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 Wrongful Death

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Patient wristbandPatient identification error may be medical malpractice that can result in serious injury and sometimes death of a patient. This type of medical error can happen at any step of a medical process from lab testing to medication administration and even billing.

A special report published by the ECRI Institute reviewed 160 recent scientific searches and publications written on this type of medical malpractice to provide a snapshot of the status of this prevalent occurrence.

The report found patient  identification errors at each of the following clinical contexts:

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A NYC drunk driver killed his passenger after he crashed into a divider. The fatal car accident took place on the Williamsburg bridge Thursday around 3:30 am. That night, Amanda Miner was celebrating her 21st  birthday. She was driving back home with her two friends, both NYPD traffic enforcement agents. Stefan Hoyte was driving the car and his friend was in the front seat. Amanda was seating in the back. Hoyte was in the middle of the bridge when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the divider. The impact was so strong that the car split in two and Amanda was thrown from the vehicle. She died at the scene of the accident. The two men suffered minor injuries. The driver was taken into custody. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

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NYCOSH logo236 workers, many of them construction workers died on the job in New York in 2015, according to the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As recent Congressional actions have been pushing for the deregulation of workers safety rules, these disturbing statistics may even get worse.

In an effort to fight back, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) recently announced that it has joined a national campaign for workplace safety. Entitled “Protecting Workers’Lives & Limbs” the campaign launched by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health has already rallied 92 groups across the country.

The goals of the campaign are to make sure that workers health and safety stay a priority and to insure that all workers are protected including illegal immigrant workers. The campaign will work on eliminating disparities, reduce the use of toxic chemicals at work, make sure workers have access to quality medical treatments and fair wage replacement benefits. It will also focus on getting a better count of injuries and illnesses on the workplace as many workers still fear retaliation from employers if they report their injuries.  The complete campaign agenda can be downloaded here.

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hoverboardA 3 year old girl died from her injury after a hoverboard explosion caused a major fire in her apartment in Harrisburg, PA, last Friday night. The hoverboard battery was charging at the time of the explosion.  The girl fell from the second story of her home as she was trying to escape the blaze that was ravaging her apartment. Her two sisters suffered critical burn injuries and her dad as well as a teenage boy who was in the house at the time of the accident, were treated for smoke inhalation. Dennis Voe, a 21 year old  firefighter who was en route to the fire was struck by a car and died from his injury as well.

It is the first time that a hoverboard explosion is directly linked to a fatality. The accident prompted a federal investigation. Previously the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigated multiple cases of burn injuries related to defective hoverboards. So far investigations have led to the recall of approximately half a million hoverboards with defective battery packs. At least 8 models manufactured in China with defective lithium battery packs were part of the defective models recalled. Despite the many fires and injuries caused by exploding hoverboards many families still buy them and use them.

If you or your children own one of them, you can check the list of the hoverboards recalled by CPSC. However, please remember that owning a hoverboard that is not on the list is not a guarantee that the battery may not be prone to fire hazard.  Do not charge your hoverboard at night when you sleep but during the day in a location where you can keep an eye on it and where there is an extinguisher nearby.

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senior pedestrians3 pedestrians died and another one was critically injured in New York City last Tuesday. The carnage started at 6:00 am in the morning in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. 71 year old Joseph Ramieri was crossing Meeker Avenue between Bridgewater Street and Gardner Avenue when he was struck by a car. He was transported unresponsive to the hospital. He died there. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged by the police.

3 hours later, at 9:00 am, 81 year old Carmen Velez was crossing E. Fordham Road when she was struck by a car making a left turn from Hughes Avenue onto Fordham Avenue, Bronx. She was taken to the hospital with severe trauma to her body. She was declared dead upon her arrival. The driver of the car was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care.

The third fatal pedestrian accident of the day occurred at night in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn. A woman in her 50s was fatally hit by a pick up truck at the intersection of Gerritsen Avenue and Whitney Avenue. No charges were filed against the driver.

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Falls_Are_Leading_Cause_of_Death_Map_InfographicEvery year more than 200 construction workers die and around 10,000 are seriously injured after falling on the job in the US. Falls are the number one cause of death in construction accidents. Most of them are preventable. Planning ahead, using proper equipment and being trained for the job are key to prevent falls from scaffolds, roofs or ladders.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) and the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Construction Sector Council are joining forces to organize the fourth National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.

This awareness campaign will take place all over the Country from May 8th to May 12th. Construction companies as well as contractors and their employees are invited to halt regular activities and organize a workshop to develop awareness on safety measures to prevent falls on construction sites. 

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Traffic fatalities at Vision Zero priority locations in 2016 compared to previous Vision Zero yearsThe total number of traffic fatalities in New York City in 2016 was at its lowest since 1910 when the city started to keep records on traffic accidents. Mayor de Blasio recently released a new report covering the third year of “Vision Zero”.  According to the report, the first three-year period of Vision Zero is the safest period in New York City history.  The report highlights the recent initiatives launched under the Vision Zero program in 2016. It also provides the most recent statistics on car accidents fatalities and injuries, bicycle accidents fatalities and injuries and pedestrian accident fatalities and injuries in 2016.

In the Vision Zero Borough Pedestrian Safety Action Plans published in 2015, the DOT defined specific strategies to improve the most dangerous intersections and high-crash corridors in each borough.  Consisting of street redesigns, additional police enforcement, education and community engagement, the implementation of these action plans proved to be especially effective. Statistics showed that for the 5 years prior to Vision Zero there was an average 141  yearly traffic fatalities including 99 pedestrian fatalities at identified high-priority locations compared to 100 fatalities including 72 pedestrian deaths in 2016.

Various cross-agency studies have led to targeted safety campaigns. The most recent was an analysis of crash trends after sunset during the fall and the winter in New York City. The DOT and the NYPD who conducted the study together found that after sunset in the fall and the winter, there is an increase in 40%  of  pedestrians dying or being severely injured in car accidents. These findings led to an increase in evening and nighttime enforcement by NYPD officers and TLC inspectors.  This increase in enforcement combined with a mix-media campaign consisting of flyers and messages on television and drive-time radio led to a decline of 30% of traffic fatalities during the initiative.

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Vision Zero was launched in an attempt to reduce pedestrian and bicyclists deaths in NYC. However, in an unexpected twist, the program primarily helped in curbing motorists deaths. 

Back in 2013 before Vision  Zero started, 286 people died and 54,818 suffered personal injury in motor vehicle accidents in New York City. Among the 286 deaths were 168 pedestrians, many of them children and elderly. In New York City, car accidents have been the leading cause of child deaths for many years. According to statistics, two thirds of the children involved in fatal accidents were child pedestrians being struck by cars. Elderly are also at higher risk of being struck by cars in New York City, especially after sunset when the visibility is reduced.

When Bill de Blasio became Mayor on January 1st 2014, he pledged to change this situation and provide safe streets for New York families.  Vision Zero was launched for this purpose in January 2014 and is still ongoing. The program includes various initiatives such as speed limit reduction, dangerous streets re-design and  more forceful prosecution of traffic violations. Since the program started, the total number of traffic deaths gradually declined from 286 in 2013 before the program to 250 in 2014, 235 in 2015 and 223 in 2016. From the beginning of 2014 to the end of 2016, the total number of traffic deaths declined by 22% in New York City.

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accident sceneA 68 year old man died in a motorcycle accident in New York City last Saturday. Franklin Goodman, a motorcycle enthusiast, was riding his bike on Bushwick Avenue in East Williamsburg. The weather was extremely foggy and the visibility very limited. Goodman was on his way to work at Brooklyn Rebar, a construction material company. His shift was starting at 5:00 am.

Around 4:50 am a taxi making a left turn onto Montrose Ave cut through his lane. The motorcyclist slammed on the brakes, skidded on the street and stopped near a delivery truck. He suffered critical injury during the accident. The paramedics took him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Goodman was a beloved lifelong motorcyclist from Bensonhurst. He spent most of his life driving a motorcycle in the city and had no intention to stop. He had the reputation of a very careful driver. His death stunned all his entourage. He leaves behind him a wife and a daughter. Read more in the NY Daily News

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the two young New Yorkers who alerted the residents about a fire in their buildingThree people died and several people were injured in NY fire accidents that erupted mostly in the North West area of the city these past few days.

Yesterday morning 3 people were injured in a fire that started in a third floor apartment of a 5-story building located on West 184th Street near Amsterdam Ave in Washington Heights. One of the victims was critically injured while the two others only suffered minor injuries. Read more in the NY Daily News.

Also yesterday in Mount Vernon, NY a mother and her child died in a fire accident. The fire broke out at the second floor of a residence located on 13th street. 11 people lived in the house. A 30 year old mother and her 17th month baby both died in the fire. Another person was injured and transported to the hospital. The causes of the fire accident are not clear yet. Read more and see pictures on PIX11