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 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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Positive Train Control can prevent accidentsIf Positive Train Control (PTC) was functioning, the recent fatal train accident between a New York –  Miami Amtrack and CSX freight train in South Carolina wouldn’t have occurred. PTC uses satellite technology and track sensors to determine the location of a train and to find out if there is a speed restriction or an obstruction ahead.

Unfortunately  wayside signals had been turned off for maintenance and were inoperative in the area of the accident . If they had been working PTC would have automatically slowed down the train and the accident may have been prevented.

PTC would have also prevented the derailment of the Amtrack train in Dupont, Washington last December. In the December accident, the train enginer failed to slow down before a curve causing the train to derail. This type of accident would not happen anymore if PTC was installed and functioning on all national railroads.

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Fall Protection SystemThe Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) looked over 33 years of data from the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program and found out that falls were responsible for 42% of hard hat deaths. The CPWR searchers also found that  54% of the workers who died after falling did not have access to a personal fall arrest system and 23% had access to it but did not use it.  The study also found that roofers, siding and sheet metal contractors were those who most often were not provided with a personal fall arrest system. These numbers  clearly show the importance  of  holding contractors accountable for the safety of their employees when they work at high elevation.

NY STATE SCAFFOLD LAW MUST BE KEPT

In New York, the Scaffold Safety Law (Section 240(1) of the NYS Labor Law)  holds an owner and general contractor responsible for the death or the injuries of a worker if the worker wasn’t provided with the necessary safety equipment when working at height. Big construction companies and insurance companies have been trying to kill this law for years. However the Scaffold Law remains the most effective manner to make sure construction workers are protected from falls. This is particularly important in New York City where a lot of hard hats are participating in the construction of high rises buildings.

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accident sceneA driver who killed a pedestrian was previously told by his doctor not to drive. 41 year old Mark Antoine suffers from multiple sclerosis, a condition that can lead to partial or complete loss of vision as well as issues with limbs and lack of coordination. His doctor ordered him not to drive but he din’t listen to him and last month the worst happened. His foot got stuck on the gas pedal and he fatally hit a father who was going to pick his son up from school in Brooklyn NYC

Mark Antoine was indicted on second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, reckless driving and speeding. He was held on $50,000 bail after he pleaded not guilty. He is facing up to 15 years in jail. (read more in the NY Daily News)

Yesterday morning another pedestrian was hit by a car in Brooklyn. The victim suffered serious personal injury after being hit by a car while crossing Willmohr Street at E. 94th Street in Brownsville. The police are still looking for the driver who fled the scene of the accident (read more in the NY Daily News)

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accident scene

A 31 year old man from the Bronx was killed by a drunk driver in a car accident in New York City. The accident occurred Saturday around 2:50 am on Burke Ave. 54 year old Andres Mayora crashed into 31 year old Shiquam Dunn. Mayora was drunk and speeding when the accident occurred. Five vehicles were damaged during the accident and two other women suffered personal injury. Dunn was the father of an autistic son. (Read more in the NY Daily News)

A van crashed into a parked car in NYC after the driver suffered a heart attack. The driver, a 64 year old man, was driving a van belonging to the Gethsemane Temple outside Kings County Hospital on Clarkson Ave near E. 37th Street in Brooklyn around 5:30 am on Sunday morning. He went into cardiac arrest and lost control of his vehicle. Thankfully there wasn’t much traffic at this time on Sunday and except for the driver who passed away nobody else suffered personal injury. There was only property damage: the driver struck a car parked in the street and a light pole.  The emergency team brought the driver to the hospital and tried to resuscitate him but it was too late. (read more in the NY Daily News)

Another 64 year old man died in  a traffic accident last week-end in New York City. The man was crossing Little Neck Parkway at 83rd Ave in Queens when he was hit by a car. The accident occurred on Friday night around 9:00 pm. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident. He wasn’t charged. The victim was rushed to the hospital but couldn’t be saved. (read more in the NY Daily News)

 

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Auto accident deaths NYC 2017In 2017, 102 pedestrians, 20 cyclists, 24 passengers and 63 drivers died in auto accidents in New York City compared to respectively 134, 18, 17 and 54 in 2016.

According to the traffic collision data released monthly by the NYPD, a total of 209 people died in traffic accidents in 2017 compared to a total of 223 in 2016 and 286 in 2013 before Vision Zero was launched. This is the lowest number of motor vehicle accident fatalities ever recorded since the city started to create statistics in 1910.

The decline in traffic fatalities is mostly due to the decline in pedestrian deaths that went down by 39% from 168 in 2013 before Vision Zero to 102 in 2017. During that same time fatal bicycle accidents almost doubled going from 11 to 20. Passenger deaths stayed almost stable from 23 to 24 and motorists fatalities declined by 25%.

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construction workerThe industry hates to talk about it but in the recent year many construction workers have been dying not from accidents but from opioid abuse. According to a previous study, workers in the construction industry are the second most susceptible workers to use opioids after workers in the food industry. The study estimates that more than 15% of  construction workers are using illicit drugs. Because of the nature of the job, construction workers are more prone to serious injuries than workers in other industries. Statistics indicate that the cost of opioid use is greater in construction than in any other industry. When comparing the total cost of prescription by industry, opioids account for 20% for the construction industry compared to an average 10% for the average of all other industries.

Opioids are used to reduce pain but they can cause addiction and lead to abuse

A recent article in Cleveland.com looked at deaths statistics and found that Ohio construction workers were seven time more likely to die from an opioid overdose than workers in other industries.  Workers addicted to opioids not only can cause injury to themselves but they also put at risk their coworkers or even passersby.  They also have a negative impact on the productivity and the profitability of their employers.

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New York Personal Injury Lawyer Howard Hershenhorn
Our partner, NYC Personal Injury Attorney Howard Hershenhorn and his team including Christopher Donadio and Anthony Gair have filed notices of claim against the City of New York, the Hudson River Park Trust and the State of New York for more than $600 million on behalf of 20 individuals who were either fatally struck or injured during the terror attack that occurred on October 31, 2017. The attack occurred on the Hudson River Greenway, a popular Manhattan bike path along the Hudson River.  Our personal injury law firm represents the families of 7 of the 8 bicyclists who were killed by the terrorist, as well as 13 individuals who were injured. Our clients include families and individuals from Argentina, Belgium and New York.

Our New York personal injury lawyers believe that authorities failed to “to implement measures and precautions to prevent vehicles from intentionally entering the bicycle path despite the fact that it was foreseeable”. It was foreseeable, based on various prior incidents, including the death of Eric Ng who was killed by a driver on the same bike path in 2006.  In addition, following Mr. Ng’s death, multiple studies have shown that necessary precautions were needed to prevent motor vehicles from driving on the Hudson River Greenway bike path. Also, for the past ten years, safety advocates have been asking for the installations of steel bollards and other safety measures to prevent cars and other motor vehicles from driving on the bike lane. The City of New York, Hudson River Park Trust and State of New York were presented with detailed plans to prevent collisions between cars and cyclists on the bike path. Unfortunately, no action was taken.

In 2010, the Department of Homeland Security, in light of concerns that terrorist groups using vehicles to ram innocent people, issued a warning to the City of New York and State of New York about the need to secure public pedestrian and public bicycle areas from motor vehicles. Again, despite this warning, no action was taken.

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electric linemenConstruction is the industry that has the highest electrocution deaths among all industries. OSHA identifies electrocution as one of the leading causes of fatality among construction workers. In its latest Quarterly Data Report, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) is taking a close look at recent electrocution data and proposes solutions to prevent them.

Since 2012 the construction industry rose back from the 2008 recession and so did the number of fatal construction accidents. From 2011 to 2015 fatal construction accidents increased by 26% from 781 to 985 fatalities. During the same period, electrocution fatalities rose by 17% from 70 to 82 fatalities. In average during this period electrocution deaths represented 9% of all construction accident deaths.

Electrocution deaths in the construction industry have been declining since 2003. From 134 in 2003 they recorded their lowest in 2012 with 66 deaths and went back up to 82 in 2015. The rate per 100,000 workers also went down from 1.3 in 2003 to 0.8 in 2015.

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After 13 people died and 4 were critically injured in a fire accident in New York City, the FDNY  reminds New Yorkers that a simple move can save lives. If you are fleeing a room on fire, shut the door behind you! In apartment buildings this simple action can prevent the fire from spreading to hallways and stairs. In houses, closing a door can save the whole structure. Above all all it can prevent others from being injured or from dying.

Last month, a fire started in the kitchen of an apartment located at 2363 Prospect Ave in Belmont. A young mother was in the kitchen and ran away leaving the kitchen door opened behind her. This allowed the fire to spread upstairs and then throughout the entire building. 12 people died in the fire including four children. 4 other people were critically injured. Among them was a man who died from his injuries a few days later. The FDNY believes that if the kitchen door had been closed, the deaths and injuries may have been prevented.

If you find yourself in a situation were you have to flee from a fire just remember one thing: Close the Door!