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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$8 Million Settlement In Wrongful Death Case
Drunk Driving Accident

In July, 2007 a drunk driver took the life of a 23 year old woman. That woman was the mother of a 4 year old child. That child’s life was forever changed by the reckless and negligent conduct and actions of the drunk driver. Although the child’s life will never be the same – – the family of that young child sought expert representation from highly skilled lawyers to prosecute a civil claim for the wrongful death of the mother and to protect the interests and rights of her little child.

This past week Ben Rubinowitz and Diana Carnemolla successfully resolved this claim after more than 3 years of litigation for one of the highest awards ever for this type of case – – 8 million dollars. The claim stemmed from the reckless and negligent actions of a drunk driver when he drove drunk and collided head-on with a car driven by a 23 year old woman. The mother was killed in the accident but her young child, who was a belted back seat passenger in her car, survived.

The claim was brought under a number of legal theories which included the Wrongful Death of a mother, her Conscious Pain and Suffering for the few minutes that she lived following the impact, the Zone of Danger Damages suffered by both this mother/driver before she died and the Zone of Danger Damages suffered by the young child in witnessing her mother’s death.

“This was a horrible tragedy of unimaginable proportions” said Ben Rubinowitz who also explained that “while no amount of money can ever compensate a young child for the loss of her mother, we know that the law does provide for compensation in this instance, as it should. Our goal was to maximize the recovery for this young child.” Diana Carnemolla, who worked tirelessly in prosecuting this case with Rubinowitz stated, “This is the largest award ever made for this type of claim. Although we are terribly saddened by the loss of a young child’s mother, we are delighted that we were able to secure this large award to provide for this child’s future.”

Both Rubinowitz and Carnemolla are partners of Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf, a firm that specializes in all aspects of Personal Injury Claims including Wrongful Death, Drunk Driving accidents, Car, Bus and Train accidents, construction accidents, Premises accidents, Civil Rights violations, Products Liability cases and Medical Malpractice cases.

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In Anastasi v. Terio, decided by The New York Appellate Division, Second Department on May 17, 2011, reversed the granting of Summary Judgment for defendants in this action for wrongful death.

The case involved a car accident that took place at an intersection in Queens, New York City. The traffic proceeding in the same direction as the plaintiff’s vehicle was controlled by a stop sign, while the traffic proceeding in the same direction as the defendants’ vehicle was not controlled by any traffic device. The plaintiff’s decedent was sitting in the back seat of the automobile operated by the plaintiff. In reversing The Court held;

“Contrary to the Supreme Court’s determination, the defendants failed to submit evidence sufficient to establish their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law (see Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851). “There can be more than one proximate cause of an accident” (Cox v Nunez, 23 AD3d 427, 427). Although a stop sign governed the intersection for traffic proceeding in the direction that the plaintiff’s vehicle traveled, triable issues of fact exist as to whether the defendant driver was free from negligence and, if not, whether that negligence was a proximate cause of the accident (see Myles v Blain, 81 AD3d 798; Kim v Acosta, 72 AD3d 648; Virzi v Fraser, 51 AD3d 784; Campbell-Lopez v Cruz, 31 AD3d 475; Cox v Nunez, 23 AD3d 427). Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have denied that branch of the defendants’ motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.”

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Our partner Howard Hershenhorn recently settled this case in New York Supreme Court, New York County. The case involved the wrongful death of a 38 year old construction worker who fell from a ladder at 80 Centre street in Manhattan. The construction worker was in the process of demolishing a chimney when the 6 foot A-Frame ladder upon which he was standing shifted causing him to fall 25 feet. He sustained fatal injuries including a brain injury and other internal injuries from which he later died . On behalf of the Estate we argued that the defendants violated sections 240(1) and 241(6) of The New York Labor law and that these violations by the Owner and General contractor were the proximate cause of the accident and the worker’s death. The defense argued that the worker was the sole proximate cause of the accident in that he failed to use available safety devices.

The New York Construction Accident Lawyers at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf have years of experience representing construction workers who have suffered injury and /or death in construction accidents in New York.

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750px-PA-366.svg.pngJeffrey and Diana Acre have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation over the 2009 death of their daughter. They allege that PennDOT’s poor design and maintenance of Route 366 in New Kensington was a contributing factor in the death of 16-year-old Kylee Jo.

In the lawsuit filed in Westmoreland County Court, the parents blame PennDOT for not filling in a steep, 4-inch rut between the road and the shoulder. The suit says the design flaw is even more dangerous because the dropoff is located on a curve.

Kylee Jo was a front-seat passenger in an SUV that slammed into a guardrail. She was not wearing a seatbelt. The driver of the vehicle, Jonathan Patrick O’Sullivan, was speeding and under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. He was charged with vehicular homicide, drunken driving, speeding and several related crimes.

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Anthony Gair was quoted in The New York Times regarding New York Wrongful Death Law;

“The $3.25 million settlement that the city announced this week with the estate of Sean Bell, who was shot to death by the police in 2006, serves as a reminder of a ruthless truth about calculating settlements: It is generally cheaper to settle a case in which there was a death than one in which there was a serious injury…”

“That partly explains why the family of another victim of a fatal police shooting, Amadou Diallo, refused for years to accept the city’s settlement offers, said Anthony H. Gair, the lawyer who handled the case.

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NEW YORK (CBS) ― “The beauty of your balcony could have ugly consequences. The Department of Buildings said the balconies of 16 buildings in New York City are simply too dangerous to step on……”

“It cost 24-year-old Connor Donohue his life back in March, but New York City’s Department of Buildings said they’re taking steps to prevent another tragic fall.

What this department wants to make sure is that no tenant is put at a safety risk,” said Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri.