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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Chicken CoopIn 2018, 120 Americans died and 25,606 suffered illness after being contaminated by dangerous food. 5,893 of them had to be hospitalized to be treated. Produce caused half of the illnesses, then in order meat and poultry, dairy and eggs, fish and shellfish.

The infections are caused by 7 main bacteria ad 1 parasite:

  1. 9,084 cases of Salmonella caused 2,416 hospitalizations and 36 deaths. Salmonella is mainly found in eggs and chicken
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harness safety equipment on scaffoldOn April 28th, Workers Memorial Day commemorated those who have suffered and died on the job. The NY construction industry accounts for a large share of the deaths and injuries suffered by workers. While fatal construction accidents have declined by 23% in New York City over the last 5 years they increased by 39% in New York State. The main reason behind this discrepancy is the difference in regulations. While stronger regulations and an increase of enforcement and control could help reduce the construction safety crisis in New York State, businesses are heavily lobbying against them.

In New York City things are not perfect either ( 3 construction workers died over a one week period last month) but long term statistics indicate that new and old policies are helping in making construction sites safer for workers. In 2019 the funding for the New York City Department of Buildings increased to 189 million compared to 107 million in 2015. The Department was able to hire 700 more employees and increase the number of work-site inspections.  The recent implementation of Local Law 196 that requires all construction workers to have a minimum amount of safety training before being able to work on a construction site in New York City will also be helpful in preventing dangerous injury and deaths.

Scaffold Safety Law

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NYC construction workers and their families commemorated the 16 hard hats who died and the many others who were injured  in construction accidents in New York City last year in a mass held at St Patrick’s Cathedral last Thursday. The hardhat procession into the cathedral was followed by a memorial service in the cathedral. In an emotional celebration, families and friends commemorated the 16 workers who died on construction sites between April 28 2018 and April 28 2019. Among the workers who died 13 were non unionized construction workers, 2 of them unionized workers and one was a security guard. 16 empty chairs with a hard hat and a rose were installed in the front of the church with the name of each deceased worker.

The construction industry has more deaths than any other industry in New York City and in the US as well. As the construction market is booming in the city  so do construction accidents injuries and fatalities. According to city data, compared to 5 years ago,  deaths of construction workers are up 33 % and injuries 221% in New York City. This month only, 3 construction workers lost their lives over a period of one week.

Non unionized workers are the most at risk of dying on New York Construction sites

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harness safety equipment on scaffold The leading cause of construction workers deaths are falls. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a brochure with information on how employers and construction workers can better prevent fall injuries and deaths. Every year in the US more than 31o workers die and more than 10,350 are injured after falling from heights. Workers on roofs, workers on ladders and workers on scaffolds have the highest risk of getting injured in a fall. According to statistics from the US Department of Labor, in 2016, 124 workers died after falling from a roof, 104 of them died after falling from a ladder and 60 of them died after falling from a scaffold.

Roofers have the most dangerous occupation

81% of people dying after falling from a roof are construction workers. Most common factors contributing to this fatal accidents are inexperience, lack of fall protection,  no safety harness, fall protection system not proprely installed, working alone, bad weather conditions. Falls can be prevented by implementing a serious fall protection program, making sure workers all have proper safety equipment and are proprely trained to use it,inspecting fall equipment, using proper anchorage, using buddy system and monitoring weather conditions

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bike lane proposalAfter Mathew von Ohlen was killed by a hit and run driver while biking on Grand Street, his family and the Brooklyn Community Board 1 called for a protected bike lane.  A total of four people have been fatally struck by cars on Grand Street since 2010.

A new design including two protected bike lanes and a bus lane was proposed by the DOT  as an L Train shutdown mitigation measure. In reality, the DOT hastily installed a bike lane that wasn’t fully implemented and that stayed in limbo after it was decided that the L train would not be fully shut-down. The actual bike lane is only protected by plastic delineators. Cars and delivery trucks are constantly passing the delineators and parking on the bike lane forcing cyclists to make dangerous maneuvers to ride around them. Residents and businesses have both been asking their community board to improve the actual situation which according to them is chaotic.

Bike lane plans kept and extended

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6 cyclists, 27 pedestrians, 5 passengers and 9 motorists died in NYC traffic accidents during the first 3 months of 2019 compared to 1 cyclist, 26 pedestrians, 2 passengers and 13 motorists for the same period of 2018.  A total of 47 people died in motor vehicle accidents in New York during this first trimester, 5 more than during last year’s first trimester. The number of traffic deaths significantly decreased between the first trimester of 2013 and the first trimester of 2014, reached its lowest in 2015 at 40 and then oscillated between 40 and 50 for the last 4 years with no further improvement.Fatal Auto Accident New York City First Trimester 2019

12,997 people were injured in auto accidents in New York City during the first 3 months of 2019 compared to respectively 12,920, 12,608, 11,936, 10,069, 10,805 and 11,676 during the first trimester of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. This is a record number of motor vehicle accident injuries for the first trimester. Except for pedestrian injuries which were at their second lowest level since Vision Zero started all other road users recorded a significant increase of injuries during the first trimester of 2019 compared to the same period of 2018 with motorist injuries at a record high.

Total Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries NYC First Trimester 2019
The most alarming data this first trimester was the death of 6 cyclists. This number has never been so high in the past. After an uptick to 4 during the first trimester of 2016 the number of deaths related to bicycle accidents in NYC went down to 2 and 1 during the same period of 2017 and 2018. Last year during the entire year, 9 cyclists died in traffic accidents which was a record low. However the first trimester deaths are an indication that the city can’t relax its efforts to improve protection for the growing number of people commuting by bikes in the city.

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couple involved in the car crashA speeding driver lost control of her vehicle causing a huge crash, killing the passenger who was her husband and hurting another road user.

The accident occurred early Tuesday morning in New York. 25 year old Dhanairy Ramirez was driving her Honda at a speed estimated to be 80 to 100 mph Northbound on St. Nicholas Ave. Her husband, 28 year old Eduardo Liranzo was in the passenger seat.  She sideswiped two parked cars near 172nd Street. She didn’t stop and continued to speed on St Nicholas Ave and rear ended a parked MTA truck near 190th Street. The truck driver was inside the cabin at the time of the accident. He suffered back injury.

The couple in the Honda were pinned inside the crumbled car and  firefighters had to cut the vehicles to rescue them. Both of them were rushed to the hospital. The passenger didn’t survive and the driver was critically injured.  According to family members who spoke to the NY Daily News, she is still unconscious and in critical condition. The couple has a newborn son. The young dad also leaves behind another son that he had with another woman.

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dangerous sleeper recalledThe Fisher Price rock’n play sleeper is dangerous as babies not only can roll over when unrestrained but they can also suffocate or die from strangulation. A recent investigation by Consumer Reports found that at least 32 babies died in accidents that occurred while they were resting in the Rock’n Play sleeper. A few days after the investigation was published, Fisher Price announced that it was recalling all 4.7 million Rock and Play sleepers.

Rock’n Play sleepers are inclined padded sleepers that automatically rock the babies to put them asleep. The product requires the baby to be inclined on its back and to be restrained which the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) doesn’t recommend. Safe sleep guidelines from the AAP recommend that babies be put in their bed alone on their back on a firm flat mattress, free form soft bedding.

Positional Asphixia

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Gregory EchevarriaA NYC hard hat who was installing a crane died after the counter weight he was setting fell on him.

34 year old Gregory Echevarria was part of a crew installing a crane at a luxury residential development located at 570 Broome Street in Soho early Saturday morning. A little bit after 3:00 am the crane counterweight that Echevarria was installing slipped and fatally struck him. The crew immediately called 911. When the EMS crew arrived they found him unresponsive with severe injuries all over his body. He was declared dead at the scene of the accident. Two other workers were also injured in the accident.  People who were in the area at the time of the accident reported a very loud sound as the 7.5 ton counterweight fell.

After the accident the crane was moved and a stop work order was issued by the Department of Buildings. The 570 Broom project is being built by  Agime Group. KSK Construction Group is managing the construction project. The DOB previously received several safety complaints for the site.

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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.