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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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colored-smokeA father to be died and his brother was injured after a homemade pyrotechnic device they were preparing for a gender party exploded in their garage on Sunday.

28 year old Christopher Pekny learned around Christmas that his girlfriend was pregnant. The couple had planned a gender reveal party on Sunday to announce that the baby was a boy. Christopher Pekny was in the garage with his brother Michael preparing the gender reveal device that was intended to explode in a cloud of colored powder. However the device exploded earlier than planned while the two brothers were setting it up. Christopher died and Michael was seriously injured in the knee by flying shrapnel.

Not much information is available  about the exact nature of the device only that it was in the shape of a pipe. Investigation as the nature of the explosive is still ongoing.

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location of the fatal car wash accidentA NYC pedestrian was fatally struck by a drunk car wash employee as she was about to pick her car up last week.

54 year old Tracie McManu, a mother of three was about to pick up her car at Crossbay Car Wash in Ozone Park, Queens, when a drunk employee pulling another out of the car wash mowed her down.  The pedestrian who was with her daughter had just tipped some employees and was about to pick up her car.

The employee lost control of the car and suddenly hit the gas, rolled over the victim and crashed. McManu was rushed to the hospital but she could not be saved. Her family is heartbroken (see NY Daily News).

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accident sceneA reckless unlicensed 18 year old driver, behind the wheel of a stolen car, blew a stop sign and crashed into another car, killing the passenger and seriously injuring the driver last week in Staten Island. He then fled on foot. The police found him later on. He was arrested and hit with multiple charges.

Last Tuesday night, around 6:15 pm, Shahzad and Krauzer Akund were driving their Mercedes-Benz East on Lambert Lane in Bulls Head, Staten Island, when they got T-Boned by a reckless driver who blew a stop sign. The driver who was driving a Honda completely destroyed the front of his vehicle and ran away on foot, leaving behind him the couple dying in the street.

When EMS arrived they found the couple in critical condition

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BABY-GRETAImagine a scenario almost too terrible to speak about.  But by not speaking about it, justice will never be done, and others might be injured.  On May 17, 2015, a caring, loving grandmother took her 2-year-old grandchild for a walk in New York City.  They paused for a moment and were in front of a building when the unimaginable and unthinkable happened –– a portion of the cement façade of the building fell 8 stories and crushed that beautiful grandchild to death in front of her grandmother’s eyes.

In New York State there is a doctrine of law known as “zone of danger” damages, in which an “immediate” family member can receive compensation for the emotional harm suffered in witnessing the death of a family member.  But there was one caveat: before today, a grandmother was not considered to be an “immediate” family member.  Unfortunately, the grandmother’s claim for zone-of-danger damages was dismissed by the Appellate Division.  That injustice was something that had to be rectified.  The NYC personal injury lawyers of Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman and Mackauf  have never given up in the face of injustice.  “When the law is wrong, it’s time to change the law,” said Ben Rubinowitz.  “That is why we took this case and fought all the way to the highest Court in the State.”

Today, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision reversing the Appellate Division.  Through our hard work and fortitude justice will now be done.  The grandmother’s claim has been reinstated and a jury will now decide what the damages should be awarded for such a horrific injury.

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Work-Zone-Stand-Down-Announcement-FlyerThe number one cause of injuries among construction workers are “struck-by” accidents. Struck by a flying, falling, swinging or rolling objects are the 4 most common “struck-by” accidents causing injuries to construction workers. To raise awareness and reduce these types of accidents, the NORA Construction Sector Council along with the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) is organizing, on April 20, a National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-by Injuries”.

Participants to the stand down will pause work on April 20 and set aside time time for stand down activities such as virtual or small group Toolbox Talks, look at work zone safety training and review the traffic control plan of the construction site. Sending emails or texting safety reminders as well as putting posters up and holding quiz contests will also help raising awareness.

Organizers can look for ideas and get material to download on the CPWR website such as promotional flyers, various tool box talks in English and in Spanish related to how to operate a vehicle safely in a work zone, how to work safely around vehicles on a construction site, how to make sure cranes are stable and don’t tip and how to prevent objects from falling. Organizers can also download infographics cautioning workers to stay alert, vehicle operators to observe safety rules and contractors to make sure they have a solid internal traffic control plan.

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accident sceneA pedestrian was fatally hit by a dump truck last week in Times Square, Midtown Manhattan. The accident occurred Saturday afternoon around 3:00 pm. The pedestrian, a 64 year old woman whose name was not released, was crossing 7th Avenue at the intersection of 45th Street when she was struck by a large dump truck. The driver did not stop immediately and the pedestrian got stuck under the vehicle and dragged by the truck while horrified witnesses started to scream at the driver who then stopped and remained at the scene of the accident.

A street vendor with a stand right at the corner of the intersection told the NY Daily News that there was a lot of blood and when EMS removed the victim from under the truck she was not moving. However she was still alive and rushed to the hospital with critical injuries including severe leg trauma. She later died from her injuries at the hospital.

Truck side guards might have prevented the victim to get dragged under the truck

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Teen speeding is a leading cause of fatalitiesSpeeding is the cause of many fatal crashes especially among teenagers. A recent analysis conducted by Richard Retting of Sam Schwartz Consulting for the Governors Highway Safety Associations found that teen drivers and passengers account for a much greater proportion of speeding related fatalities than any other age group.

From 2015 to 2019, 4,930 teen drivers and passengers died in car accidents related to speed. Speed related accidents accounted for 43% of all teen fatal car accidents. As a comparison speed is a factor in 30% of all fatal accidents for people above 20.

Globally, car accidents remain the main cause of fatalities among teens with the 16 year old’s being the most at risk

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rhino-pillRhino Pills and other herbal sex supplements for men often contain hidden ingredients that have caused injuries and even, in rare cases death to consumers.  These types of supplements can still be found at many gas stations around the country, at Walmart and on Amazon despite multiple FDA warnings and  the original manufacturer of the Rhino pill being sentenced yesterday to 4 years in prison.

Nam Hyun Lee, an illegal immigrant from South Korea based in California got into the business of selling sex herbal supplements in 2015.  His marketing was convincing with flashy Rhino labels and consumers quickly noticed that the supplements were actually working. Lee illegally  spiked his herbal supplements with Sildenafil or Tadalafil, the drugs used in Viagra and Cialis. The drugs were illegally imported from China, packaged at warehouses in Southern California and shipped all over the country. Lee was caught when one of the drug packages sent under the description “acrylic paint” was seized by custom agents and tested positive for Sildenafil.  He was arrested in 2018 and has been in federal custody since that date. It is estimated he sold between $3 million and $9 million of sex supplements.

While Lee has been convicted, other unscrupulous competitors quickly took over the market and continue to sell the Rhino brand name or other variations of sex herbal supplements.  Gas stations, Walmart and Amazon still sell them despite multiple FDA warnings.

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construction site NYTo reduce injuries and deaths on NYC construction sites, Mayor de Blasio signed Local Law 196 in 2017. This law requires that workers can only be allowed to work on a  construction site in the city if they  attended a minimum amount of hours of safety training.

Construction superintendents, Site safety managers and site safety coordinators are all required to have  62 hours of safety training that includes the regular OSHA 30-hour safety class and additionally 8-hour fall prevention training, 8-hour on chapter 33 that covers safeguard during construction and demolition work, 4-hour scaffold safety, 2-hour site safety, 2-hour tool box talks, 2-hour safety meetings organization and preparation, 2-hour general electives, 2-hour specialized electives and 2-hour drug and alcohol awareness.

Other construction workers are required to attend the OSHA 30-hour safety class or the OSHA 10-hour class with 20 hours of additional training consisting of 8 hours of fall prevention training, 4 hours of scaffolding safety training and the option to choose between 8 hours of Chapter 33 training,  4 hours of general electives or 4 hours of specialized effectives.

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snow tubing can be dangerousA 16 year old died from her injuries in a sledding accident in Lewiston, New York. The teenager, identified as Renee Hill was riding a sliding tube with her 3 year old nephew in front of her on the tube when she realized that they were about to hit a tree. To prevent her nephew  to hit the tree first she put her foot down to flip the tube. She hit the tree while her nephew was saved.  She was rushed to the hospital in critical condition but she died on the way. Renee was a sophomore at Niagara Wheatfield High School.

The sledding hill in Clyde L. Burmaster Park where the  fatal sledding accident occurred  was closed until further notice and the accident is being investigated.

While it is quite fun, sledding can be dangerous