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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Fazil Khan victim of a lithium battery explosionIn an urgent response to the rising threat posed by lithium-ion battery fires, New York City Council has enacted two new e-bike safety regulations. This legislative action, motivated by a tragic fire in Harlem sparked by a lithium-ion battery, underscores the city’s commitment to addressing the dangers associated with these batteries. The fire accident, which claimed the life of 27-year-old Fazil Khan, a young journalist,  and critically injured four others, has catalyzed a city-wide discourse on the safety of e-mobility devices.

The first rule mandates that businesses selling e-bikes and e-scooters must display safety information regarding the storage of lithium-ion batteries both in-store and online. This is a critical measure aimed at educating the public on proper battery handling to mitigate fire risks. The second regulation intensifies the crackdown on the sale of non-UL-certified batteries by enhancing penalties for illegal sales and bolstering city enforcement. These steps, while significant, are part of a broader call for comprehensive federal legislation to ensure the sale of only certified batteries across the United States.

Parallel to these legislative efforts, New York City is pioneering a solution to one of the most pressing issues related to e-bike safety: battery charging. The city has launched a pilot program to establish public e-bike charging hubs in Manhattan and Brooklyn, offering a safer alternative to charging batteries indoors. The initiative kicked off with the unveiling of the first hub at Cooper Square in the East Village.

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location of the fatal pedestrian pickup truck accidentThe tragic death of Danielle Aber in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, after enduring a week of suffering from injuries sustained in a truck accident, casts a stark light on the vulnerabilities pedestrians face and the critical need for stronger legal safeguards. This accident not only highlights the physical and emotional toll on the victim and their loved ones but also highlights the gaps in our legal and traffic safety systems.

Danielle Aber’s prolonged fight for life before succumbing to her injuries raises significant legal and ethical questions about the responsibilities of drivers, particularly those operating large vehicles in densely populated areas. The charges against the pick-up truck driver, Stanley Manel who had 26 previous camera violations, for failing to yield and exercise due care, while necessary, prompt a broader discussion on the adequacy of such measures in addressing the severity of the consequences of traffic violations.

The Urgent Need for Legal and Policy Reform

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Brooklyn location of the fatal bicycle accidentOn Tuesday morning a cyclist was fatally injured in a collision precipitated by a suddenly opened car door in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The impact sent the cyclist into the path of an oncoming Hyundai Elantra, resulting in catastrophic injuries that led to his untimely death. The accident occurred a block away from another fatal crash less than 12 hours prior.

As bicycle accident lawyers deeply entrenched in the fight for NYC cyclists’ rights and safety, these two accidents underscore a critical and ongoing issue within our urban infrastructure and legal systems.

While the driver of the Elantra remained at the scene and an investigation is underway, the legal journey ahead for the victims’ families will undoubtedly be fraught with challenges. In cases like these, a bicycle accident lawyer plays a crucial role in navigating the complexities of the legal system, advocating for the deceased’s rights, and ensuring that justice is served. This includes thorough investigations to establish liability, negotiating with insurance companies, and if necessary, litigating to secure compensation for the victims’ families.

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Bronx location of the hit and run accident that killed a cyclistThe tragic story of Thierno Balde, a 24-year-old Guinean immigrant struck down in his prime by a hit-and-run driver in the Bronx, casts a somber light on the dangers cyclists face on New York City streets.

As Thierno was returning home from morning prayers, his life was tragically cut short, leaving his family, friends, and community in mourning. This accident not only highlights the need for greater road safety awareness but also the vital role of legal expertise in the aftermath of such tragedies. An attorney specializing in auto accidents in the Bronx can offer crucial support and guidance to the victims’ families during these trying times.

The sudden loss of a loved one in a hit-and-run accident is a devastating experience, compounded by the complexities of legal proceedings that often follow. In such situations, an attorney with expertise in auto accidents and hit-and-run cases becomes an invaluable asset for the bereaved family. Here’s how they can help:

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Last week in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, a 74-year-old woman lost her life in a manner that no one should ever have to fear: struck down by falling debris from her own home. A large chunk of decorative brick façade, stationed above the entrance door of a three-story brownstone at 5402 6th Ave. and 54th Street, plummeted to the ground. At the time, the victim was clearing snow from the steps of her residence. Surveillance footage captured the moment the façade began to give way, leading to her urgent transportation to Maimonides Medical Center, where she was tragically pronounced dead. This incident not only took a life but also raised alarming questions about the structural integrity and maintenance of aging buildings in our urban landscapes.

The Department of Buildings’ subsequent investigation revealed a distressing oversight, resulting in a Vacate Order for the building and a violation issued to the property owner for failure to maintain the structure. These actions, while necessary, serve as a cold comfort to those affected by this tragedy and highlight a pervasive issue in our city’s housing maintenance and safety protocols.

falling-debrislawyerBen-RubinowitzA few years ago, our falling debris attorneys represented the family of  2-year-old Greta Green who was killed in front of her grandmother’s eye by a decorative terra cotta piece that broke and fell 8 stories from an Upper West Side Building. This event brought to light the limitations of New York State’s “zone of danger” law, which initially excluded grandparents from claiming emotional damages for witnessing a family member’s death. The grandmother’s claim was initially dismissed, but the persistent efforts of our attorneys led to a landmark decision by the Court of Appeals, which reversed the dismissal. This case not only reinstated the grandmother’s claim but also set a precedent for including grandparents in the “zone of danger” damages while underscoring the firm’s dedication to changing laws to achieve justice and encouraging landlords and building owners to maintain their properties to prevent such tragedies.

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OSHA logoA NY roofing contractor, Elite Roofing Services Inc., has been subjected to the second-highest OSHA fine in the fourth quarter of 2023, amounting to $522,527.

This substantial fine was levied following an accident at a Glen Cove, New York, jobsite, where a worker’s fatal fall could have been prevented with the proper implementation of fall protection measures, such as guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems. The tragedy brings to the forefront the grave consequences of neglecting safety protocols and the imperative need for vigilance and compliance to prevent such incidents.

OSHA’s findings revealed that Elite Roofing Services Inc. did not furnish its workers with the necessary fall protections while they were installing a metal deck on a flat roof, leading to a worker plummeting 20 feet to a concrete floor below. This incident resulted in the issuance of six willful violations by OSHA, each corresponding to a worker exposed to fall hazards, and one serious violation for failing to train workers on proper fall protection techniques.

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Amadou_DialloAs we mark the 25th anniversary of the tragic death of Amadou Diallo, our hearts are once again with his family and all those who have been affected by similar injustices. Amadou, an unarmed 23-year-old immigrant from Guinea, was killed on February 4, 1999, by plainclothes officers of the New York City Police Department’s Street Crime Unit. The loss of Amadou under a hail of 41 bullets, based on a grievous misjudgment, is a moment that remains etched in the memory of our city and our nation.

Our firm had the solemn privilege of representing Amadou’s family in their quest for justice and accountability. Although no legal outcome could ever compensate for the loss of a loved one, the $3 million settlement reached with the City of New York in March 2004 was a recognition of the profound wrongness of the actions that led to Amadou’s death. It was one of the largest settlements of its kind under New York State’s “wrongful death law”, highlighting the gravity of the negligence, wrongful death, racial profiling, and violations of civil rights that occurred.

The acquittal of the officers involved did not deter us from our pursuit of justice, nor did it silence the voices demanding change. Instead, it galvanized a movement towards police reform and accountability that continues to this day. The disbandment of the Street Crime Unit in 2002 and the ongoing calls for transparency and fairness in policing are testaments to the enduring impact of Amadou’s story.

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Google map view of the location of the accident before illegal work startedThe recent catastrophe in Borough Park, Brooklyn, where a 33-year-old construction worker, Juan Ganche, lost his life due to a floor collapse in a residential home, is a reminder of the critical importance of adhering to construction safety regulations. This accident, occurring under the shadow of illegal work and oversight failures, not only ended a life prematurely but also exposed the systemic issues plaguing construction sites across New York City.

Juan Ganche, a dedicated worker who had been contributing to the construction industry since his arrival in the United States from Ecuador 14 years ago, was tragically killed when the first floor of the structure he was working on collapsed into the cellar.

This accident, which marked the first construction site fatality in New York City this year, has once again brought to the forefront the perilous conditions under which many construction workers operate.

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location of the fatal NY school bus accidentAn 8-year-old boy died after being struck by a school bus in New Square, NY, last Monday morning.  The boy was walking home from school when the school bus struck him near the intersection of Clinton Lane and Stern Street. The Ramapo Police, led by Police Lt. Blaine Howell, reported that despite the rapid response of EMS workers, the boy was pronounced dead at the scene. The bus driver, who stayed and cooperated with police, now faces the harrowing aftermath of this devastating event.

This incident underscores a grim reality that too many communities face: the ever-present danger to our children on their journeys to and from school. As legal professionals specializing in school bus accidents, we have seen the profound impact these tragedies have on families and communities. They raise critical questions about road safety, school transportation protocols, and the measures we take to protect our most vulnerable.

The Ramapo Police Department’s Accident Reconstruction Team is currently investigating the specifics of this accident. These investigations are crucial, not only for providing clarity and closure to grieving families but also for identifying systemic issues that may contribute to such tragedies. It is through understanding these details that legal professionals can advocate for necessary changes, seeking justice for victims while working towards preventative measures to ensure no family endures similar heartache.

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The intersection where the unlicensed driver killed ChristianFourteen-year-old Christian Antoine was struck and killed by the reckless actions of an unlicensed and speeding driver last Saturday evening in Brooklyn, NYC. The accident occurred at the intersection of Glenwood Rd. and E. 81st St. in Canarsie.

Christian was more than just a statistic in the rising toll of pedestrian fatalities; he was a young boy with dreams, a loving family, and a future that was unjustly cut short. According to reports, 45-year-old Rayan Salmon, driving a 2018 Mercedes SUV at an unsafe speed, caused a chain-reaction crash that ultimately led to Christian’s untimely death. This incident is a reminder of the catastrophic consequences of negligent driving and the critical need for stringent enforcement of traffic laws.

As pedestrian accident lawyers in NYC, we have seen the aftermath of such tragedies unfold too many times. Families are left to navigate their grief while grappling with the legal complexities of seeking justice for their loved ones. In Christian’s case, the charges against Salmon for aggravated unlicensed operation underscore the severe risks unlicensed drivers pose to public safety. However, these charges are just the beginning of a long legal journey for Christian’s family to seek accountability and compensation for their loss.