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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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Two men died after their car collided with a tractor trailer truck on the New York State Thruway. 27 year old Moshe Herzog and 26 year old David Z. Schneebalg, two EMTs,  were coming back home after spending Rosh Hashanah out of State. As they were driving in the middle lane, near Exit 14B at Airmont Road in Rockland County, Herzog who was driving the car, struck a tractor trailer in the right lane. The accident occurred early Monday morning around 2:00 am. The impact was so intense that both vehicles crossed the right shoulder and plunged into a ditch. The car burst in flames as one of the men was screaming for help. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. They were both members of the Haverstraw Ambulance Corps and the William P. Faist Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Their colleagues heard them screaming for help on the local EMS channel to get them out of their car. They ran to the rescue but it was too late. The truck driver survived. He was pinned in his truck and had to be pulled from the wreckage and transported to the hospital.

Both Herzog and Schneeblag were greatly appreciated for their work for the community. Even though they lived in Ramapo, they would frequently answer radio calls to serve Haverstraw if extra ambulances were needed.

Last year Herzog was honored by the Rockland County Legislature after he went on a 7-hour drive with a colleague to look for a rabbi who drowned in the sea off the Virginia Coast. Herzog was able to bring back the body of the rabbi to the family so they could get closure. He was just a very giving man, always ready to help. He will be dearly missed by the community.

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A FDNY fire truck crashed into an ambulance killing the patient and injuring 11 others. The truck accident occurred on Thursday around 12:50 am. An ambulance transporting 59 year old Jamil Almansouri, a patient with a cardiac emergency was rushing North on Throop Avenue with its lights and sirens on. As the ambulance crossed the intersection of Myrtle Ave, a FDNY truck responding to a call for an apartment fire with all sirens and lights on as well, t-boned the ambulance. The patient flew across the ambulance and died. Almansouri was a Yemeni immigrant who owned a neighborhood bodega in Brooklyn and known by everybody as “Mike”. His sister, Granna Ahmad, who was in the ambulance with him survived, however she suffered multiple personal injuries including a broken back and two broken legs. She also lost all her teeth. The medical technician who was in the back with the deceased victim and his sister also suffered serious injury. The driver of the ambulance was hospitalized and required surgery for a serious leg injury. Six firefighters were also taken to to the hospital as well as two other people who were in a car waiting at a traffic light and whose car was also struck in the crash.

The firemen received a call at 12:43 initially reporting that people were trapped in a building. 6 minutes later the ambulance picked up Alamsouri who was in critical condition and took off for Woodhull Medical Center. Two minutes later, both vehicles crashed into each other, 3 blocks away from the  apartment fire. Thankfully, only one resident was living in the building and he was able to escape on his own.

According to preliminary investigations, the ambulance had the green light while the fire truck had the red light. However both vehicles had the right to bypass the light as they were both responding to a 911 emergency.  Some protruding scaffolding on a building near the intersection might have blocked the view of the fire truck driver.

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accident sceneA man who was drunk behind the wheels crashed his car into a telephone pole. His son who was in the car with him was critically injured  and rushed to the hospital where he died five days later. The man refused to surrender and the police had to track him down, He was arrested two weeks later and charged in an 18-count indictment including manslaughter.

The accident occurred on August 26th around 6:50 am. 34 year old Victor Mitchell from Central Avenue in Albany, was driving his Honda with his son in Far Rockaway when he crashed his car into a telephone pole. His 8 year old son, Sincere, was on board. When the police arrive they found that Mitchell had a blood alcohol content of .118. He also tested positive for Marijuana.

Tragic death

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accident scene4 people died  and several others were injured in a car crash on a Long Island highway in an area nicknamed by locals “Blood Alley” for the many car accidents that previously occurred in this specific area of North Massapequa, NY . The accident caused by a wrong-way driver occurred early morning, around 5:00 am yesterday.

For reasons that are still unknown, 33-year-old Marvin Balcaseres from Farmingdale, NY, entered the Southern State Parkway the wrong way, most probably at exit 30 or exit 31 according to preliminary investigations. He traveled for about a minute before crashing into a SUV driven by 67 year old Ruben Sanchez who was heading to work with three other passengers identified as 34 -year-old Ivis Sanchez Cordova, 56-year-old Edith Magana and 44 year old Nadina Sanchez-Cordova.  The wrong way driver as well as all the occupants of the SUV, except Nadina Sanchez-Cordova, died at the scene of the crash. Nadina was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Another car was also hit by the wrong way driver. Thankfully the driver wasn’t hurt. A motorcyclist who tried to avoid the area of the crash was hit by debris and sustained minor injuries.

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safety stand down constructionFalls in construction are the main cause of construction worker deaths and injuries. In the US, every year  around 200 workers die and 10,000 suffer personal injury after they fell on a construction site.

To prevent and reduce fall accidents, every year since 2012, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and  the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are joining forces annually for a one week national campaign asking construction workers and their supervisors all over the nation to conduct a stand down focusing on fall prevention.

During a stand down, workers pause work and  participate in discussions or activities related to fall prevention and safety policies

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location of the fatal collision between the truck and the cyclistA cyclist was fatally struck by a bus in New York City on Monday. 35 year old Sarah Pitts, was riding her bike on Whythe Avenue in Brooklyn when she was fatally struck by a charter bus belonging to Excellent Bus Service. The accident occurred just after midnight near Williamsburg Street. Sarah was a senior prosecutor for the Office of Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzales, who was hired in 2018 and assigned to the Appeals Bureau. According to friends, the young woman was heading home after a meeting with “Riders for Rights”, a group of cyclists working on protecting protesters’ first-amendment rights.

In a condolences statement, Brooklyn D.A. Gonzales described Sarah as a brilliant and compassionate lawyer as well as a kind and generous worker who volunteered to come in the office for urgent matters during the COVID-19 crisis.

With its entrance to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, the area around the intersection of Wythe Avenue and Williamsburg Street is particularly dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians. It is also quite common to see cars or school buses obstructing the bike lane.

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protected bike lane saves livesWhile bicycle accidents injuries in New York City went down by 3.6% during the last 3 months compared to the same period last year, bicycle accident injuries in the Bronx increased by 35 %. Bicyclist activist organization, Transportation Alternatives has been asking the city to install more bike lanes in the Bronx but instead the DOT is planning to use more police enforcement.

At the beginning of the summer the NYPD organized a four-weeks enforcement blitz to tame down speeding and failure to yield at Bronx high crash corridors such as Bruckner Boulevard and is planning to organize another one soon.

However while the blitz was  effective in preventing pedestrian accidents, it didn’t curb the soaring number of bicycle accidents in the Bronx this summer. On June 11th, a 24 year old cyclist died from his injuries  after being hit by a car on on Willis Avenue and E. 138th Street. The same day, a 38 year old cyclist was fatally struck by a truck on Park Avenue near 138th Street. Then, on June 20, a 43 year old man riding a e-bike in Pelham Bay Park died after being struck by a vehicle. Last week a cyclist who was hit by a car near East 175th street on August 5th and fought for his life for almost a month, died from his injuries. As mentioned above the number of bicycle accidents injuries is also soaring in the Bronx and a police blitz will have little effect on changing this dangerous trend. In an article in StreetBlog, Edwin Figueroa, a senior organizer at Transportation Alternatives, is asking for permanent measures allowing cyclists to be safe when commuting in the Bronx. “What cyclists from all over the city, but especially in the Bronx, need from this administration is more protected bike-lane infrastructure. The Bronx needs redesigned streets that are self-enforcing, not streets that are reliant on NYPD enforcement to ensure safeness,” he said.

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Auto Accident NYC Injuries Deaths June 2020During the Covid-19 lock-down, NYC car accident deaths and motorcyclist deaths related to reckless behavior, mostly speeding, increased. City officials were expecting fatalities to go down as the city was getting more active again but statistics show that instead traffic accident fatalities surged after the lock-down.

As a result the DOT announced yesterday that it was lowering the city speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph on the most dangerous roads of the 5 New York City boroughs on:

  • Riverside  Drive from 165th street to 181st street in Manhattan
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At least 3 teenagers suffered serious injury and were hospitalized and another one died after they participated in  a new challenge on the popular Tik Tok app. The Benadryl challenge  requires participants to take an amount of Benadryl larger that the recommended dosage in order to be able to hallucinate or trip and to post the experience on Tik Tok.

According to Oklahoma’s News 4 Channel, a 15 year old girl died last week after overdosing on Benadryl. It is not sure how many pills of Benadryl the young girl took but teens participating in this dangerous challenge usually take between 10 and 12 pills of Benadryl. This type of dosage is extremely dangerous.It is specially dangerous for the heart which can go out of rhythm and not pump blood effectively. It can cause seizures.

The Tik Tok Benadryl challenge has been on for several months. In May after 3 teenagers were hospitalized in one week at the Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, the hospital issued a warning to all parents about the danger of the Benadryl challenge.  Teens who are participating in the challenge are not of the suicidal type. They just see other teens getting high on Tik Tok and they want to do the same. Videos on TikTok indicate how many milligrams they should take and encourage them to try to see how they feel. Doctors at the Cook’s Children’s Medical Center were showed several videos by their young patients providing step by step instructions on how to take large amounts of Benadryl mixed with an energy drink.

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construction workersTo prevent and reduce construction accidents injuries and deaths in New York City, Local Law 196 requires that most construction workers receive 40 hours of safety training and that their supervisor receive 62 hours of training.  Local Law 196 was passed in 2017 after construction accidents fatalities recorded by the DOB went from 3 in 2013 to 8 in 2014, 12 in 2015, 12 in 2016 and 12 again in 2017. The original deadline for workers to receive their 40 hours of training was September 1 2020 but because much of the “in-person training” was cancelled or postponed because of the covid-19 crisis, the Department of Buildings extended the deadline to March 1 2021. The classes can be taken in person or online.  Online classes are available in multiple languages.

Most construction workers and their supervisors must comply with Local law 196 to be able to work at their construction site

The only construction workers who are exempted from getting safety training are DCA-licensed Home Improvement Contractors and workers at job sites that only involve minor alterations as well as workers building a new 1, 2 or 3-family home. Workers who are not sure if their sites require safety training can consult the interactive site safety construction map.  Personal on these specific sites that do not require safety training are the site owners, the projects managers, the professional engineers, the architects, the developers, the delivery people, the construction managers, the flag persons, the general contractors, the people taking care of the concrete testing, the filing representatives, the security officers, the special inspectors, the service technicians and the consultants. All other construction workers at the sites including demolition workers, construction superintendents, site safety coordinators, site safety managers, forepersons, journey men, employees of DOB licensees or registrants must comply with Local Law 196.  Those who need to take classes can use the DOB”s map of approved course providers or go to the OSHA website to locate a course provider or take an online class.