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.
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From RSN;

“In defending the U.S. military’s medical system in court, the U.S. Department of Justice is arguing that service personnel and their families are not allowed to sue for medical malpractice regardless of the circumstance.

As a general rule, military members are barred from taking the government to court, which has been established in several court cases, in particular the 1950 Supreme Court decision in Feres v. United States. But now government lawyers are trying to expand the scope of Feres to make it impossible for families of soldiers to sue for medical malpractice, if at the time of the bad care the service member was on active duty.” MORE.

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In The Courts

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In this seminar, Labor Law/Construction Site Accidents in New York, presented by the New York State Bar association on December 9, 2011 Gair discusses section 240(1) cases including Runner v New York Stock Exch., Inc. (13 NY3d 599, [2009]), Salazar v.Novalex Contracting Corp., et al., decided by The Court of Appeals on November 21, 2011, 2011 NY Slip Op 8446 and Wilinski v. 334 East 92nd Housing Development Fund Corp., et al., decided October 25, 2011, 2011 NY Slip Op 7477 among other recent cases and the current trends in the law.

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In Vasquez v. County of Nassau, 2012 NY Slip Op 00508 decided on January 24, 2012 The New York Appellate Division 2d Department affirmed a jury verdict of $3,025,000.00. The case was tried by our partner Howard Hershenhorn in Nassau County Supreme Court. Our partners, Rhonda Kay and Richard Steigman handled the appeal.

On Oct. 18, 2003, plaintiff’s decedent Maria Araujo, 34, was crossing Washington Street, at the corner of Jackson Street, in Hempstead. She was carrying her 3-year-old son, plaintiff Fernando Araujo. Glory Upke was driving a sport utility vehicle north on Washington Street, and a public bus, driven by William Malloy, was traveling on the westbound side of Jackson Street. The bus struck the right rear quarter panel of Upke’s vehicle. Upke’s vehicle spun in a counterclockwise direction and struck and killed Maria Araujo. Fernando was also hurt. The Appellate Division set forth the facts of the accident as follows;

“This case stems from an accident involving multiple vehicles and two pedestrians at the intersection of Jackson Street and Washington Street in Hempstead, which was governed by traffic light signals. The decedent was carrying the infant plaintiff, her three-year-old disabled son with Down Syndrome. As the decedent crossed Jackson Street on the north side of the intersection in the crosswalk, she was struck by a vehicle operated by the defendant Glory E. Upke, after that vehicle was struck by a bus operated by the defendant William Malloy and owned by the defendant Metropolitan Suburban Bus Authority. The force of the impact propelled the decedent into the air and caused her to let go of the infant plaintiff. Prior to the accident, the bus was traveling in a westerly direction on Jackson Street, and the Upke vehicle was traveling in a northerly direction on Washington Street.

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For more than 25 years Ben Rubinowitz has volunteered his time teaching younger, less experienced lawyers and law students how to try cases. Based on his expertise, Mr. Rubinowitz was asked to Chair the New York State Bar Association Program on Construction Site Accidents. This is an honor bestowed on very few attorneys in the State. In this video, Ben demonstrates cross examination of a construction site foreman in a New York Construction Accident, portrayed by one of his partners, Chris Sallay.

To read the fact pattern upon which this cross examination was based click below.
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In The Courts

  • As the death toll from the Costa Concordia accident rises to 16, cruise Ship owners blame human error. Meanwhile, a key House committee said Wednesday that it would hold a hearing to look into the safety of the cruise ship industry.
  • Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $158 million to settle Texas officials’ claims that the drugmaker fraudulently marketed its Risperdal anti-psychotic drug, ending a trial over the allegations. A witness had told jurors that the antipsychotic drug Risperdal was marketed for children and adolescents by J&J’s Janssen unit since the drug’s introduction in 1994 even after warnings by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration not to do so.
  • A Pinellas County jury handed down a record-breaking $200 million verdict this week against a nursing home company accused of not doing enough to prevent a 92-year-old woman’s fatal fall at a local nursing home.
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For more than 25 years Ben Rubinowitz has volunteered his time teaching younger, less experienced lawyers and law students how to try cases. Based on his expertise, Mr. Rubinowitz was asked to Chair the New York State Bar Association Program on Construction Site Accidents. This is an honor bestowed on very few attorneys in the State. In this video, Ben demonstrates opening statements in a construction accident case in which a man was injured but both the liability and damage issues were hotly contested by the defense. Although Ben only represents plaintiffs in construction, auto, medical malpractice and products liability cases, in this demonstration, given to more than 100 attendees, Ben delivered the opening statement for both the plaintiff and the defendant. Ben Rubinowitz, a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, has devoted his entire career to representing those who have been seriously injured through the fault of others

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Christopher L. Sallay, a partner at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf, lectures on behalf of the New York State Bar Association at the December 2, 2011 CLE Seminar “Construction Site Accidents: The Law and the Trial”. Mr. Sallay discusses the Key Investigation and Case Preparation that must be undertaken by a plaintiff’s attorney in a Construction Accident case in New York. Mr. Sallay is a frequent lecturer for the New York State Bar Association and has been the Assistant Planning Chair for this statewide program for several years.

Mr. Sallay has extensive experience in high profile personal injury cases in the areas of medical malpractice, automobile accidents, construction accidents, municipal liability and products liability. Mr. Sallay is responsible for all aspects of litigation, from the initial meeting of clients through the ultimate resolution of the case and has tried cases in both New York and New Jersey.

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The family of Javier Salinas — the 36-year-old construction worker from Danbury, Connecticut who in October fell more than 50 feet to his death at the Chelsea Piers construction site in New York City — is suing his former employer, the worksite general contractors and the owners of the property where he died.

The dangers inherent to a construction site are well-known and can be prevented if simple, common-sense precautions are in place. Those dangers are particularly well-known where there are elevation-related risks involved. In fact, specific laws have been enacted to protect workers whose job requires them to perform construction activities in areas that are elevated. In this instance, a worker was killed because he was installing a roof over 40 feet in the air on a windy day. A strong gust of wind caused him to lose his balance and fall from the roof striking to a concrete slab on the ground below. The Wrongful Death of this 36-year old worker left his wife without a husband and their three children without their father. The entire accident could have been avoided if owner and contractors had taken steps to insure that there were proper safety harnesses or railings in place. In addition, a Site Safety Manager or Construction Foreman could have exercised some common sense and told the workers to not install the roof that day because it was too windy or that they should not install the roof until the safety devices were in place. Apparently, there were no safety devices at all and a tragic death occurred.

The available safety devices that would have prevented this accident include both safety harnesses and safety railings. A construction safety harness is necessary for any job that involves vertical travel or work at an elevation. Approximately 37 percent of serious injuries and deaths at construction sites are attributed to falls. Safety harnesses are attached to life lines via lanyards, which are designed to minimize injury from “jerk back” during a fall. The OSHA and ANSI requirements for safety harnesses, life lines and lanyards are matters of public record and are disseminated throughout the construction industry. In addition, OSHA compliant fall protection railing systems are also readily available and well-known throughout the construction industry to eliminate falls from roofs, open floors, and other hazardous areas on construction sites.

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Ben B. Rubinowitz

Ben B. Rubinowitz
Gair Gair Conason
Steigman Mackauf
Bloom & Rubinowitz

Our partner, Ben Rubinowitz, achieved one of the highest awards for an 83 year old man who suffered a fractured leg as a result of being struck by a car: $1,120,000.00. The injured man was an 83 year old pedestrian who was standing next to his car when struck. The man, who had suffered from heart problems and cancer prior to the accident, underwent surgery for a fractured femur. As a result of the accident he now has difficulty walking. “I am extremely pleased with this result” said Rubinowitz who explained that “often times insurance companies feel that because an injured individual happens to be in his 80’s or is elderly that the case has little or no value. That type of ugly age discrimination is simply not tolerated by our firm. If we agree to take a case it makes no difference to us if the injured person is 8 or 80. We give the same effort regardless of age.” Perhaps this is why the lawyers at Gair Gair Conason Steigman Mackauf Bloom and Rubinowitz have achieved the best results for victims of car accidents, construction accidents and medical malpractice cases over their 90 plus year history. “Simply put” said Rubinowitz “we have the talent and we have the resources — and we do one other thing — we give 100 percent effort at all times to ensure the best possible results for our clients.”