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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Our form was named Best Law Frim 2020Our NYC Personal Injury Law Firm was named a 2020 Best Law Firm by U.S. News and Best Lawyers for the 10th consecutive year and we would like to congratulate our attorneys and staff for their continuous effort and great work.

Also for the 10th consecutive year, Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf was named

  • A Tier 1 Firm for Personal Injury Litigation  – Plaintiff in New York City
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Halloween-InjuriesAlmost 5000 people suffer Halloween related personal injuries every year in the US. So be careful and don’t be one of them! Almost half of the injuries were related to pumpkin carving activities. More than a quarter of them were falls. Burns are common and allergic reactions also send a few people to the emergency room every year.

Preventing injuries while carving pumpkins

Carving monsters in pumpkins can result in real blood. Adults should always be present during this activity. A good way to avoid injuries is to share responsibilities. Children will  draw the design with a marker and use a spoon to scoop the inside while adults will be in charge of the carving itself. Using a battery operated light inside the jack-o-lantern instead of candles will prevent fire accidents.

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Corey_Johnson_2015To prevent pedestrian and bicycle accidents in New York City, a new bill proposed by Corey Johnson is expected to be approved today by the City Council after Mayor de Blasio gave its approval on a delayed version.  The bill entitled NYC Street Master Plan includes the construction of 250 miles of protected bike lanes, multiple pedestrian safety measures and 150 miles of dedicated bus lanes over a five year period. Mayor de Blasio finally gave his support to the bill but on the condition that it would not start this month but in December 2021 when a new mayor takes over. Corey Johnson is one of the candidates running for NYC mayor in 2021 and if he wins he would be the one in charge of implementing his own plan.

Mayor de Blasio was not in favor of the Street Master Plan when it was proposed at the beginning of the year, arguing that his Vision Zero program was enough to make pedestrians and bicyclists safe in the city. After multiple fatal bicycle accidents occurred during the first half of the year, proving him wrong, de Blasio unveiled a five year plan dubbed the “Green Wave Bicycle Plan”, a diluted version of the “Street Master Plan” in  July.

However after bicycle accident fatalities continued to rise to record numbers in the city over the fall and the summer,  the mayor changed his mind and agreed on a delayed version of the Street Master Plan. Delaying the plan for two years means that  NYC cyclists will continue to face dangerous riding conditions at least for another 2 or 3 years.

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A woman suffered head injuries after she fell in a hole on a New York sidewalk. The hole was covered by a metal sheet but it was loose and when the woman stepped on it the cover flipped and she dropped 5 feet in the hole.  The woman hit the back of her head as she fell in the muddy pit. Other pedestrians who witnessed the scene stayed around the hole to provide moral support to the woman who was visibly shaken and was crying. They told her not to move until EMS arrived. When they arrived, emergency responders and firefighters lifted the woman out of the pit and brought her to the hospital where she was treated for minor injuries.

It is the responsibility of the contractor to make sure that the excavation is proprely covered and safe for pedestrians

Located at the busy intersection of 8th Ave and 35th Street the hole was a  construction pit  made by the company New York City Water Works and part of an active construction area. The contractor failed in its responsibility to make sure that the area is safe for pedestrians. According to witnesses the metal plate covering the hole was loose and they were no orange cones to signal danger. Later on  the hole was covered again and surrounded with caution tapes but it was too late. The contractor was slapped with a violation for failing to proprely secure the plate that covers an excavation.

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So many New Yorkers have been injured or died in traffic accidents on Queens Boulevard that it has been nicknamed the “Boulevard of Death”. Fixing and redesigning Queens Boulevard to make it safer was one of the priorities of the Vision Zero program launched in 2014.  The plan to redesign the boulevard was approved and launched in 2015. While part of the boulevard has been redesigned, a whole area from Yellow Stone Boulevard to Union Turnpike that has a dangerous records of accidents was never addressed. As the mayor’s office wouldn’t update residents as to when the project would be finished, safety advocates held a rally on Sunday pressing de Blasio to complete its work in one of the most deadly areas in the city. Residents feel like they have been lied to and abandoned said a mother who lost her son after he was hit by a truck in this dangerous segment of Queens Boulevard. The redesign of Queens Boulevard between Yellow Stone Boulevard and Union Turnpike includes the addition of a protected bike lane and safety features for pedestrians. In the areas of Queens Boulevard that were redesigned, 3 people died in traffic accidents since 2015 compared to up to 25 people per year before the redesign. Pedestrian accidents decreased by 55% and pedestrian injuries by 63%.

Corruption claims

Not everybody is in favor of the redesign and according to an article in NY Streetblog, activists are claiming that Mayor de Blasio made a secret deal with a Queens council member to stop the completion of the protected bike lane. Activists and Council member Jimmy Van Brammer are alleging that Council Member Karen Koslowitz signed a secret pact with de Blasio that she would vote for his proposal to close Rikers Island if he would put a stop to the redesign of the Boulevard of Death.

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The number of traffic accidents in NYC recorded by the NYPD in August was the lowest recorded during the month of August since 2013. It is a “good surprise” since NYC traffic accidents have been on a steady rise over the last years. However while the number of accidents significantly declined from 19,272 in August 2018  to 16,954, in August 2019 the number of people injured in these accidents barely declined from 5,373 to 5,366 and the number of fatalities increased from 16 to 21. The ratio of injuries compared to the number of accidents reached a record high of 32% compared to 28% the same month a year earlier. The ratio of deaths compared to the number of accidents was also at a record high indicating that the streets of New York City are getting more dangerous.

Traffic Accident Injuries and Deaths August 2019 NYC

Record number of bicycle accident fatalities since the beginning of the year

632 bicycle accidents were reported in New York City last August compared to respectively 669, 606, 694, 707, 646 and 655 in August 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. While the number of bicycle accidents in August slightly declined from 2018 to 2019, the number of injuries slightly increased. 468 people were injured while bicycling in the city in August compared to respectively 430, 477, 567, 565, 491 and 523 in August 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. 1 cyclist died in August bringing the total number of bicycle accident fatalities recorded by the NYPD since the beginning of the year to 18 compared to respectively 8, 12, 16, 11, 15 and 7 for the same period of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. While last year the number of bicycle accident fatalities reached its lowest since Vision Zero started, the opposite occurred this year with a record number of bicycle accident fatalities.  While the de Blasio administration has been encouraging New Yorkers to commute by bike, these recent fatalities are a reminder that NYC streets remain dangerous for bicyclists.  The August victim was 52 year old Jose Alzorritz. Alzorritz was waiting at the red light when a driver ran the red light, collided with another vehicle that slid through the road and killed the cyclist. Another e-biker was killed in August but the NYPD categorize e-bike accidents as motorcycle accidents.

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Construction_WorkersMuskuloskeletal Disorders or MSDs are soft tissue injuries that affect many construction workers. Globally MSDs are the largest category of workplace injuries and account for 30% of all US worker’s compensation costs. MSDs affect all the parts of the body that are responsible for movements such as the muscles, the tendons, the nerves, the ligaments, the disks or the blood vessels. They are the result of sudden or repetitive motions, forces or awkward positions.

Due to the nature of their activity, construction workers are among the workers who are the most at risk of suffering from MSDs with the most common cause being overexertion from activities such as pushing, pulling, holding carrying and catching as well as lifting and lowering. In its quarterly report the Center for Construction Research and Training provides an in-depth analysis of  MSDs in the American construction industry.

In 2017, 19,690 WMSDs injuries resulted in days away from  work in the construction industry with the most common injuries being sprains, strains and tears. Back injuries were the most predominant, followed by lower and upper extremities. Age is a main factor in muskuloskeletal disorders and the older a construction worker is the higher the risk is that he might suffer from WMSDs resulting in days away from work.

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Broad Channel fatal bicycle accident Tweet
65 year old Bogdan Darmetko died in a bicycle accident in New York City on Sunday. Bogdan was riding his bike on Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel around 2:30 pm when he was hit by a 32 year old man driving a 2008 Ford SUV. According to the police report the cyclist who was riding in the unprotected bike lane made a left into the path of the car and was fatally struck by the front of the vehicle. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged. When the EMS arrived they found Bogdan lying on the ground. They rushed him to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved. Bogdan Darmetko is the 25th person to die in a NYC bicycle accident this year. He had been riding his bicycle in the city for the last 10 years.

Residents have long complained that speeding is an issue but nothing has been done

The  accident occurred at a spot where some road construction was ongoing and the cyclist might have swerved to avoid it.  Speed might have been a factor in his death as well. Cross Bay Boulevard is known for excessive speeding and Broad Channel residents have long been asking the DOT to install stop lights to address this problem. The bike lane on both sides of the road is not protected. Many accident have occurred previously on this Boulevard. NYC Crash Mapper reports that in the area where Cross Bay Boulevard crosses through Broad Channel a total of 273 crashes were reported since the beginning of 2016 until the end of last September.  8 cyclists, 4 pedestrians and 82 motorists were injured  in some of these accidents.

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food-safety“Unsafe food handling” was the third most common citation for American nursing homes in 2018 behind “lack of infection prevention and control” and “accidents related to  hazards, lack of supervision or devices” according to data from the from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. From 1998 to 2017, The Center for Disease Control recorded 230 food outbreaks in nursing homes resulting in 54 deaths, 532 hospitalizations and 7648 sickened residents.

33 % of all nursing homes in the nation were cited for food safety violations last year.  Among them, the nation largest chain of nursing homes, Genesis Healthcare had 47% of its nursing homes cited for food safety violations. The chain owns around 400 nursing homes in 27 states.

Unsafe food handling incidents reported at nursing homes all over the country recently included hundred of mouse droppings on the hood of the stove, flies in under-cooked hamburgers, moldy ice machines, mysterious debris in meat slicer and of course numerous complaints of cockroaches invasions and employees not washing their hands before handling food. These unhealthy conditions can potentially sickened and killed fragile nursing home residents.

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E-Cigarette-1After a 17 year old boy recently died from vaping in the Bronx, the city of New York announced that it filed a federal lawsuit against 22 online sellers of e-cigarettes who have been caught selling their products to underage clients. These sellers allegedly targeted young people through social media and advertising for flavored e-cigarettes such as “Lemon Twist,” “Freddy’s Pebbles” and “Whipped Salted Caramel”. They also accepted online purchases from teenagers.

According to the lawsuit that was filed yesterday in US District Court in Brooklyn, the defendants sold e-cigarettes to two New York City residents who were younger than 21 year old but older than 18 year old.  In order to purchase the e-cigarettes online, the two young New Yorkers created an email address and used prepaid Visa gift cards. Among the 22 sellers who accepted the orders some of them didn’t use age verification services or sold the e-cigarettes despite the buyers indicating that they were younger than 21.  The companies then shipped the orders to an address in New York City that was controlled by the New York City Sheriff’s Office. No signature or identification were required.

Last month an emergency ban of flavored e-cigarettes was voted by New York State officials (see previous blog) but last week a New York Court halted the ban one day before it was supposed to take effect after an industry trade group named Vapor Technology Association appealed the decision. The case will now be heard by the Supreme Court in Albany on October 18th. Until that date the ban can’t be applied.