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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Riding-mower-WikipediaAn alarming number of very young children have been seriously injured and some of them even died after someone, often a parent or a family member backed over them while riding a mower.  Most common injuries reported are amputations of hands, fingers, legs feet toes and limbs as well as mangled and ripped internal organs. In a recent article, Fair Warning, found 133 cases in court records since 2004 until now. Among them 8 of the victims died from their injuries. Another study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that there was an average of 65 children injured every year in the US by riding mowers back-overs.

In the 1980ies after an epidemic of injuries related to walk-behind power mowers, The Consumer Product Safety Commission implemented mandatory safety standards for mowers but riding mowers were excluded from them. Some manufacturers propose riding mowers that can mow in reverse. These type of mowers are the most dangerous to young children. In 2003 after a rise of accidents a voluntary standard was adopted by lawn mower manufacturers. The standard requires that the blade immediately stops to spin when the mower riders back up. However the standard also allowed manufacturers to install a button that allows the driver to override the feature. Manufacturers are claiming that they installed the button at the request of their consumers who want more flexibility but safety advocates reply that the button is a good excuse for manufacturers to protect themselves from lawsuits.  However this excuse didn’t always work for the manufacturer Deere & Co. In a recent lawsuit involving a 2 year old girl whose leg was amputated after her dad backed over her while riding a Deere mower, the jury found that the mower was defective and awarded the victim $12.25 million. The jury found that Deere was responsible for 78% of the damages and put the rest of the blame on the father.

Read more in Fair Warning

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https://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorneysblog.com/files/2019/09/New_York._Central_Park._Carriage.jpgLast week a cyclist died after he collided with a pedestrian in Central Park. The fatal accident occurred at a dangerous crossing intersection at about 74th Street on East Drive. 43 year old Charles Cheeseboro was riding a e-bike when he struck a 77 year old pedestrian, lost control of his bike and fell on the ground striking his head. He was transported to the hospital where he died from his injuries two days later.

Chaotic Situation

Adrian Benepe who was a Parks Commissioner under Mayor Blooomberg told Streetblog in a interview that Central Park had become so chaotic that he gave up cycling there. He described the actual situation in Central Park as the Wild, Wild West. The Daily News mentioned that when the police was investigating the accident they also had to respond to 3 other accidents that occurred less than 100 feet away. Among them, two cyclists crashed into each other and one of them was transported to the hospital. In another one, a cyclist fell off his bike after being allegedly on his phone while riding.

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A man intentionally struck a cyclist and killed him in Brooklyn. The accident occurred Sunday morning around 6:00 am on Broadway near Ellery St. in Bushwick. The driver of the SUV whose car had been broken in earlier saw the cyclists fiddling with cars and got out of his Jeep Grand Cherokee to question him. The conversation got heated and the cyclist took off on his bike. The driver got back into his SUV and chased him. He sped after him in the oncoming lane of traffic and slammed into him, crushing him against the parked cars. The impact was so violent that the SUV flipped onto its side. The entire accident was caught by a surveillance video.

The 47 year old cyclist died at the scene of the accident and the 41 year old driver was taken into custody. Charges are pending. Two parked cars and a semi-truck were also damaged in the collision. The police found two car stereos, a screwdriver, a set of Allen wrenches, and a fake pistol laying amidst the wreckage.

Using a car as a weapon for a vigilante act is completely unacceptable

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Speed Camera flyer nycTo prevent young pedestrians from being injured in car accidents, the NYPD announced that as kids go back to school today, they will be cracking down on drivers speeding or driving recklessly in school zones.

Not only the NYPD will be reinforcing its presence in school zones but more than hundreds of new speed cameras installed all over the city during the summer will provide extra protection for children as they are going back to school.

A total of 750 speed cameras are being installed in New York City school zones

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The building where the elevator accident occuredOur managing partner, Ben Rubinowitz is representing the family of 30 year old Sam Waisbren who was fatally crushed to death by an elevator in Manhattan. The accident occurred on Thursday August 22nd around 8:15 am at a luxury high-rise called Manhattan Promenade located at the corner of third Avenue and 25th Street in Kips Bay.

Sam was coming out of the elevator  in the lobby when the cabin suddenly fell crushing him to death between the elevator car and the shaft wall. The young man desperately tried to crawl out as 3 people still in the elevator watched in horror.

The family of the victim filed a petition in Manhattan Supreme Court last Friday against Manhattan Promenade LLC, ATA Enterprises Management Inc. and American Elevator & Machine Corporation demanding to keep all evidences safe as they are preparing to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

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A hard hat died and five others were injured after a building under construction partially collapsed in the Bronx. 48 year old Segundo Huerta, a father of five, was working on a construction site located at 92 East 208 Street in the Bronx, on Monday around noon, when the third floor of the building started to crumble and falling on workers below. Segundo and his colleagues were hit and buried in concrete and debris.  When  the firefighters arrived, Segundo was trapped and by the time they were able to recover him he had succumbed to fatal injuries.

The other construction workers injured  were Segundo’s family members or good friends. His 21 year old nephew Manuel Giovanni Huerta suffered a serious spine injury. His cousin Santiago Mayancela suffered a torn ear and a leg injury. Luis Romero, the brother of Segundo’s sister in law suffered a serious head injury. Two friends from the family Luis Antonmio Quizhpi and a man identified as Jose were also injured. The group of workers had been working together on construction  sites for more than 12 years. Segundo, originally from Ecuator, had been living in the US for 19 years. The family and relatives that gathered at the scene of the accident were heart broken.

OVERLOADED FLOOR CAVED IN

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More people than ever were injured in auto accidents in New York City and the number of cyclists deaths was back at its highest during the second trimester of 2019.  Despite a significant decline in the total number of accidents recorded by the NYPD during the period of April, May and June, more motorists, passengers and cyclists were injured in accidents during the second trimester of 2019 than during the same period of 2018. Pedestrians were the only NYC road users that recorded a decline in injuries compared to the same period of 2018.

auto accident nyc second trimester 2019
16,084 people were injured in NYC traffic accidents during the second trimester of 2019 compared to respectively 15,624, 15,315, 15,604, 13,461, 13,703 and 14,443 during the second trimester of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. This is the first time that the number of accident injuries in New York goes over 16,0000 during the second trimester. Motorists are the ones who are the most frequently injured in car accidents. They account for almost half of the cases. Passengers injuries account for almost a third of the injuries.

Car Accident Injuries New York Second trimester 2019
After a steady decline from 2015 to 2018, auto accident fatalities increased again during the second trimester of 2019.  24 pedestrians, 17 motorists, 7 cyclists and 6 passengers died in traffic accidents in New York City last April, May and June.

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location-of-the-deadly-pick-up-truck-accidentA 67 year old pedestrian died from injuries sustained in a pick-up truck accident in New York.  On Saturday August 10th around 9.00 pm, Melissa McClure was in the crosswalk next to her sister at the corner of 15th Street and 6th Ave in Manhattan when a Chevrolet Silverado making a left turn slammed into them. Both women were transported to the hospital. The sister, 59 year old Dorry Chitwood who was visiting from Georgia, suffered a cut in the back of the head. She was treated at the hospital and released shortly after. Melissa sustained major head trauma during the accident.  After she arrived at the hospital, she was put on life support. She never woke up and died from her injuries almost a week later. Melissa who’s nickname was Missy, lived in Chelsea with her two cats. Her sister was visiting from Georgia. After her return flight was cancelled she decided to stay with her sister for an extra night. Both women were on their way for a dinner in Chinatown when the accident occured. The driver of the pick up truck stayed at the scene of the accident.

Dangerous Avenue

Busy 6th Avenue is dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists alike. In June Robyn Hightman was riding her bike when she was fatally stuck by a truck near the intersection of 6th Ave and 23rd Street.  Then at the beginning of August another Chelsea resident, Michael Collopy, died after he was hit by a bicycle. Since January 2016, 18 pedestrians and 15 drivers were injured at this specific intersection.

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a woman was killed in this location after her husband pinned her between the car and the guard railA woman was killed after her husband mowed her down at a NYC car wash. 50 year old Marco Salas and his wife, 51 year old Isabel Cohetero were washing their car at a BP service station on Eliot Ave in Queens when the accident occurred. The couple had finished rinsed off their jeep when it started to slowly roll backward. The husband realized it was in reverse and jumped in the car to stop it. In the rush he hit the gas instead of the breaks and pinned her between the car and the guardrail. The husband realizing what he did, frantically ran to the station to ask for help. Isabel was rushed to the hospital but she didn’t survive.

The couple has been living for the last 24 year at the same address in Ridgewood. They have two sons and a daughter. According the the NY Daily News, the husband was struggling to keep it together after the terrible accident.

Bringing a claim against a family member is always difficult

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craneAfter two successive crane accidents in New York including one fatal, the company United Crane and Rigging was temporary barred from continuing work at 22 construction sites in the city. The NYC DOB will allow the company to restart work only after it replaces some of the employees involved in the recent accidents that occurred on July 30 in the East Village and in April in Soho. On July 30, the company had a crane working at a site located at 749 FDR Drive. The operator of the crane was lifting steel beans when the boom of the crane bent and partially collapsed. The operator then lost control of the load which struck the building before falling on the ground. Thankfully nobody was injured but investigators found that the load lifted by the crane weighted 4,400 pounds while the maximum lifting capacity was 3,700 pounds. Back in April,  34 year old Gregory Echevarria, a war hero who served several deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan died and two other construction workers were injured after a counterweight fell and crushed him during a crane installation by the same operator (see previous blog).

To be able to restart work on its 22 construction sites, United Crane and Rigging has to provide proof to the NYC Department of Buildings that the engineer of record, master rigger, lift director, assembly and disassembly and hoisting machine operators have all been replaced with new staff. Additionally the company also has to hire an independent monitor who will report to the DOB on United Crane and Rigging’s safety compliance.The negligent crane company was also hit with 5 DOB violations for:

  1. inadequate safety measures on site