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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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LoryProfessorDanielPollackPeer on peer child sexual abuse occurs when a child sexually abuses another child. In the US, States and even regions have different views and legislation when it comes to defining “peers” and if a sexual act between teenagers is consensual and legal or punishable.  In a recent article in Youth Today, Daniel Pollack M.S.S.A. (M.S.W.), Esq., a professor at the School of Social Work, Yeshiva University, New York City and Lori S. Kornblum, Esq. an adjunct faculty member at Marquette University Law School and an instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College (Paralegal Department) explain why the law and terminology should be standardized when if comes to  sexual activities among teenagers.

While it is quite common for teenagers to have a sexual relationship with each other, their relationship can be legal or illegal depending in which state it occurs.  In many states teens under a certain age are unable to consent and sexual activity under that age is criminalized as “statutory rape”. The age of consent often varies between 16 and 18 year old. However because many teenagers below the age of consent are having sexual relationships, many States have adopted “Romeo and Juliet” laws that decriminalize sex between two teens as long as it stays between a specific age-gap, The age-gap however differs from one State to the other and can go from 2 years to 6 years. The age-gap laws only apply if the sex was consensual between both teens and no violence is involved.

According to the authors of the article the age-gap laws tend to make more uniform the manner how similar aged teens having a sexual relationship are prosecuted or not and put in place general community standards in regards to this particular behavior. The age-gap laws tend to standardize punishment but don’t address larger issues and questions such as whether  older teens should have sex with pre-teens.

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Revel-scaledA man was killed in a Revel moped accident in New York yesterday. The 32 year old man identified by the police as Jeremy Malave was riding  the rented Revel north on Woodhaven Boulevard, Queens, when he lost control of the moped and struck a light pole near 67th Drive. The accident occurred around 3:15 am. EMS found Malave lying on the ground with a massive head injury. He was rushed to the hospital but he didn’t survive. The helmet was found on the ground nearby but it was not clear if Malave was wearing it at the time of the accident. (read more in the NY Daily News)

26 year old Revel passenger killed after driver lost control of the scooter

On Saturday July 18th, CBS 2 NY reporter Nina Kapur also died in a Revel accident. 26 year old Kapur was riding a Revel moped as a passenger in Brooklyn when the driver of the scooter suddenly swerved throwing Kapur onto the roadway.  The young woman suferd critical injuries and was rushed to the hospital where she later died. The driver of the Revel, a 26 year old man, suffered minor injuries. According to a witness, neither of them were wearing a helmet. (read more in the Daily News)

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injured hand of an elderly patientA recent study at a New York emergency room compared the injuries of  elderly patients who suffered physical abuse with the injuries of elderly patients who suffered unintentional fall.  The reason for the study was for the emergency room professionals to be able to identify “red flags” for elderly abuse.  Elderly abuse in New York and elsewhere is largely under-reported. Often abused seniors who show up at the emergency room tell the staff that they fell.

“The first place that many vulnerable older patients turn for care is the emergency department,” said lead study author Tony Rosen, MD, MPH, FACEP, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and director of the Vulnerable Elder Protection Team based at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center’s emergency department. “Emergency physicians have a unique opportunity to identify the ‘red flags’ for elder abuse. Improving the ability to recognize, treat, and prevent these incidents can improve the lives of millions of older patients.”

The study looks at a total of 156 elderly patients who showed up at the emergency room of a New York Hospital.  The researchers compared 78 cases of injuries related to abuse with 78 cases of injuries related to unintentional fall. They  found specific differences between unintentional  fall injuries and abuse injuries:

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garden hose injuriesEvery summer emergency room doctors and vets treat cases of children and pets who suffered burn injuries from scalding garden hose water. Water sitting in a garden hose under the sun for hours can reach scalding temperature that can burn children or pets. During a heat wave it is common for kids to play with the garden hose to refresh or for parents to use it to fill the kiddie pool or to spray their pets.  When doing so, parents should make sure to let the water run and check the temperature before using the hose.

A few days ago a mother in Florida was charged with child neglect resulting in great bodily harm after she neglected to seek treatment for her toddler who suffered permanent scaring from burn injuries after he was sprayed with hot water from a hose. According to Yahoo News, Jessica Smith a 24 year old divorced mother, admitted that her child was sprayed with hot water from a hose by another kid but she didn’t seek medical care because she was afraid that the Department of Children and Families (DFC) would get involved and that she would loose custody of the child.  The child’s father described the child as “permanently disfigured” by the burns and he alerted the DFC.

Similar accidents occurred in the past. A few years ago the Las Vegas Fire Rescue team circulated the picture of a 9 month-old boy who was accidentally burned by his mom as she was filling the kiddie pool and accidentally sprayed him.  The child had to be treated for second-degree burn injuries.

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location of the truck accidentSeveral people were injured in a pickup truck accident in New York City last week . The crash occurred in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NYC.  The driver of a Ford pick up truck crashed into the barriers of  an outdoor dining areas erected on Fifth Avenue near 41st Street by L’Wren restaurant (see Google map Picture on the left). “Open Restaurants”, the city’s initiative to expand dining area into the street to reduce the risk of covid-19 propagation is allowing restaurants to create outdoors dining area on parking spaces. As a result cars are driving right on the side of people having food and drinks. Protective barriers are mandatory, however in the case of the accident that occurred at L’Wren restaurant, the 5000-pound pick up truck knocked them down onto the floor.  3 patrons were injured and taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries. A mother just had the time to scoop her two kids away to prevent them from being injured. The scene was really scary according to witnesses and it could have been much worse. The driver of the pickup truck stayed at the scene of the accident. The police found that he was unlicensed and he was issued a summon for driving without a license and let go. Read more in Street Blog.

This is the second time that a vehicle plows into the outdoor area of a restaurant in New York City

On July 13, a driver made a mistake and press on the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal and crashed into the outdoor seating of 12 Corazones Restaurant and bar on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens. A waitress and 4 customers were injured and hospitalized after the car jumped the sidewalk and crashed into the restaurant at full speed destroying not only the seating area but also the indoor structure of the establishment. (see video here).

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location of the fire accidentAn overloaded power strip might have been the cause of a gigantic fire in a New York City residential building that caused 4 people to be critically injured. The fire occurred early last Friday around 12:15 am in a residential building located on 35th Ave near Rowan Street in Flushing, Queens, NYC.  When the firefighters arrived they were able to pull a 9 year old girl, a 24 year old woman, a 32 year old woman and a 56 year old woman from their bedrooms. They were all unconscious and required CPR. All 4 were rushed to the hospital with critical injuries. The young girl suffered smoke inhalation while the 3 women were treated for burn injuries and smoke inhalation. The firefighter also saved a small hamster that is now in the hands of the Animal Care Center of New York City.  Four fire fighters also suffered minor injuries while combating the fire and were also brought to the hospital to be treated.

According to preliminary investigations by the FDNY Fire Marshals, the inferno started on the first floor and might have been caused by a bad power strip to which an air conditioning unit was plugged into

Multiple extension cords plugged in with multiple devices might have overload the outlet and sparked the fire that quickly propagated to the entire two story building. The fire marshals didn’t mention if smoke alarms were installed in the apartments or not. In New York, the law requires that all apartments be equipped  with smoke alarms. They might not have been installed or might not have been working proprely.  Someone was seen on video throwing something at the home and investigators determined it was a good Samaritan trying to alert people inside that their house was on fire.

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NYPD1Disciplinary records of NYPD officers who committed police brutality, abuse or misconduct have been kept secret from the public until last month. Last June, Governor Cuomo signed a bill to repeal section 50-A of the New York Civil Rights Law that was protecting police officers and firefighters who committed misconduct by keeping their record hidden from the public (see previous blog).

After that law was repealed, Pro Publica obtained all the records from every active-duty officer who had at least one substantiated allegation against them between September 1985 and January 2020. With these records, Pro Publica created a fully searchable database. The database can be searched by officer name, badge number or by precinct. The database can be searched here.

A total of 3,996 officers who logged a total of 12,056 complaints are listed in the database

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person-holding-hand-sanitizer-396233175 dangerous hand sanitizers that are being sold at major retailers such as CVS, Wallmart and others have been recalled by the FDA. The dangerous products contained methanol, also known as wood alcohol. When absorbed by the skin or swallowed, methanol can lead to severe injury such as blindness neurological damage or even death. The FDA has received several reports of consumers including children who suffered personal injury or died  after being exposed to these dangerous products.

Please check your hand sanitizer  and make sure it is not part of the list released by the FDA.

Some of the products recalled were sold under the following brands: Good Gel, Lavar 70, Saniderm, CleanCare, All-Clean and Eskbiochem. All these brands are manufactured by the same Mexican company Eskbiochem SA de CV.

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location of the falling debris accidentA man suffered a skull fracture after a facade collapsed on him as he was walking on a New York City sidewalk.  39 year-old Oumar Ba, a father of two, was walking  on the sidewalk on St. Johns Place in Crown Heights yesterday afternoon around 3:00 pm. when a chunk of bricks and debris fell on him.  His friend Abdouramane Thiam whom he was visiting, as well as other local vendors who witnessed the accident ran to rescue the man as he was lying unconscious on the ground. They called 911 and applied pressure on the back of his head to contain the bleeding until the EMS arrived.  Oumar Ba was rushed to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a skull fracture and injuries to his ribs and shoulder. He is now in stable condition.

Violation for for failure to maintain exterior building wall open since 2004!

The building is an old movie theater that has been reconverted into commercial use. Several complaints dating from as far as 2004 have been logged with the DOB about the illegal  occupancy of the second floor. The building received a total of 37 DOB violations including 28 still open and dating as far as 1991.  The building also has OATH/ECB violations for failure to maintain the exterior building walls open since 2004! The violation mentions “brick work cracked and mortar joints missing with missing bricks at second floor front of building also defective brick work with missing mortar joint”.

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excavation work in NYC streetsNew York construction site owners and contractors are responsible for their employees safety. While before the coronavirus crisis this meant that they had to take adequate safety measures to protect construction workers from accident injuries and deaths, now contractors are also responsible for applying the new covid-19 protocole. In New York where aggressive measures have been deployed by the Governor to reduce the spread of the disease, construction site owners and contractors have to follow a strict protocol to keep everybody safe.

The NYC Department of Buildings now has dedicated inspectors who are visiting  construction sites to make sure they are compliant

Since July 8th, any NYC construction site that doesn’t respect the Covid-19 protocol can be penalized with violations fines and stop work orders if necessary. During the first five days, inspectors issued 88 citations and 41 stop work orders to construction sites all over the city. During the previous months the inspectors had been reaching out to violators and provided them with guidance and material related to the application of the covid-19 protocol for construction sites in New York City.