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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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Hard-Rock-Hotel-construction-accident-e1582228604154The construction industry saw a period of growth during the last decade and with more workers employed, the number of hard hat injuries and deaths also increased.

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) recently published a study looking at construction worker fatal injuries from 2011 to 2019. They found that while the number of workers employed in the industry grew by more than 25%  between 2011 and 2019, the number of fatal injuries recorded a 41.1% increase. While looking at ethnicity, Hispanic workers were the most commonly hired workers and their employment rate grew by 55% during the period under review. They also recorded a jump in 89.8% in job fatalities.

While looking at construction workers ‘age, the middle age workers category (45 to 64 year old) recorded the highest number of deaths, however while looking at the rate of fatalities, workers over 65 years old were the most at risk of dying on the job with a rate of 22 deaths per 100,000 Full time workers (FTWs), compared to 9.6 per 100,000 FTWs for workers under 55 years old.

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It is very disappointing to see how some motorists in NYC have so little concern about pedestrian safety. In the video below, a man driving a pick up truck makes a right turn without yielding to an elderly pedestrian in Brooklyn, knocking him down to the ground and just continuing on his way as if nothing happened.  The police are now looking for him.

location of the Boulevard of Death accidentAnother pedestrian recently died from the injuries he sustained in a similar accident.  Last Friday afternoon , 55 year old Jaipaul Persaud was crossing Queens Boulevard, also nicknamed “Boulevard of Death”, when a motorist making a left turn off 84th Drive onto Queens Boulevard fatally struck him (see location of the accident on Google map picture to the left). The pedestrian was in the crosswalk with the light in his favor. The 33 year old woman who struck him also travelled at the green light but was supposed to yield to pedestrians while making her left turn. The impact was so intense that Persaud who was hit by the front bumper of the car, flew onto the windshield and then crashed down on the street. Persaud was rushed to the emergency room but he died from his injuries on Sunday. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and so far has not been charged (read more in the Daily News and in the LIC Post )

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location of the blakhoe accidentA New York City pedestrian crossing the street was killed by a backhoe on Friday afternoon. 61 year old Estelle Davis was walking in a crosswalk near New Lots and Van Sinderen Avenues. She was looking down at her phone when a backhoe that was doing work nearby struck her.  The backhoe belongs to Vail Industry, an independent contractor that was hired by Con Ed to perform some work in the area. Estelle Davis was on her way to work. She was a nurse working two jobs and also serves as pastor on Sunday.

The police thought initially that the woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver but a video surveillance captured images of the accident. Investigation is still ongoing but it is not clear yet why heavy construction equipment was backing up in a pedestrian area with no protection or warning. A flag worker was present at the scene but he was positioned on the other side of the machine. (Read more in the NY Daily News )

Extensive regulations have been developed by OSHA to prevent pedestrians being run over by heavy construction equipment

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location of the van accidentSeven pedestrians including two children were injured in a wild car accident in Manhattan last week. The accident took place on the Upper East Side, on March 5th, a little before 9:00 am. The 66 year old driver of a van lost control of his vehicle, striking a car on Second Avenue between 50th and 51st Street. The car went flying into the dining shed of Crave Fishbar, totally destroying it, while the van struck a food stand, a scaffolding structure and a traffic light post. Because it was early morning, the dining shed was empty however two young pedestrians, one 5 year old and one 7 year old, were injured by flying debris from the dining shack. The owner of the fruit stand as well 3 other pedestrians were also injured when the van crashed. The occupants of the car were the most seriously injured however none of the injuries were life threatening.

The driver of the van might have suffered a medical episode according to some media or might have been driving while intoxicated according to other media. The investigation is still ongoing. He was identified as 66 year old Noman Ahmed, a delivery driver for the Long Island based company Mega Elevator Parts. According to the Gothamist, the driver has been working with  the company for 20 years and never had any other incident.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W9jMmQxeOI

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In 2020, New York saw a record high in motorist (driver) deaths and bicycle injuries and deaths, a record low in pedestrian deaths and a much lower number of truck and bus accidents than usual. The Covid 19 crisis that lasted during most of 2020 had a significant impact on New Yorkers commuting habits around the city. Emptier streets have lead to reckless driving and as a result more deaths related to speed. A surge in bicycle accident injuries was also recorded as many New Yorkers are now using bicycles instead of riding the subway.

Surge in traffic accident deaths in NYC

Despite a slowdown in activity in the city , 239 people died in traffic accidents in New York City, compared to 214 in 2019, 199 in 2018, 209 in 2017, 223 in 2016, 235 in 2015, 250 in 2014 and 286 in 2013. The number of car accident deaths was almost back to the level it was when the Vision Zero program started. If it was not for a significant decrease in pedestrian deaths, the number of fatalities would have been over this level with all other categories of road users reaching record high number of fatalities.

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fall fatalities in NYC 2020A hard hat died after he fell from the 16th floor at a construction site in Manhattan. The 52 year old worker was a unionized sheet metal worker who had been with Local 28 for 24 years. He was doing doing some work at the NYU Ambulatory Care Center located on 41st Street between Third and Second Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The Medical Center is open to patients but some construction is still going on inside and outside. The DOB told the media that the fall was not related to the construction going on inside the building. The worker arrived at the Medical Center at 6:30 am last Friday morning and went to the back of the building and took a hoist elevator that runs at the exterior of the building. Two hours later the man fell and was found lying dead on the ground at the back of the building. The DOT is still investigating the exact cause of the accident.

Eric Meslin, Sheet Metal Workers Local 28 president and business manager  told the News “I worked with him personally back when we had tools on. He was a good guy to be around,” Meslin said. “He had a big personality. It’s hitting our members hard.”

Falls are the number one cause of construction workers fatalities. Last year among the 8 construction workers fatalities reported by the New York City Department of Buildings, 4 of them were falls. (see previous blog)

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accident scene2 young people died and 2 others were injured in a car crash on the Saw Mill Parkway near Yonkers, NY. Investigation is still ongoing as to what exactly happened but speed seems to be a factor. Previous to the accident, the group of teenagers had visited friends in several locations. They were heading South on the Saw Mill River Parkway around 12:45 am when the driver lost control of the vehicle and rolled over.  The accident occurred near the interchange with the Cross Country Parkway.

When the police and EMT arrived they found 17 year old Ali Alghaithi, a Manhattan resident, dead outside the vehicle.  17 year old Abdlwahab (Abdul) Abushaar was still alive  but he later died from his injuries. Two other teens, a 15 year old and an 18 year old were seriously injured and are still hospitalized.

Two of the teens were working together at a cellphone store in Manhattan.

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location of the school bus accidentA 6 year old pedestrian was fatally struck by a school bus in New York City. The accident took place on Wednesday morning near the intersection of South Fifth Street and Hooper Street in Williamsburg. 6 year old Shimon Fried was on his way to school with his older brother.  They were about to get on the school bus when the worst happened. A video from inside the bus shows that they both crossed in front of the  bus with the 9 year-old brother in front, followed a few seconds later by the youngest. The 9 year old got on board and the bus driver closed the doors and took off, running over young Shimon and continuing on its way. The video in the bus shows that the bus appears to rise up as it runs over the child. The driver did not stop and continued  to drive.

A MTA Bus driver found the victim lying on the street

The victim was discovered by  Francisca Biascbrea, a MTA Bus driver. She first thought the victim lying on the road was a doll. She stopped the bus and got out.  She immediately called 911 after she realized it was a young boy.

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workers on suspended scaffoldRepairing facades can be dangerous. Many construction workers died or were injured while repairing facades in New York  without counting the multiple close calls where workers find themselves dangling out of suspended scaffolds  like the worker in the below video who was lucky he could get back on. Sometimes workers are left dangling in the air until FDNY comes to the rescue.

The NYC DOT recorded 4 deaths and 61 injuries related to accidents during facade work since 2015 and recently released a worker alert to raise awareness about the danger of using a suspended scaffold to repair facades.

Here are a few steps that workers should follow to reduce the risk of accident when doing facade repair

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location of the elevator accidentA young mechanic was killed in an elevator accident in New York City last Thursday. 25 year old Joseph Rosa, a mechanic apprentice was helping repair an elevator in a building located at 133 E. Clark Place in the Bronx. The elevator cabin fell down the shaft and crushed the young man at the bottom. According to tenants in the building, the elevator was out for months. Jospeh Rosa was there with a team to perform modernization work when the dramatic accident occured. Another worker was also injured.

Joseph Rosa had just married his wife Karina Stepanova in a Russian Orthodox Church. A month before the wedding he converted to his wife’s religion and got baptized. “He was starting to get closer to religion, closer to God,” the bride-turned-widow said. “It’s like he knew this was coming.” (read more in the NY Daily News)

Installing and repairing elevators is a dangerous job and multiple fatalities and serious injuries are reported nationwide every year. In New York,  too many workers have died while repairing elevators because they were lacking the proper training or because the elevators were defective or unsafe.