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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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29 pedestrians, 17 passengers and 12 motor vehicle operators died in crashes in New York City during the first 3 months of the year for a total of 58 fatalities. There were no cyclist fatalities. Since Vision Zero started in 2014, the highest number of auto accident deaths reached 51 in 2014. The only positive news during the first quarter was that no cyclist deaths were reported during this period which never occurred before.

car accident fatalities NYC Q1 2022
NYC Car accident injuries were higher during Q1 22 than during the same period of 2010 and almost reached the same level than in 2020. Among the injured were 4,632 drivers, 3,120 passengers, 649 bicyclists and 2,100 pedestrians. Compared to the same period a year before, all categories of road users sustained a higher number of injuries with the exceptions of the cyclists which might indicate that all the new measures to make cycling safer in  the city have a positive impact.

auto accident injuries New York City Q1 22
12 motor vehicle operators died in crashes during Q1 compared to respectively, 10, 10, 9, 13, 8, 13, 8, 15 and 15 during the same period 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. While the trend line of motorist deaths is still declining, the numbers of this last quarter are significantly above this trend line.

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scene of the fatal chain crashA pedestrian was fatally struck between two parked cars in Brooklyn, NYC on Saturday morning around 9:35 am.

The accident occurred as 48 year old Everton Stewart was cleaning his car parked in front of his parents’ house located in Canarsie on E. 89th Street near Avenue L. He was standing between the back of his car and the front of his father’s car which was parked right behind him when another car that was coming down the street slammed into his father’s car and pinned him between the two vehicles. The man was rushed to the hospital but he did not survive.

The driver who caused the chain accident, a 46 year old woman with a child in the car, swerved to avoid a car and then according to the police “accelerated for no reason” and crashed into the father’s car.  She was arrested by the police and charges are still pending.

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construction workers working at height in NYCAs spring is here and construction activities are booming in the city, the recent release of the NYC Department of Buildings Construction Safety report is a bleak reminder of the multiple fatalities that occurred on New York construction sites during the same season last year. After two workers fell to their death in February,  two other hard hats died in April, one from electrocution and the other from a fall. Then in May, two workers were crushed by a falling elevator cabin and one of them died while the other one was critically injured. The same month two other workers fell to their death in Long Island City and Flatbush.

After this horrible spring, the DOT organized a giant sweet of almost all construction sites in NYC, sending to the field an army of investigators and shutting down any construction site where major safety violations were discovered.  As a result  fewer fatalities were reported during the remaining months of the year with two other worker falling to their death, one in Manhattan in September and one in Gowanus in November.

The reports also confirms that after a drop of activity related to the Covid19 lockdown, construction activity in NYC increased again in 2021. A total of 168,423 construction permits were issued in 2021 compared to 147,760 in 2020. Manhattan was the borough with the highest number of permits issued (63,320)  however Queens came number one for new buildings filed with 573 applications, followed by Staten Island with 521 application.  Brooklyn had the highest number of certificates of occupancy issued (2,053) followed by Queens (1,613).

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10 pedestrians, 8 passengers and 6 drivers died in crashes in New York City in February. No cyclists fatalities were reported to the NYPD during this month. 266 bus accidents, 577 truck accidents and 56 motorcycle accidents were reported among the total 7,261 motor vehicle collisions recorded in February.

Traffic accident fatalities in New York City reached a record high for the month of February with 24 people dying in traffic accidents compared to respectively 10, 17, 12, 16, 13, 18, 15, 12 and 20 in February 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Traffic accident fatalities in the city last February were even higher than what they were in February 2013 before Vision Zero started.  The  trendline which had been steadily declining during Vision Zero is now almost flat. Since last February ,monthly car accident fatalities have been at the level of the trendline or above which is quite unusual and quite worrisome.

Car accident fatalities February 22
The high number of car accident fatalities in New York City last February is mostly due to a record high number of car passengers fatalities (see category in red in the graph below, click on it for full size). 8 motor vehicle passengers died in crashes last February compared to 5 in January 2020 and 2 in February 2021. Since Vision Zero started and even a year before, the highest total monthly passengers fatalities were 6 in April 2014 and 6 in July 2015.

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fall prevention posterLast year, 7 out of the 9 NYC construction worker deaths reported by the Department of Buildings were caused by falls. Additionnally the DOB also reported that 194 workers were injured in fall accidents on New York City construction sites during the same period. This was a record high compared to the previous years (see previous blog). Despite increased safety training requirements for workers, fall remains the number one cause of accident deaths and injuries in the New York construction industry and nationally as well. According to the most recent statistics from the BLS 351 out of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded nationally in 2020 were fall fatalities. Most of these accidents were preventable.

Preventing fall accidents is the reason why, every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in collaboration with multiple other partners involved in workplace safety such as the CPWR and NORA are organizing a National Stand Down during which employers are invited to voluntarily take a break from work and sit down with their workers to discuss or participate to activities  related to fall hazards.

Anyone can participate and every year sees more and more participants from major corporate construction companies to small contractors, including the US Army and other governmental participants. All employers  participating receive a certificate.

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Another NYC pedestrian hit by an out of control driver died. A week ago, 38 year old Jennifer Tolliver was walking on a NYC sidewalk with her 6 year old son Ashton when they were struck in the back by an out of control driver who jumped the curb (see previous blog).  Tolliver and her son were rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The driver who hit them was also transported to the hospital. He was seriously injured but was in stable condition. Yesterday the police announced that Jennifer Tolliver died from her injuries leaving behind her son for whom the police did not provide an update. The police also confirmed that they did not charge the driver. At the time of the accident the police mentioned that the driver may have suffered a medical episode however they did not provide any update about it and what type of medical episode he may have suffered. Read more in the NY Post

In New York City one pedestrian dies approximately every 3 days in a car accident

According to the most recent NYPD statistics, 10 pedestrians died in car accidents in New York City in February and 11 in January for a total of 21 for the first two months of the year. This is the highest number of pedestrian fatalities for the first two months of the year since 2020 when 23 pedestrians died during the first two months of the year.

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Construction accident fatalities and injuries in New York City in 2021 were a little bit higher than in 2020 but lower than during the years preceding the Covid19 crisis according to the New York City Department of Buildings statistics.  The DOB only reports construction worker fatalities that are caused by  building code violations. Brooklyn and Manhattan had the most fatalities, 3 each while the other boroughs all recorded one fatality each for a total of 9 worker fatalities compared to 8 in 2020 and 11 in 2019.

Construction accident deaths NYC 2021
7 out of the 9 hard hat deaths were caused by fall and 2 of them were caused by accidents related to mechanical construction equipment failure. Despite construction workers now being required to follow safety training, fall related fatalities were at their highest since 2017. Most fall accidents are preventable. They usually occur when safety rules are not respected.

Factors in New York construction worker deaths in 2021
Almost the same number of injuries were reported to the DOB in 2021 compared to 2020. 505 workers were injured in construction accidents in New York City in 2021 compared to 502 a year earlier and 596 in 2019. Most injuries’ occurred on Manhattan construction sites (300) followed by Brooklyn (105), Bronx (48), Queens (45) and Staten Island (7).

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440 HarmanA Nassau contractor whose negligence caused the death of a 5 year old child in Brooklyn, NYC, in 2019 has been indicted on  manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, offering a false instrument for filing and falsifying business records. He is due back in court in May.

Alysson Pinto-Chauman had her skull crushed in front of her mom

The accident occurred on August 29 2019. 5 year old Alysson Pinto-Chaumana was with her mom and a group of friends standing in front of the high wall of a property located on Harman Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn when part of the wall suddenly collapsed on the toddler. Her skull was crushed in the accident. Her mom who was standing next to her witnessed the entire scene and said the vision will be engraved in her memory forever.

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using the wrong ladder can result in accidentInjuries and deaths resulting from ladder accidents are extremely common. According to the most recent CDC statistics, over the last decade, 81% of fall injuries treated in American ERs were resulting from falls from ladders. Ladders were also involved in 43% of all fall fatalities.  Thousands of people are injured and hundreds are dying every year in ladder accidents. Year after year, our construction accident attorneys are helping construction workers injured in ladder accidents getting compensated for their injuries. Most of the time, construction workers fall from ladders because they are not provided with the adequate ladders to perform the task. One of our recent clients was a carpenter who was standing on a 6-foot A-frame ladder while pinning studs above his head. The ladder that was provided to him was not proper for the work he was doing. As the carpenter was working, the ladder kicked out and the man fell. He suffered a spine injury and had to undergo a microdiscectomy to his lumbar spine. Our attorneys were able to obtain a $1.250 million settlement on his behalf.

In New York, the law requires that workers using ladders be provided with the adequate equipment to execute the task and that ladders are not defectively maintained, placed or operated. However despite that law, many negligent contractors continue to provide workers with inadequate, broken or old ladders that put them at risk of dangerous accidents.

Ladder accidents are not only common on construction sites but also at home. From changing a smoke alarm, to cleaning gutters, home owners also use ladders and get injured frequently.

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accident sceneA man crossing the street in a wheelchair was  killed in a truck accident in New York City.  The accident occurred on Saturday morning at the intersection of Central Avenue and Nameoke Ave in Far Rockaway, Queens.  A video shows the 73 year old victim proceeding to cross Central Avenue in front of the box truck while the driver waits at the red light. As the man slowly crosses in front of the truck, the driver pulls ahead and crushes the man on the wheelchair.  The truck driver then continued to drive while dragging the victim and the wheelchair down the block before stopping.

The victim was rushed to the hospital but he could not be saved. Locals who knew the victims said he was a very nice and pleasant man.

The driver was identified as 42 year old Freddy Saquisili from Long Island.  He remained at the scene of the accident and police found out that he was driving the 2013 International Harvester delivery truck with a suspended license and should have never been behind the wheel of the truck. He was arrested and charged with aggravated unlicensed driving.  He was later released without bail after his arraignment. He is facing up to 4 years in prison.