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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Home FireA woman and her dog died in a residential fire in New York City at the beginning of last week.  47 year old Dawn Greig had just borrowed a space heater from her sister Denise. Greig who lived in a two-story home on Beach 95th Street in Rockaway Beach previously told her sister that since Sandy the building’s boiler hadn’t been working proprely and she didn’t get any heat. Her sister who had a couple of  space heaters in her own house offered her one.

On Monday morning around 5:00 am, Denise who lived in a house on the same lot stopped at her sister’s place for a quick chat before heading to work. At that time everything seemed ok. The fire erupted 3 hours later. When the firefighters arrived they found Dawn unconscious on the second floor. She was rushed to the hospital but she didn’t survive. He dog also perished in the flames. The borrowed heater was found melted by the FDNY (Read more about it in the NY Daily News).

Portable heaters are responsible for an average 12,000 fires every year in the US

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New York Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Rachel JacobsNYC pedestrian accident attorney james rubinowitzTwo of our young NYC personal injury attorneys, Rachel Jacobs and James Rubinowitz, were invited last Monday night to share their skills with the students of the Cardozo Law School’s Intensive Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP). During this two-week immersion program, students are taught cutting-edge strategies for courtroom litigation under the instruction of leading jurists and lawyers from across the country. The program is a cornerstone of Cardozo’s practical skills curriculum.

Rachel and James just finished a trial during which they represented the four adult children of a 90 year old pedestrian who was fatally struck by a motor vehicle as she was crossing a street in New York City.  They presented to the students of the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP) the opening statement and the summation that they gave to the jury at trial.

The pedestrian suffered excruciating pain and suffering before she died

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While the number of traffic fatalities is on the rise nationally, in New York, most probably because of the many Vision Zero Initiatives launched over the last five years, traffic fatalities were at their lowest during the third trimester of 2018 compared to the third trimester of the five previous years. The decline in traffic fatalities during the summer of 2018 is due to the decrease in pedestrians and cyclists fatalities while the number of motorist fatalities was at its highest since the beginning of Vision Zero.

From July 1st to September 30 2018, 59 people lost their life in NYC auto accidents compare to respectively 65, 61, 60, 76 and 82 during the same period of 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. It is interesting to notice that there are now as many motorists deaths as pedestrian deaths. Pedestrians used to be the category of road users the most at risk of dying in trafic accidents. However according to the most recent statistics drivers now have as much risk as pedestrians of getting killed in a traffic accident in New York City. Total traffic fatalities in New York City third trimester 2018

A record number of 16,300 people were injured in car accidents in New York City during the third trimester of 2018 compared to respectively 15,860, 16,048, 13,998, 13,472 and 14,900 during the third trimester of 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Not only in New York but all over the US, distracted driving has led to a significant increase in motorist injuries. Over the last 3 years and despite Vision Zero intense efforts to make New York City Streets safer, the number of motorists injured in car accidents in New York has been increasing tremendously.

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New York Bicycle Accident Lawyer Anthony Gair
Our NYC bicycle accident lawyers are suing the city and the Hudson River Park Trust on behalf of the families of the victims of the terror attack that took place a year ago on the West Side Highway bike path.  Our firm is representing the families of 20 victims who were among the people who were killed or injured  by a pro-ISIS terrorist who rented a truck from the Home Depot and sped down  the Greenway, a popular bike path along the Hudson River, mowing down anyone in its path.

The city’s Department of Transportation and Parks Dept as well as the Hudson River Park Trust “were on notice since at least 2007 of the numerous vehicles that were entering the Greenway,” said our partner Anthony Gair to the NY Daily News. “Nothing was done.”

Previous Transportation Alternative study ignored by the city

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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.