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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location of deadly NYC bus accidentFederal Investigators announced yesterday that the bus accident that killed 3 people in NYC in 2017  might have been caused by a thermos that was dropped between the brake and the gas pedals.  On September 18th 2017 a charter bus operated by Dahlia group sped through a red light and crashed into a MTA bus at the intersection of Main Street and Northern Boulevard in Flushing. The bus speed was 60 mph which was twice the speed limit. The accident caused the death of the charter bus driver, a passenger on the MTA bus and a pedestrian (see previous blog) .

Metallic sound heard on audio tape moments before the accident

The National Transportation Safety Board just released a report stating that the cause of the fatal bus accident was uncertain but a dropped thermos bottle might be a possible explanation. According to the investigation, moments before the accident, the bus was travelling at the authorized speed of 30 mph when a metal rattling noise is heard on the audio recording. Then the driver is heard swearing while at the same time the bus accelerates. Then the bus driver swerved to avoid vehicles and entered the intersection at 60 mph. The investigators believe the driver did not deliberately accelerate to crash his vehicle.

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LIRR train Accident NY3 people died and 7 were injured after a vehicle collided with two trains travelling in opposite directionsa in Long Island, NY.

The train accident occurred Tuesday night during rush hour at a railroad crossing near the Long Island Rail Road Westbury Station in Nassau County, NY. As the gates were down and the lights were flashing, the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident was witnessed driving around the gates to cross the railroad tracks. As he was in the middle of the railroad crossing, the vehicle was struck by a train that had just left the Westbury station and was heading East. The vehicle was then hit a second time by another train arriving at full speed in the opposite direction. The impact caused the two first cars of the westbound train to derail while the last car of the eastbound train struck a platform and partially destroyed it. The 3 occupants of the vehicle all died in the accident. So far the vehicle was so mangled that it was difficult to identify who were the victims and what type of vehicle it was. After further investigation the police found that the victims were 3 workers of a grocery store located a block away from the crossing: dairy manager Jesus Hernandez, and meat department workers Saul Martinez and Miguel Luna. According to a witness the men travelling in a maroon SUV might have been involved in a fender bender moments earlier and were trying to  flee the scene of the accident.

7 other people who were travelling on the westbound train were also injured. They were transported to the hospital to be treated for non fatal injuries. Around 1000 people had to be evacuated from both trains and heavy delays were expected as crews had to work on two train derailments and assess damages to the tracks and to the platform.

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prescription-drugFor the first time in US history, accidental injuries have become the third leading cause of death in America after cancer and heart disease.
According to the most recent statistics, 161,374 people died from unintentional injuries in 2016 in the US. 190,8038 died from cancer and 635,260 died from heart disease in the US in 2016. Accidental injuries rose by 10% in 2016. This represents 14,803 more people dying in 2016 than in 2015. The largest yearly increases in accidental injuries since 1936. Every second an American suffers an accidental injury and every 3 minutes one of them dies from one.

The most common accidental injury  leading to death is poisoning in the adult population

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scene of the fatal hit and run accidentA pedestrian died from her injuries after being struck by a taxi driver who tried to flee the scene of the accident but was shortly after arrested by the police. 26 year old Sherena Hundalani was walking on the sidewalk of Queens Boulevard near 63rd Road next to a gas station when she was struck by a green taxi. It was not exactly clear if the driver pulled in the station to get some gas or to cut across. Witnesses saw him driving through the station and turning left onto the Queens Boulevard service road where he slammed into Sherena.

Good Samaritan stopped the reckless driver

A young man going by the name of Bolat told the News that he was at the scene of  the accident with his wife and kid and that he witnessed the taxi driver behaving erratically. The taxi almost drove into him and his family before abruptly turning on the service road slamming into Sherena. Then the driver tried to leave the scene of the accident and drove the wrong way in the middle lane of the road before pulling over. After he pulled over Bolat opened the front door of the taxi and took out the key. Then the police arrived and brought  the driver to the station. He was released later on at night. So far the man hasn’t charged and the police indicated that they were still investigating the accident.

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private garbage truck involved in New york fatal bicycle accidentPrivate garbage trucks are among the most dangerous vehicles in New York City. 5 people died and 73 were seriously injured in commercial waste truck accidents in NYC over the last two years (2017 and 2018).

After years of complaints by street safety advocates, the NYC Department of Sanitation finally released a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for its Commercial Waste Zones plan.  This plan is the blueprint to reform the dangerous waste hauling system in New York City.

The actual system allows for 90 different private garbage truck companies to service 100,000 businesses anywhere in the city. As a result, garbage truck drivers and trash collectors are assigned long routes that they have to service each night. Trash collection is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. In New York City a commercial trash worker can pick up to 30 tones of commercial waste during the course of a daily shift that can last for up to 16 hours.  It is also common knowledge that some of them s are exploited and make between $40 and $80 a night while their unionized colleagues can make up to $100,000 a year.

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Lufthansa Cargo BuildingA 40 year old man was fatally crushed by a freight elevator at JKF Airport in NYC. Dillon Jobe was found critically injured in a shaft at the Lufthansa Cargo Building. His cell phone was lying next to him.  So far and according to the NY Daily News, the investigators believe that he dropped his cell phone and was trying to retrieve it, He later died at the hospital. According to the family the circumstances of the death are not clear and the mother told the Daily News that she was told that there was no video footage showing his son dropping his phone, The mother believes she is not getting the whole story. The NYPD is still investigating the fatal accident.

The mother was not called by Aviation Safeguard, the company for whom Dillon was working as a security guard but by the hospital. They asked her to come because her son was there. She rushed there with her other son. The hospital told the mother that her son didn’t have a heart-breath when he arrived but they didn’t know what happened. The hospital said that they were told that his body was found by a conveyor belt. They didn’t know what happened to him.

Dillon Jobe was from Trinidad. He left behind a 7 year old daughter. She lives in Trinidad but they were speaking together everyday. The family doesn’t know how to tell her that her dad is dead.

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NYC pedestrian safety action planHalf of NYC fatal pedestrian accidents occur on 7% or 424 miles of the city’s streets. These specific streets are going to be the main focus of the new Borough Pedestrian Safety Action Plans that were just released by the DOT yesterday. Mayor de Blasio announced that by the end of this year specific streets and avenues will undergo design changes to protect pedestrians from being killed in traffic.  The following priority corridors were identified for safety modifications:

  • Westchester Avenue, Boston Road and Soundview Avenue in the Bronx
  • Linden Boulevard, 8th Avenue, Surf Avenue and Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn
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JohnsonTo defend  against the nearly 15,0000 product liability lawsuits over its talc products, Imerys Talc America, a main supplier of talc for Johnson & Johnson, recently  announced that it filed for bankruptcy.  Most of the lawsuits against the company alleged that the company continued to supply its products while knowing that they could cause ovarian cancer or  asbestos-related mesothelioma.

The company, a subsidiary of the French company Imerys SA, is denying all accusations that the company knew that the talc powder that it supplied mainly to Johnson & Johnson could cause cancer.

However while filing for bankruptcy the company also mentioned a multibilllion-dollar verdict against Johnson $ Johnson that attracted a lot of attention from  the media.  Last July, 22 women obtained a $4.69 billion verdict against Johnson and Johnson on allegations that the talc powder they used was tainted with asbestos and caused ovarian cancer.

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Elevator Accident Deaths in ConstructionIn 2017 24,890 people who suffered personal injury in an escalator or elevator accident were treated in American hospitals, compared to 25,951 in 2016 and 19,005 in 2007. The number of elevator accident injuries has been on the rise over the last 10 years in the US.

Fatalities related to elevator and escalator accidents are less common and occur mostly on construction sites. According to the Quarterly Report recently published by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) 28 workers died in elevator accidents on construction sites in 2016 compared to 14 in 2003. The number of workers dying in elevator accidents has been on a rising trend since 2003 with a peak at 37 in 2015.

The workers who are the most at risk of dying in an elevator accidents are those who are constructing, assembling or dismantling elevators. They represent 40% of the elevator accidents fatalities in construction. Workers who are operating heavy equipment and workers in charge of the repair and the maintenance are also at risk of dying in elevator accidents. They both represent 20% of the elevator accident fatalities suffered by construction workers.

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A 72 year old cyclist was killed by a hit and run driver in Manhattan . The accident occurred in Time Square on early Monday morning. Joseph Chiam was riding his bicycle northbound on 8th Ave a little bit before 6:00 am. He was in the bike lane  when he was hit by a car at the 45th street intersection. The driver of the car didn’t stop. The victim was found by the police unconscious next to his mangled bike. He was rushed to the hospital but he didn’t survive. The police investigated the accident and were able to identify the car as a 2013 Green Western Star truck. Later on the police also found the driver. They didn’t release his name.
Two days before another cyclist died from the injuries she suffered a few days earlier in a bike accident in Brooklyn, NYC. On January 26, 63 year Suzan  Moses was riding her bike on Kings Highway near Van Sicklen St. in Brooklyn she collided with a car. She suffered head trauma but was still conscious when she was transported to the hospital. She died from her injuries last Saturday.  Kings Highway is a very narrow street that is dangerous for both pedestrians and cyclists. According to Streetblog, 15 cyclists and 43 pedestrians have been injured on the 12 blocks of Kings Highway between Ocean Parkway and West Sixth Street since 2016.
Streetblog also reports that January was also a particularly bloody months for cyclists. According to recent data, 191 cyclists were injured in New York City in January compared to 158 in January 2018. This represents a 20% increase. Traffic fatalities were also on the rise in January with 19 people killed compared to 10 for the same month of the previous year.