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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Location of the deadly limo accident
After 20 people died in a limousine accident in Schoharies, NY, the first result of the investigation indicate that the limousine wasn’t supposed to be on the road because it had failed inspection and that the driver who blew the stop sign didn’t have the proper license to drive a stretch limo. Additionally he was also recently busted twice on drug charges.  The limousine belonged to Prestige Limousine, a shoddy company operating  out of a low budget hotel that has a history of failed inspections. Its shady owner, Shaheb Hussain,  became a federal informant after he was caught in a scheme to illegally obtain driver’s licenses in the Albany area. Yesterday, officials suspended Prestige Limousine operations and seized 3 vehicles.

Worried limo occupants sent texts of concern to relatives before the accident

The limousine was transporting 17 friends –  four sisters, two brothers and several young couples – on their way to a birthday party. They were supposed to be picked up by a party bus to go to a brewery in Cooperstown  but they were informed that the  bus broke down on its way to pick them up. Instead they were picked up by the shoddy stretch limousine.  Some of the people on  board texted relatives that they were worried about the vehicle conditions.

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Citi BikeThe bus driver who fatally struck a cyclist on West 26th Street, New York, was found guilty of  violating New York City’s Right of Way Law, failure to exercise due care and traffic violation, after a trial that lasted two days.

On a Monday morning in June 2017, Dan Hanegby was pedaling to work on West 26th Street. The street has no bike lane and cyclists share the road with motor vehicles. David Lewis who was driving a Coach USA bus arrived behind the biker, clearly saw him and barreled past him in a narrow area of the street instead of slowing down and waiting for a safer opportunity to pass the bike. The bicyclist was knocked down by the bus and died.

During the trial the attorney for the bus driver tried to blame the victim and claimed that Hanegby lost control of his bike. However a surveillance video from a nearby building clearly shows that the bicyclist drove on a straight line and that because vehicles were parked on both sides of the street, it was just too narrow for the bus driver to pass the bike. The video also shows that the bus driver doesn’t slow down at any moment. Not before and not after the accident, completely failing to exercise caution.

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Last Halloween, a terrorist driving a rental truck plowed into bicyclists and pedestrians on the Greenway bike path along the West Side Highway near Battery Park. In his act of terror, Sayfullo Saipov killed 8 people and injured 13 others after he entered the bike path  North of Chambers Street and drove 14 blocks down the path, striking bicyclists and pedestrians on his way.  The police were able to stop him after he slammed into a school bus at the Chambers Street intersection and tried to run away on foot.

According to the authorities, Saipov was inspired by the Islamic Sate group when he committed his act of terror. He is now behind bars and held without bail. He pleaded not guilty but the federal prosecutors announced on Friday that they are seeking the death penalty which is extremely rare in New York. The last time it occurred was in 1953 for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Our firm represents most of the victims of the terror attack and while this decision by the  federal prosecutors will satisfy the families of the victims it will never make up for their losses.

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An 18 year old driver died and his 22 year old female passenger is in critical condition following a terrible crash in the Bronx, NYC. The teenager was driving his car on the Hutchinson Parkway in the Bronx around 2:30 am on Monday. As he was near the New England Thruway he sideswiped a BMW with his Subaru and then crashed into a tree. His car was completely mangled. He and his passenger were both transported to the hospital. He was declared dead when he arrived. The passenger was listed in critical condition.

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of deaths for teenagers in America in front of suicide, homicide and cancer. Every year around 3000 teenagers are killed in car accidents and thousands more are injured . According to statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 16 to 19 year old drivers are 3 times more likely to die in a car accident than drivers 20-year-old and above. 2/3 of the teens who are killed in car accidents are boys. Distracted driving and underage drinking are often a factor.

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16 people died and 5,484 suffered personal injury in auto accidents in New York City during the month of July 2018. While the number of people dying in car accidents has been on a slightly declining trend over the last few years  in New York City, the number of people injured in such accidents has been on a rising trend. The total number of crashes is also on a rising trend:

  • In July  2013, 22 people died and 5,077 were injured in 19,384 crashes
  • In July 2014, 28 and 4,591 in 19,287 crashes
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A 47 year old motorcyclist died in an accident in New York City on Saturday. Around 4;15 pm, Julius Holloway was driving South on Mother Gaston Boulevard in Brownsville, Brooklyn, when all of sudden a car on the northbound lane made a U-Turn onto the southbound lane right in front of him. The motorcyclist didn’t have the time to brake and collided with the car.  The car was driven by a 29 year old woman. 4 other occupants were in the vehicle including a child. The motorcyclist was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved. The car occupants were also transported to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.

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accident sceneA pedestrian died in a car accident in the Bronx, NYC, after being struck by a drunk driver. The accident occurred Friday morning around 9:30 am. 33 year old Shakira Price, a teacher at Schuylerville Preparatory High School in the Bronx was drunk behind the wheel when she first crashed into a Kia driven by a 72 year old driver on Pelham Parkway. She sped away from the accident scene and the Kia driver started to chase her. As she was trying to get away from him, she struck Raymon Bolan, a 57 year old pedestrian who was trying to cross Pelham Parkway at the intersection of Eastchester Road. The man was transported to the hospital with trauma all over his body. He didn’t survive the accident. Price was taken into custody and later charged with vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault, driving while intoxicated, and driving while ability impaired. Read more in the New York Post

Another pedestrian was fatally hit by a car on the FDR Drive on Saturday morning around 5:00 am. The victim, 50 year old Heward Velez of Moonachie in New Jersey, was allegedly running away from an accident that occurred a few minutes earlier. Velez was driving his Honda Civic on the northbound side of the FDR when he hit a Jeep near the 96th Street exit. Both drivers pulled over and got out of their cars to exchange information. Then Velez tried to run across the FDR. He was fatally hit by a Cadillac SUV on one of the southbound lanes.

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construction worker from New York died after a wall collapsed at a Brooklyn construction site last Wednesday. 47 year old Luis Almonte of Innwood was part of a crew of 6 construction workers who were digging into the ground with an excavator at a one-story building located on 39th street. The workers were preparing the ground for the construction of a new manufacturing and healthcare center. As they were digging, a slurry wall suddenly collapsed and buried Almonte.  The FDNY first responders searched for hours through the rubble assisted by a NYPD K9 Unit. A Con Edison truck designed to vacuum debris and soil was also used to assist the crews. The rain was making the search more difficult. The body of Luis Almonte was finally found on Thursday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The DOB is still investigating the reason for the wall collapse. The construction site had active permits and no complaints or violations.

 

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NYC construction workers The number of construction accident fatalities in New York City recorded by the DOB doubled during the first seven months of 2018 compared to the same period of 2017. The DOB data does not include fatalities from transit and roadway projects, as well as health emergencies, that are not in DOB’s jurisdiction and usually approximately account for an additional third of the DOB numbers. These numbers are usually recorded by OSHA but are not available so far.

8 construction workers died between January 1st 2018 and July 31st 2018. The year before, 4 of them died during the same period of time. Injuries also rose by 17% from 401 to 469 while the total number of construction accidents went up 18.4% from 386 to 457.

Among the 8 workers who died, 4 of them died while working on a Manhattan construction site , 2 of them while working on a Queens site, one of them on a Brooklyn site and one of them on a Bronx site. Sadly most of these deaths might have been prevented if safety rules had been proprely implemented and respected.

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84 people including 49 pedestrians, 6 cyclists, 3 vehicle passengers and 26 vehicle drivers died in traffic accidents in New York City during the first semester. This is the lowest number of traffic deaths ever recorded in the city during the first six months of the year. Last year 96 people died in traffic accidents during the same period. It was the  first time that the number of traffic deaths was below 100 for the first six months of the year.Traffic Deaths NYC first semester 2018

While less and less people are dying in auto accidents in the city, more and more are getting injured. 28,544 people suffered injury in a crash during the first semester of 2018 compared to 27,923 during the same period of the previous year and respectively 27,540, 23,530, 24,508 and 26,119 during the first semester of 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.

As part of the Vision Zero initiative, the speed limit in the city went down to 25 mph in 2014. This speed limit decrease may have been a factor in the reduction of traffic deaths and in the increase of injuries. Accidents at lower speed may prevent road users from dying, instead they are getting injured.