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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 epilepsyA New York taxi driver who fatally struck two pedestrians in the Bronx after he stopped taking his epilepsy medication pled guilty to one count of assault, a class D felony, and two counts of homicide. On March 20 2015, Emilio Garcia who had been off his epilepsy medications for 3 months, lost control of his taxi and fatally struck 5 year old Tierre Clark and 25 year old Kadeem Brown on the Grand Concourse near 170th Street in the Bronx. Several pedestrians were also injured during the crash. The accident occurred 3 months after a previous collision during which Garcia injured another driver in New York City. Drivers who, like Garcia, are affected by a medical condition that can affect driving, such as epilepsy, are supposed to report their condition to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. Garcia never disclosed his condition. Not even at the time of the first accident. He just continued to drive despite knowing that his negligent behavior was putting road users at risks of dangerous accidents. The Taxi and Limousine Commission also failed to prevent Garcia from continuing to drive after the first accident. The taxi driver is expected to be sentenced in December.

Epilepsy is a serious condition that can be treated. Anyone suffering from this condition and driving a vehicle has to be medicated. Unfortunately Garcia is not the first driver who got off his meds and ended up killing pedestrians in New York City.  In 2015 in the Bronx,  a man who didn’t take his medications had a seizure behind the wheel and killed a 10 year old girl, her grand father and another man. He was charged with manslaughter.  In 2008 a garbage truck driver who was off his meds killed two people after loosing control of his truck. He was convicted of murder.

Picture: Courtesy of Pixabay

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Urological Association Meeting ProgrammOur managing partner, New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer Ben Rubinowitz was invited by the New York Section of the American Urological Association Education & Research to participate in their 115th annual meeting. This meeting took place in Havana, Cuba, from November 5th to November 11th. During the meeting participants attended scientific sessions covering:

  • Kidney Cancer
  • Female Urology/Voiding Dysfunction
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accident sceneA pedestrian was killed by a van driver who had previously crashed into his car in a supermarket parking lot in New York City. The 65 year old victim was coming out of Costco on Second Ave and 37th Street in Sunny Park, Brooklyn when he saw a commercial van striking his car and driving off. The victim jumped in his car and started chasing the van.  He followed the van up to Third Ave and 65th Street in Bay Ridge.  At this point he got out of his car and walked to the van to confront the driver. The 55 year old van driver struck him, ran over him and dragged him over two blocks. Witnesses in the street were screaming at the van driver to stop. He was stopped by another motorist who also witnessed the scene and drove his car in front of the van to stop him.  The firefighters had to lift the van to remove the victim who was rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately he couldn’t be saved. The van driver was taken into police custody.

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A college student was fatally run over by a pick up truck driver Thursday around 5 pm in Long Island, NY. 18 year old Taranjit Parmar, a biology student at Adelphi University was driving on Hempstead Turnpike when she was struck by a pick up truck coming out of a gas station. Both drivers pulled off the road and into a gas station parking area. The young woman stepped out of her vehicle and walked toward the pick up truck. The driver of the pick up truck than just ran over her and sped off leaving her to die in the street. Taranjit was rushed to the hospital but she couldn’t be saved. Her family is devastated. The police are still looking for the driver.

Taranjit is the second driver to be fatally run over by a vehicle after a fender-bender. Earlier in the week a man who’s car was struck by a van in a Brooklyn parking lot was fatally run over by the van driver.

 

 

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accident sceneA construction worker suffered two broken legs after he was struck by a drunk driver early Saturday morning in Staten Island, NYC. The driver, 28 year old Keith Hayes was driving his 2015 Nissan Altima on Midland Ave and made a right turn onto Hyland Boulevard. As he was turning he lost control of his car and hit several orange cones protecting a construction zone. He then struck a flag man barreled into the construction site and flipped his car into a ditch.  The flagman was part of a crew of construction workers who were repairing a water main. He was rushed to the hospital to be treated. The driver was tested for alcohol and breathalyzer showed 0.163, twice the legal limit. He was charged with drunk driving, vehicular assault and reckless endangerment.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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22 year old Joanna Mei is responsible for the fire that killed two people and injured 10 others in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, on Thursday. The 22 year old nursing student was charged with two counts of murder and arson. Mei told the police that she was upset with the trash filling the hallway and with the death of a relative several years ago. She explained that she set a garbage can on fire and then felt bad about it and tried to kick the can to stop the fire. Instead the burning rubble spread on the floor and reached some nearby gasoline which erupted into flames. Then the fire quickly started to spread all over the building. There were no smoke detectors in the whole building. Specially trained dogs sniffed gasoline on Mei clothes as well as in other spots of the building including on the third floor where the two victims were living. The victims, 58 year old Xi Huang and 56 year old Feng Xu were a couple from China. They had moved into the building a little less than a year ago. Mei also lived on the third floor.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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accident sceneA mother and two children as well as a family sitting in their leaving room almost died in two successive car crashes committed by the same car driver. A 35 year old woman driving a yellow mustang jumped the curb Friday afternoon in Queens hitting two boys, 2 and 6 year old. The children were walking on a sidewalk with their mother near the intersection of 170th Street and Jamaica Ave in Jamaica Hills, Queens, NYC. The video below shows that the mother was able to quickly grab the kids and save them from being hit harder by the car. The crazy female driver never stopped. She just sped off  and kept driving. She lost control of her vehicle a second time on 172nd Street and crashed into a house. The front of the car landed in the living room next to a sofa where a pregnant woman was siting with the rest of her family, an elderly woman, the father and two other children. The father, Mohammed Emran couldn’t believe what just happened. He was in shock. His whole family could have died. The mustang driver tried to leave again after she hit the house but a neighbor and his son who saw the accident held her down and called the police. They told CBS News that the woman seemed intoxicated. She was taken to the hospital for toxicology exams.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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Top 10 Health Technology HazardsMedical technology advancements globally increase quality and length of life however they don’t come without risks and hazards. New health technologies if not proprely used can also hurt patients and lead to medical malpractice. Every year the ECRI Institute publishes a list of the top 10 Health Technology Hazards. The 2018 report just came out.  Here are the 10 most important safety issues in Health Technology for 2018:

  1. Cyber security attacks

    The health care sector is the second most attacked sector by ransomewares after the financial sector. Health information not only contain patient health information but also crucial financial information such as social security numbers. Unfortunately many healthcare organizations are extremely vulnerable.  Their computers operating systems are often outdated and they are not prepared to face criminals holding patient’s information hostage and expecting payout in exchange. Last month a sophisticated group of hackers operating under the name “Dark Overlord”stole pictures from a high profile London plastic surgeon that included pictures of in-progress genitalia and breast enhancement of patients. Patients include celebrities and members of the royal family. The hackers also attacked numerous medical centers in the US last year.

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New York Train Accident Lawyer Richard SteigmanOur partner Richard Steigman recently told the Lohud that he was disappointed by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conclusions on the train accident that occurred more than two years ago in Valhalla, NY. 6 people were killed and many more were injured after a Metro-North Train crashed into a SUV that was stuck on the tracks. The NTSB blamed Ellen Brody, the driver of the SUV, for the accident. Steigman who represents several victims of the crash, was attending a recent conference related to discovery in Westchester County Court. During the short conference, plaintiffs argued that Metro-North was withholding relevant information.

Steigman told the Lohud “he was disappointed in the NTSB for not taking into account the actions of train engineer Stephen Smalls. Smalls, who has his own lawsuit, could have stopped or slowed the train down when he saw Brody’s car on the tracks.” “There’s another narrative here,” he said. “At the end of the day, it will go before a trier of fact, for a jury to determine (who was at fault).”

NY train accident attorney Richard Steigman represents:

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OSHA workplace injuries and ilnesses posterEmployers who are required to fill what is commonly called the “OSHA Log” have to submit their 2016 injury and illness data electronically by December 1st. The original deadline was July 1st but OSHA announced in May that the deadline would be postponed. OSHA didn’t provide any specific date at the time.

This requirement complies with OSHA final rule to “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” that was released last January.  This final rule requires that all employers who need to file OSHA Form 300A, file the form electronically. Employers that have 250 or more employees as well as employers with 20 to 249 employees that are working in risky sectors such as the construction industry must all file this form. In 2018 the deadline for 2017 data will be July 1st and in 2019 as well as all the following years, the deadline will be March 2nd. Employers can now go online anytime to access the Injury Tracking Application and login to file Form 300A electronically. Paper filings are not accepted anymore by OSHA.

As part of the new rule, the information provided will be released in standard open format on OSHA website to encourage employers to improve work safety and to enable research. Researching data related to injuries and illnesses  can help identify and mitigate workplace safety hazards.