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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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tweet about pedestrian crushed by car in NYCOne day after a pedestrian died after being hit by a car on a Manhattan sidewalk and 5 other people were injured after a car jumped the curb in Brooklyn (see previous blog), another NYC pedestrian died  after being struck by a car jumping the curb in Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, NYC.

Volf Ferdman, a 97 year-old decorated World War II veteran and beloved grand father was killed by a 79 year-old driver last Wednesday afternoon while on his way to the bank.  The accident occurred right in front of the Apple Bank located on Brighton Beach Ave near 4th Street around 3:45 pm. Ferdman was sitting on his walker in front of the bank when the driver of a large SUV, a 2008 Cadillac Escalade who was parked in front of  him started to maneuver to get out of the parking space. As he was doing so, the 79 year old motorist lost control of the massive SUV, jumped the curb and pinned Ferdman between the front of his car and the bank’s glass window. Ferdman was still alive when emergency responders arrived but the injuries he sustained were so bad that he later passed away at the hospital. He lived just a few blocks away from the bank. An Apple Bank employee told the News that the SUV had a handicapped sticker in the windshield.

Ferdman was a beloved grandfather and great-grand father and his 46 year old granddaughter Svetlana Statsyuk told the News that her grand father was looking forward to celebrating “Victory Day” on May 9th, a former Soviet Union holiday celebrating the 1945 surrender of Nazi Germany. Ferdman was originally from Ukraine and fought  for Russia during World War II. He later immigrated to the US and choose Brighton Beach in Brooklyn as his new home. His family was his biggest joy and they loved him dearly.

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Location of the fatal pedestrian accident in Brooklyn, NYCA motorist fatally hit a pedestrian in Brooklyn, NY and took off on foot last Saturday morning around 8:00 am. The pedestrian was 52 year old Angel Aguilar-Duran, a private sanitation worker on the job. At the time of the accident, Angel was standing  in the street, guiding the driver of the garbage truck backing down on Hope Street near the Havemeyer Street intersection. As they were maneuvering, the driver of a 2005 Honda Odyssey minivan got impatient  and attempted to go around the garbage truck. She struck Angel who fell under the wheels of the minivan and dragged him under the vehicle for 50 feet.

The driver of the minivan took off on foot 

The sanitation worker was stuck under the minivan with his legs sticking out. People in the street started to run toward the minivan to help while others ran to a nearby firehouse to ask for help. The passenger got out of the minivan while the driver stayed inside and stayed silent. The passenger tried to pull the sanitation worker from under the car but people around him told him not to move him. He then picked up a car jack from the minivan and hoisted the vehicle up. Then in the weirdest move, the driver of the minivan got out of the vehicle and took off on foot. A few minutes later, the passenger did the same despite witnesses yelling at them to stay at the scene of the accident.

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Two men died in a NY box truck accident early Monday last week.  One of the victims was the driver of the truck and the other victim was the passenger. The two men were aboard a Boar’s Head box truck belonging to Top Shelf Provision, an independent authorized purveyor. They were driving on the Long Island Expressway in North Hills near exit 36 when the truck struck the overpass for Shelter Rock Road and rolled over. Both men died at the scene of the accident. Read more in theislandnow.com

High risk of rollover accidents

box-truck-scaledBecause there are so many box trucks in New York, accidents are quite common. Box trucks are used for deliveries of merchandise to restaurants, stores and business . Box trucks are heavy and because they have a very boxy shape in order to carry a maximum of merchandise, their center of gravity is high, making them prone to rollover accidents like the one in which these two men were killed last Monday. When loading the truck, it is important that goods on board are proprely secured as unsecured merchandise also increases the risk of a rollover.

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distracted driver can cause crashesA NY State Trooper who sustained catastrophic injuries after being struck by a distracted driver in Long Island, NY  recently died. The accident occurred 3 years ago. Joseh Gallager who was 38 year old at the time, was helping a disabled motorist on the Long Island Expressway when he was struck by Jesse Cohen. Investigation found that at the time of the accident, Cohen was text messaging with 3 different people and had 3 social media apps open in the 20 minutes prior to the accident. Gallager suffered traumatic brain injury and lost the ability to talk, walk or eat without help. He passed away on March 26th, leaving behind his wife and two chidden as well as his parents, sisters and brothers. His funeral took place last week (see obituaries in NewsDay).

Gallager is one of many victims of distracted driving. According to CBS News, in the last 3 weeks, 3 other car accidents in Nassau County were caused by distracted driving.  In 2019, distracted driving killed 3,142 people in the US, 10% more than in 2018 according to the most recent statistics from the NHTSA.

The death  of State Trooper Joe Gallager, occurred just before the beginning of  “Distracted Driving Awareness Month” and as a reminder, the police in Nassau County have been launching a major campaign enforcing distracted driving laws on their roads.

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2 construction workers died  and 79 were injured on the job in New York City during the first two months of 2021. One fatality occurred in  Staten Island and the other one in Manhattan. In both cases the worker fell. Last year, only one worker died in NYC construction accidents over the first 2 months of the year and the year before, no fatalities were recorded during the same period. Since 2015, the number of construction worker fatalities during the first two months of the year varied between 0 and 2. Among the 79 workers injured, 41 of them were injured in fall accidents. (click on graphs for full size)

construction accident deaths by borough February 2021
Falls remain the most common cause of fatalities for construction workers in New York City. The two fatal accidents that occurred in February were falls. Both accidents could have been prevented if adequate safety measures had been in place. The first accident took place on a construction site located at 730 5th Avenue in Manhattan. The worker who died was cleaning an area where a permanent building trash chute was being installed. He stepped on a hole cover that snapped and gave way. The worker fell to the floor below. He was transported to the hospital where he died from his injuries. The second fatal accident occurred at 144 Dunham Street in Staten Island. A roofer fell from the roof and did not survive the injuries he sustained during the fall. The inspectors found that the working permit for the construction site had expired. Multiple safety infractions were found at the site and the DOB issued a full stop work order for failure to safeguard persons and property. Roofers have the highest rate of fatalities among all categories of construction workers.

Factors in NYC fatal construction accidents February 21
79 construction workers were injured in New York City during the first two months of the year. This is the lowest number of workers injured during the first two months of the year since 2017. 48 of these accidents took place in Manhattan, 14 in Brooklyn, 11 in Queens, 4 in the Bronx and 1 in Staten Island.

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Monthly ambulance crashes in NYCAn elderly woman died and 8 other people were injured after a car T-boned an ambulance in New York City.

The accident took place last Sunday afternoon around 3:00 pm in Flatlands, Brooklyn, NYC. An Hatzola ambulance was transporting a 95 year old woman who suffered a cardiac arrest  to the hospital. The emergency vehicle was  heading South on Schenectady Avenue with its lights and sirens on according to witnesses.  As it crossed Avenue N, the ambulance was T-boned by a car travelling west bound on Avenue N.

A witness told the NY Daily News that the light had just turned from orange to red when the ambulance crossed the intersection and that the driver of the black Nissan who was speeding might not have heard the ambulance sirens.

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NYC Bicycle accidents preventionDuring the pandemic, NYC bicycle accident injuries and deaths have reached record highs.

Many New Yorkers who switched their Metrocard for a bike lock learned that commuting in New York City by bike remains challenging especially in some areas of the city where bicycling infrastructures are still limited.

To help newbie cyclists and offer a refresher to more experienced ones, the NYC Department of Transportation recently released  “Bike Smart”, a guide to safely ride a bicycle in  New York City.

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accident sceneA 27 year old driver died and 3 passengers in their twenties were seriously injured in  a car accident in Long Island, NY, last Monday night around 8:30 pm.  Jeffrey Laroche from Springfield Gardens, Queens, was driving an Infiniti with 3 passengers on board: 21 year old Jayda Mouldrie from Hempstead was sitting in the front seat while 20 year old Nicole Walter and 18 year old Nathaly Walter, both from Laurelton, Queens, were sitting in the back seats. They were heading West on the Southern State Parkway when Jeffrey lost control of the car and hit the center median guide rail and trees between exits 18 and 19.  In their report the police mention that the vehicle was travelling at a high rate of speed.

The impact was so intense that Jeffrey was ejected from the car. He was rushed to the hospital where he died from his injuries. Jayda who was in the front seat got stuck in the mangled vehicle and had to be extricated. She was also rushed the hospital and survived.  The two girls in the back, Nicole and Nathalie, were both injured but also survived the accident. Nathaly broke her pelvis.

Speeding is one of the most common causes of car accident fatalities and serious injuries especially among young people

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Pedestrian and cyclist injuries and fatalities were lower than usual last February and so were motorcyclist, bus and truck accidents.

Traffic Accident injuries reached a record low in New York City in January and February. While February car accident injuries always reach a yearly low, the number of NYC car accident injuries was at its lowest since Vision Zero started. 2,503 people were injured in traffic accidents in New York City compared to 3,028 a month earlier and 4,006 in February 2020. The number of traffic accident injuries mostly dropped over the last 12 months because of the Covid19 crisis that affected the City and slow down activities. (click on graphs for full sizes)

Traffic Accident Injuries NYC February 2021
Motor vehicle accident injuries in NYC in February 2021 by category
After reaching annual record highs over the summer of 2020, the number of New York auto accident deaths also declined and stabilized to numbers somewhat similar to previous years despite the slowdown. 10 people died in traffic accidents last February compared to 13 in January and 17 in February 2020.  Since Vision Zero was launched in 2014, the number of traffic accident fatalities in February has been oscillating between 17 and 10 with 10 last month being the lowest. Fatalities were mostly pedestrian fatalities.

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treadmill can be dangerousThe company Peloton just announced that a child died in an accident that involves one of their “Tread+” treadmills and issued a safety warning asking Peloton users to keep children under 16 year old and pets away from their equipment.  Peloton and other at home gym equipment companies have seen their sales rocketing over the last year with more and more consumers preferring working out at home instead of at the gym during the covid19 crisis.

While the Peloton CEO did not release the circumstances of the accident citing family privacy,  earlier this year, in February, another child sustained serious brain injury after he was trapped under a Peloton Tread+ Machine. According to an incident report filed with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, a 3 year old boy was found by his dad  under the Treadmill, not breathing and pulseless. The boy had tread marks on his back matching the machine as well as neck and face injuries. He was resuscitated but sustained serious brain injuries.  In the below video (at 0.51 seconds) a mom  shows how easily a medicine ball gets stuck under the treadmill as she is working out. The USCPSC has now started an investigation related to the accident that lead to the death of a child.

Treadmills can be dangerous