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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Broad Channel fatal bicycle accident Tweet
65 year old Bogdan Darmetko died in a bicycle accident in New York City on Sunday. Bogdan was riding his bike on Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel around 2:30 pm when he was hit by a 32 year old man driving a 2008 Ford SUV. According to the police report the cyclist who was riding in the unprotected bike lane made a left into the path of the car and was fatally struck by the front of the vehicle. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged. When the EMS arrived they found Bogdan lying on the ground. They rushed him to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved. Bogdan Darmetko is the 25th person to die in a NYC bicycle accident this year. He had been riding his bicycle in the city for the last 10 years.

Residents have long complained that speeding is an issue but nothing has been done

The  accident occurred at a spot where some road construction was ongoing and the cyclist might have swerved to avoid it.  Speed might have been a factor in his death as well. Cross Bay Boulevard is known for excessive speeding and Broad Channel residents have long been asking the DOT to install stop lights to address this problem. The bike lane on both sides of the road is not protected. Many accident have occurred previously on this Boulevard. NYC Crash Mapper reports that in the area where Cross Bay Boulevard crosses through Broad Channel a total of 273 crashes were reported since the beginning of 2016 until the end of last September.  8 cyclists, 4 pedestrians and 82 motorists were injured  in some of these accidents.

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E-Cigarette-1After a 17 year old boy recently died from vaping in the Bronx, the city of New York announced that it filed a federal lawsuit against 22 online sellers of e-cigarettes who have been caught selling their products to underage clients. These sellers allegedly targeted young people through social media and advertising for flavored e-cigarettes such as “Lemon Twist,” “Freddy’s Pebbles” and “Whipped Salted Caramel”. They also accepted online purchases from teenagers.

According to the lawsuit that was filed yesterday in US District Court in Brooklyn, the defendants sold e-cigarettes to two New York City residents who were younger than 21 year old but older than 18 year old.  In order to purchase the e-cigarettes online, the two young New Yorkers created an email address and used prepaid Visa gift cards. Among the 22 sellers who accepted the orders some of them didn’t use age verification services or sold the e-cigarettes despite the buyers indicating that they were younger than 21.  The companies then shipped the orders to an address in New York City that was controlled by the New York City Sheriff’s Office. No signature or identification were required.

Last month an emergency ban of flavored e-cigarettes was voted by New York State officials (see previous blog) but last week a New York Court halted the ban one day before it was supposed to take effect after an industry trade group named Vapor Technology Association appealed the decision. The case will now be heard by the Supreme Court in Albany on October 18th. Until that date the ban can’t be applied.

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location of the fatal bicycle accidentA NYC child riding a bike in a crosswalk was killed by a motorist who failed to yield while making a left turn. The accident occurred on Saturday morning around 10:30 am in Brooklyn, NYC. 10 year old Dalerjon Shahobidinov was on his bike in the crosswalk on Foster Avenue when 29 year old Victor Mejia made a left turn from Seton Place and recklessly slammed into him. Mejia stayed at the scene of the accident. The police found that he was driving without a license and charged him with failure to exercise due care, failure to yield and driving without a license. The driver  who never applied for a license, has a long history of reckless driving with 22 summonses that include two running red lights.

24 bicyclists killed in NYC in 2019

Dalerjon was a fourth grade student at PS 134 and has 3 other siblings. When the accident occurred he was riding with a group of friends with whom he was playing soccer in Prospect Park. The child is the 24th cyclist to die in a traffic accident in New York City this year. The victim before him was a senior e-bike rider. 62 year old Abul Bashar was a delivery cyclist for a restaurant. He was struck by a private sanitation truck on September 8th and could never recover from his injuries. He died on September 18th.

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One construction worker died on the job in New York City in June bringing the total of deaths to 5 for the first half of 2019 compared to respectively 6, 2, 5 and 6 for the first semester of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015. The June fatality occurred in Manhattan. 4 of the 5 fatalities on NYC construction sites occurred in Manhattan and the other one in Brooklyn during this first semester. No deaths were recorded in the Bronx, Queens or Staten Island construction sites during the first six months of the year.June 2019 fatalities on NYC construction sites

A total of 4 construction accident fatalities were recorded in Manhattan during the first semester of 2019 compared to respectively 2, 1, 3 and 3 during the first semesters of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015. This last semester was the deadliest in Manhattan since 2015.

Manhattan Construction worker fatalities June 2019
One hard hat died in Brooklyn during the first semester of 2019 compared to respectively 1, 1, 1 and 2 during the first semesters of 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015.

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FDNY_Haz-TecCity drivers were determined to be at fault in 3,357 motor vehicle crashes in New York City during the last fiscal year that covers the July 2018 to June 2019 period. This number is up by 10 compared to the previous year and despite a diminution of the city vehicle fleet from 31,002 to 30,755.

827 people were injured and 4 died in these accidents compared to respectively 763 and 2 during the previous fiscal year.

The city vehicle involved in the highest amount of crashes were the FDNY vehicles with 10.1 accidents per 100,000 miles traveled followed by Sanitation (7.6), Parks (4.7) and the NYPD (4.4).

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Borden-Ave-and-11streetA 14 year old cyclist was fatally struck by a truck in New York City on Saturday afternoon. Mario Valenzuela was riding his bike on Borden Avenue around 2:00 pm Saturday afternoon when a truck belonging to limited Interior Group, a private sanitation company, made a right turn onto 11th street and fatally struck him.

The 33 year old truck driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged even though he violated the Right of Way Law.

Last week an off duty cop on a motorcycle was also killed by a private sanitation truck in the Bronx and at the beginning of the month another cyclist suffered critical head injury after he was struck by a dump truck in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Plans to reform the industry and reduce truck roads by having a limited number of companies taking care of specific areas have all been opposed so far.

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location of the reckless driving fatal accidentReckless driving killed another NYC pedestrian: a one year old girl who was in a stroller pushed by her mother on a Bronx sidewalk. The fatal accident occurred on Tuesday afternoon. The mother of 1 year old Djeneba Magassa was pushing her daughter in her stroller on the sidewalk of  East 215th Street near Mama G African Kitchen when a reckless 22 year old driver identified as Kier Boneparte lost control of his white BMW SUV, jumped the curb and pinned the stroller against the wall. A man sitting in front of a grocery store a few steps away heard a loud noise and a woman screaming for help. He ran to the corner and with another man they pushed the car to free the baby. The mother and the daughter were rushed to the hospital. When they arrived, one year old Djeneba was pronounced dead.

The driver of the BMW stayed at the scene of the accident. When the police arrived they tested him to check if he was intoxicated but he wasn’t. However the police found out that he didn’t have a driving license.

Last week 4 pedestrians including a 10 year old boy waiting at a bus stop, were killed by reckless drivers in New York City and none of them were charged (see previous blog).  In this case, the was charged with reckless driving, driving without a license or insurance and failing to yield to a pedestrian.  (Read more in the New York Times )

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An off duty high-ranking NYPD cop died in the Bronx after a garbage truck making a left turn hit his motorcycle. Around 8:15 am on Monday morning, 56 year old Michael McGrath, was riding his bike south on East Tremont Ave when a dump truck making a left turn onto Waterbury Avenue hit him. He was rushed to the hospital where he later died from his injuries. The driver of the truck stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t immediately charged. Inspector McGrath was the commanding officer of the NYPD’s Strategic Services Division. He was in charge of the department’s cadet program providing internships and police training for college students interested in a law enforcement career.

The accident occurred less than 10 days after a 62 year old e-biker suffered critical head injury after colliding with a garbage truck in Gowanus, Brooklyn. The accident was pretty similar to the one that killed Inspector Mc Grath. The dump truck struck the e-biker while making a left turn from third Ave onto 12th Street. The driver was a 52 year old off-duty firefighter working an authorized second job.

Hell on Wheels

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E-Cigarette-16 people have now died in the US and 450 others, including 64 of them in New York, have suffered lung injuries connected to vaping. In order to prevent more deaths and injuries related to vaping in New York State, Governor Cuomo just announced that he is planning to issue an emergency regulation to ban all vape flavors beside tobacco and menthol.  By banning fruity and sweet flavors such as bubble gum,  cotton candy or captain crunch that are usually appealing to teenage customers, the governor hopes that he can fight addiction to nicotine at an early age.  Tobacco and menthol flavors will be allowed as some studies have indicated that vaping might help smokers to quit cigarettes. The American Lung Association released a statement criticizing Cuomo’s decision to keep tobacco and menthol flavors saying that it will just make more people addicted to menthol flavor.  The governor said a ban of menthol might be considered in the future.

Investigation by the NY Department of Health

In addition to the ban, the NY Department of health will also investigate the 64 cases of lung injuries that occurred in New York State.  So far it has been difficult to identify exactly what caused some vape users to check in to the emergency room however according to the NY Department of Health many cases were linked to cannabis products which contained a high level of vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E acetate acts as a thickening agent for vaping products. As a result of this preliminary investigation, Cuomo also directed the Department of Health to subpoena companies that are manufacturing and selling what is called “thickening agents” which are often added to black market products.

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51 pedestrians, 13 cyclists 11 passengers and 28 motorists died in auto accidents in New York City during the first semester of 2019. After two consecutive years of decline, traffic fatalities in the city went back above 100 at 101 during the first six months of the year compared to respectively 84, 96, 107, 107, 97 and 121 in the same period of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Fatalities increased for all categories of road users except for motorist deaths which stayed stable at 26 during the first semester of this year and the previous one. Auto-accident-fatalities-NYC-first-semester-2019

NYC Traffic injuries reached a record high at 29,081 during the first semester of the year compared to respectively 28,544, 27,923, 27,540, 23,530, 24,508 and 26,119 during the first semester of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. All category of road users except pedestrians suffered more injuries during this semester than during the previous one.

Car Accident Injuries New York first semester 2019
While the total number of bicycle accidents reported to the NYPD during the first semester of 2019 was slightly lower than the number of accidents reported during the same period of 2018, cyclist fatalities more than doubled during the first six months of the year compared to the first semester of 2018 to reach a record high of 13.  Bicycle accident injuries jumped to 1,907, a record high as well. These numbers came as a bad surprise as 6 months earlier, the de Blasio administration which had been promoting using bicycles to commute around the city was proudly announcing that the number of cyclists killed in the city reached a record low of 9 for the entire year of 2018 and that Vision Zero Initiatives were working. A similar pattern occurring in 2015 and 2016 is an indication that despite all Vision Zero improvements, the city remains a dangerous and deadly place to ride a bicycle.