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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Sydney MonfriesA student fell to her death in New York after trying to climb to the top of the Bell Tower at Fordham University.  22 year old Sydney Monfries was among a group of students who, at 3:00 am on Sunday morning decided to climb to the top of the Keating Hall and Bell Tower to take pictures and admire the view. As they were climbing up, Sydney fell through a hole in one of the stairway landings. She fell 30 to 40 feet and landed on the ground inside the tower. EMS found here there with multiple trauma to her head and body and had trouble getting a pulse. They were able to reanimate her and to rush her to the hospital. She was on life  support for a few hours and ultimately died from her injuries.

A senior at Fordham College, Sydney was supposed to graduate in May. An intern at InStyle magazine, Sydney was studying journalism and specialized in digital technology and emerging media. She was a native of Portland, Oregon.

Fordham President, Joseph McShane told the parents they would receive a bachelor degree in journalism posthumously at an appropriate time.

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A young construction worker fatally fell from a building in New York City last Wednesday. 23 year old Erik Mendoza was replacing bricks underneath a water tower located on the rooftop of  1 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights when he fell off the building. A Mexican immigrant, Mendoza had arrived in the US 5 years ago.  He had just started his job as a construction worker for the building a week before the accident.

No permit required doesn’t mean no worker protection

The work Mendoza was doing wasn’t didn’t require a permit, however it is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that employees effectuate their work in safe conditions. As he was working under the water tower with a colleague, he slipped and fell 13 stories, landing in front of the entrance of the luxury co-op pre-war building.

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Fall Prevention Campaign887 workers lost their life after falling at their job sites in 2017 according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the highest number of fall deaths ever recorded by the BLS since the agency started to track these numbers almost 30 years ago. Fall fatalities account for 17% of all job-related fatalities and 40% of all construction job-related fatalities.

The most at risk are often construction workers with little training and experience who have been hired to work on construction sites after the recent boom in construction led to a labor force shortage in the industry. 60% of construction workers who died in a fall in 2017 were working for small companies (1 to 10 workers). As a comparison small construction companies only hire a third of the workforce in the construction industry in the US. Small companies are often hired for residential construction, a sector where fatal falls more than doubled between 2010 and 2015. Hispanic workers are the most at risk of dying in a fall accident. Language barrier, little training and also the fear of immigration authorities preventing undocumented workers to report dangerous conditions to OSHA are among the factors that led Hispanic workers to perform some of the most dangerous jobs in the construction industry.

Fall related violations are the most common OSHA violations

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93,800 people were injured in an ATV accident and treated in a hospital in 2017 compared to 150,900 in 2007. 295 died in 2017 in an ATV accident compared to 832 in 2007. While still being dangerous and accounting for a significant number of injuries and deaths to adults and to children, a recent report from the CPSC indicates that ATVs have been getting safer over the years.

ATVs are not only popular with teenagers but also with children.  Among the 93,800 people who check into emergency rooms for ATV injury, 24,800 or 26% of them were younger than 16 and among these 24,800 47% of them or 11,700 were younger than 12.  In 2007 among the 150,900 people injured in ATV accidents 27% of them were younger than 16-year-old and half of them were younger than 12-year-old.

Among the various age categories the most significant decline of injuries over 10 years was recorded among the 16 to 24- year-old category.

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311 E. 50th Street scaffolding accident locationA stone fell on the head of a NYC construction worker and killed him on Monday. 51 year old Nelson Salinas from Queens was on a scaffold, repairing the facade of  an Upper East Side residential building in Manhattan when the accident occurred.   A delivery man saw him dangling in midair with his head covered in blood and called 911. The worker was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved.

Nelson Salinas who was employed by Vlad Restoration, was performing minor facade repair on a suspended scaffold system. He was located at the 7th floor level of the 14-story building locates at 311 E. 50th Street near Second Ave when a coping stone that may have been knocked loose by the equipment used to secure the scaffolding to the facade fell on his head.  According to the Department of Buildings investigators the stone was a piece of the building’s parapet.  Read more about the accident in the NY Daily News

Preventing NYC Scaffold Accidents

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accident sceneTwo more pedestrians died in traffic accidents in NYC at the end of last week. One was hit by a bus and the other one by two cars. A total of 51 pedestrians and cyclists died in traffic accidents since the beginning of the year, an increase of 30% compared to the same period of 2018.

Struck by a reckless driver

On Friday night a pedestrian was killed in Queens. The man whose identity wasn’t revealed, was crossing Sunrise Highway in the crosswalk when he was hit by 62 year old Renford Tait.  The pedestrian fell to the ground and was struck by another car. Both drivers stayed at the scene of the accident. The first driver who failed to yield to the pedestrian while making a turn from Brookville Boulevard onto Sunrise Highway was also unlicensed. He was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care. The other driver wasn’t charged. The intersection is notoriously dangerous and known for speeding. Last year 126 crashes resulting in 58 people getting injured occurred at the intersection. Read more in Streetblog

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location of the fatal car accidentA 63 woman died in a car accident in New York City. Patricia Lancaster, a Brooklyn real estate agent was driving home from work.
As she was crossing East 56th Street and Avenue J, a speeding 19 year-old driver drove through the red light and t-boned her car. The woman was rushed to the hospital but she didn’t survive.
The teenage driver stayed at the scene of the accident and so far hasn’t been charged.
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A 19 year old driver died and two teen passengers were injured in a car accident in New York City. The accident occurred Tuesday afternoon around 4:30 pm.  19 year old Claudio Poggy was speeding in a Mercedes. Two of his friends aged 16 and 19 year-old were on board. According to witnesses, he was drag racing. As he was speeding north on Kings Highway, Brooklyn, the driver lost control of his vehicle and hit a tree at the intersection with avenue D. The impact was so brutal that the driver died at the scene of the accident. The 16 year old passenger suffered critical injury and the 19 year old one minor injuries. Investigators found that the speedometer was stuck on 130 mph on the unregistered Mercedes.

Male teen driver with teen passengers is a deadly combination

The risk of car accidents is higher among 16 to 19 year-old drivers than among any other age group. Car accidents are indeed the leading cause of death for American teens. According to statistics 6 teenagers die and hundreds of them are injured every day in car accidents in the US. The risk of dying in car accidents is two times higher for male drivers than for female drivers. When another teen is on board with a teen driver, the risk of a fatal crash doubles and increases further when more teen passengers are in the car.

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141street-and-AmsterdamA pedestrian was killed by a hit and run driver in New York on Friday. 26 year old Erica Imbasciani was fatally pinned against a parked car by a speeding hit and run driver on 141st Street and Amsterdam on Friday night. The driver was caught by the police and identified as 27 year old Tyrik Cooper.  The police alleged the driver was on drugs and he was slapped with numerous charges including driving without a license, leaving the scene of an accident and vehicular manslaughter.  The young female pedestrian suffered massive head and body trauma. She was rushed to the hospital but didn’t survive.

Community Board  opposed Vision Zero  street safety redesign

The accident occurred in an area that had been targeted by Vision Zero for a safety street redesign as early as March 2017 that had been opposed by the community board. On March 2017, the DOT presented a proposal to the Community Board 9 to eliminate one through lane in both directions and add an unprotected bike lane as well as other traffic calming measures such as left turn treatments and pedestrian islands on Amsterdam Avenue between 113rd Street and 162nd Street. The street redesign was proposed after statistics indicated that the area was particularly prone to speeding and reckless driving. Four pedestrians were killed and 28 of them were injured on this street segment between 2010 and 2014. An additional 8 people were  also injured in bicycle accidents during the same time and in the same area.

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New-York-Slip-and-Fall1Every day 223 older adults visit the emergency room after being injured in a fall in NY State, 140 are hospitalized and 2 die. Fall is the leading cause of unintentional injuries and deaths among older New Yorkers and among older people in the US as well. In the US every 19 minutes an older person dies from injuries related to a fall.

For people over 65 year old, falls often have serious consequences that can affect their global well being, their mobility, their independence and their mental health. 60% of the older New Yorkers who are hospitalized after a fall end up in a nursing home or a rehabilitation center. 11% of them suffer traumatic brain injury and 27% of them suffer from hip fractures.  In most cases falls occur at home. 60% of older adults hospitalized for a fall in New York fell in their own home.

Obviously as people get older, they loose some of their strength,  they sometimes have physical disabilities, their vision is decreasing and they take more medication which can lead to drowsiness. All these factors increase the risk of fall.