was supposed to inspect its buildings and address issues but recently the Department of Investigation found out that NYCHA not only failed to inspect buildings for lead paint but also falsified documents to pretend inspections occurred (see previous blog).

NEGATIVE HEALTH EFFECT FROM MOLD INVESTIGATED TOO

On Monday the New York State Department of Health announced that it was opening an investigation over the health impact of NYCHA’s failures to tenants in Southern Queens. The Health Department will not only study the consequences of lead paint exposures but also health problems related to mold. Mold is affecting thousands of  NYCHA apartments. It can cause asthma and other serious respiratory diseases. Additionally the Health Department will also study the health impact of the recent heat and hot water outages. Since October including during the coldest days, more that 320,000 NYCHA tenants (80%)  have been experiencing heat or hot water outages. These outages are especially unhealthy for younger or older tenants.

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Pomonok_Houses NYCHAThe New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) not only  failed to do critical lead safety inspections but also falsified paperwork to pretend inspections were done and buildings were meeting requirements according to a report released by the Department of Investigation (DOI).

By mid 2016, Shola Olatoye, the NYCHA chairwoman appointed by Mayor de Blasio in 2014, was aware that lead paint inspections that were supposed to be finalized over four years hadn’t been completed in many of the 180,000 NYCHA apartments. She knew NYSHA was violating federal rules and local law but instead of admitting the problem and trying to fix the issues she and other top managers at NYCHA decided to conceal it.

NYCHA submitted a false certification in October 2016, potentially putting numerous children at risk of lead poisoning. Young children are the most at risk of being poisoned by lead. They can can suffer from developmental delays that can have lifetime consequences. In some cases lead poisoning can be fatal.

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New York Personal Injury Lawyer Howard HershenhornNew York Personal Injury Attorney Christopher DonadioOur partner, NYC Personal Injury Attorney Howard Hershenhorn assisted by Christopher Donadio is representing Kyle Green in a lawsuit against rapper Travis Scott and the New York concert venue Terminal 5. 23-year-old Kyle Green was left paralyzed after he fell from a balcony during Travis Scott’s concert on April 30 at Terminal 5 in New York.

Travis Scott concerts are infamously known to be wild and the singer himself  encourages fans to stage dive and surf the crowd. During the New York concert before Green was pushed from the third floor balcony, Scott put the spot light on a fan who was attending the concert from the first floor balcony and encouraged him to jump which the fan did. He said to the fan, “They going to  catch you, don’t be scared.” (see video below). Other fans then did the same.  Shortly after, Green who was watching the concert from the third floor balcony was pushed over the railing by the surging crowd. He fell and hit the floor. Security guards immediately surrounded him and Travis yelled at them to bring the fan to the stage. Green who was in tremendous pain was lifted up, pulled around and dropped in front of the stage without using any backboard or neck brace. Then Scott gave him his ring.

Kyle Green is now in a wheelchair. He suffered serious injury that includes fractured vertebrae, a broken left wrist and fractured right ankle.  The injuries required surgery and he was left paralyzed on his left side and must get around in a wheelchair. He had to quit school and move out of his Brooklyn apartment to go live with his parents in Dutchess County.

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Inadequately Maintained Building New YorkA woman fell 6 feet after the sidewalk of an inadequately maintained building collapsed under her. 47 year old Mariana Fuentes is a flower vendor in Washington Heights. Last Saturday around 7:40 am she parked her cart next to a building located on West 158th Street near Broadway. Suddenly the sidewalk collapsed and she fell 6 feet down into an abandoned underground vault. Her husband who was standing near her when the accident happened watched in horror. There wasn’t much he could do to help her as he was himself injured after having been run over by a city bus a while ago.

A good Samaritan who saw the accident, brought a ladder and went down to help Fuentes. He found her lying on the ground with a big concrete slab on her leg. He wasn’t able to remove it but he stayed next to Fuentes until EMS arrive. The firefighters were able to free her and bring her out on a backboard. She was transported to the hospital with serious injuries. Inspectors from the Department of Building came and issued a partial vacate order for the underground vault and the sidewalk as well as for an adjacent building. A sign on the building  read “The Department of Buildings has determined that conditions on these premises are imminently perilous to life”. The hole was covered with police tape and plywood.

The Fuentes have been living on the block for more than 20 years. The flower business is the family’s only income.