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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drunk drivingIn a poignant day of justice and sorrow, two separate cases of drunk driving that resulted in five tragic deaths saw the perpetrators sentenced in Nassau County. The courtrooms were filled with emotional outpourings from grieving families, marking the end of a painful chapter but also a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of driving under the influence.

Case One: High-Speed Tragedy in Laurel Hollow

Sotirios Spanos, 33, was sentenced to seven to 21 years in prison for his reckless actions last August that claimed the lives of Ismenia and Odalis Urena, a young married couple. Spanos, intoxicated and speeding at nearly 100 mph, lost control on Northern Boulevard, crossing the yellow line and colliding with the couple’s Ferrari convertible.

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employers are liable for employees heat illnessesAs construction accident lawyers in New York City, we are deeply concerned about the impact of the upcoming heat wave on our city’s construction workers. The extreme heat expected this week poses a serious threat to the health and safety of those working on construction sites. A previous  investigation by “the City” indicates that when the temperature hits 85 degrees, workers in New York City are 7% more likely to be injured on the job. At 95 degrees, the likelihood of an accident goes up by one more point, to 8%.

Alarmingly, nearly 75% of workers who die from heat-related causes do so within their first week on the job

Heat is a well-known occupational hazard that can cause severe or even fatal illnesses if workers are not provided with the necessary protections and training. Each year, thousands of workers fall ill due to occupational heat exposure, and tragically, many of these cases result in death. New employees, who have not yet acclimated to working in high temperatures, are particularly vulnerable.

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Car Accident in NYThe upcoming Memorial Day weekend, traditionally a time for celebration and travel, also marks one of the most dangerous periods on U.S. roads.

As attorneys representing victims of car accidents, we recognize the profound impact that crashes can have on individuals and families.  The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 418 people may lose their lives in motor vehicle crashes over the holiday period from Friday, May 24, to Monday, May 27. This represents an 11% decrease compared to last year’s estimate, but it still underscores the critical need for heightened awareness and preventive measures.

The Role of Infrastructure and Driver Behavior

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John Adams High School where sexual abuse occuredAs attorneys dedicated to advocating for victims of school sexual abuse, we are deeply troubled by three recent events that have unfolded in schools across New York City, specifically in Queens and the Bronx. The following incidents demonstrate the urgent need for comprehensive measures to safeguard our children and hold perpetrators accountable within educational institutions:

  1. A 23-year-old Queens substitute teacher at Hillcrest High School on Highland Ave. near 162nd St. in Jamaica was arrested yesterday after he allegedly touched a 14-year-old student’s thigh and told her “If I were a student I would make you fall in love with me and have sex with me”. Jasskirat Saini was charged with harassment and child endangerment.
  2. Last Friday, another 23-year-old man working as a grammar school teacher’s aide at Bronx school P.S. 481 was also arrested after he gave a love letter to a 10-year-old student. Estevan Hamilton gave the letter to the student in the morning. The student showed it to her mom at lunchtime and the stepfather went to the school at the beginning of the afternoon to confront the school aid and punched him in the face. The police were called and the school aid was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child and harassment.
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Location of the Brooklyn DWI AccidentAs Brooklyn personal injury lawyers, it is both heartbreaking and frustrating to witness preventable tragedies like yesterday’s crash in Brownsville, that left a one-year-old child in critical condition.

Yesterday evening, 28-year-old Natalie Leonard was driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08%, the legal limit in New York. She ran two red lights and collided with another vehicle at Dumont Avenue. In the passenger seat was a 21-year-old mother holding her one-year-old son, who was not in a car seat. Both were unrestrained, leading to severe consequences when the crash occurred. The child suffered a skull fracture and was rushed to Brookdale University Hospital, where he remains in critical but stable condition.

Legal Ramifications

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Brooklyn DA OfficeAs personal injury attorneys representing victims in Brooklyn, we have witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences of negligence in the construction industry. The recent conviction of a Nassau County construction company owner for criminally negligent homicide in the death of a young girl serves as a reminder of the critical importance of adhering to building codes and safety protocols.

On August 29, 2019, a tragic event unfolded in Bushwick, Brooklyn, when 5-year-old Alysson Pinto-Chaumana lost her life due to the collapse of a poorly constructed stone wall. Alysson, along with her mother and friends, was visiting a residence at 444 Harman Street. While waiting on the enclosed patio, the stone pillars and horizontal plates of the wall suddenly fell, crushing Alysson and causing her untimely death.

An in-depth investigation revealed that Nadeem Anwar, the owner of City Wide Construction and Renovations, Inc., had constructed the wall in violation of numerous provisions of the New York City Building Code.

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webinar on Ben's medical malpractice verdict of $120 million
NYSTLI Dean Anthony Pirrotti, Jr., Esq., will be hosting a Discussion with our managing partner and celebrated Trial Attorney Ben Rubinowitz, Esq.; Trial Judge Paul. I. Marx; and Defense Attorney Alfred Vigorito, Esq. next Monday May 20, 2024 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM ET.

Ben and our law firm handled a complex Stroke case  involving a 41-year-old individual who was employed, married, and had children. Due to alleged malpractice, he ended up in a nursing home, unable to care for himself or his family. We will discuss the development of this malpractice case, including medical and defense aspects, discovery, depositions, and Motions in Limine. We will emphasize the significance of pleadings and expert responses for both the plaintiff and defendant and how these issues influenced the trial.

Topics include jury selection, binding statements and omissions during jury selection and openings, cross-examination of plaintiff and defendant witnesses, dismissal of a third-party defendant, the potential repercussions of aggressively attacking a witness, leveraging the defendant doctor as an expert, and the introduction of newly asserted cross-claims at trial. Additionally, we will explore the understanding of 50-A and 50-B statutes, the concept of “Loss of Chance,” the valuation of loss of consortium claims, directed verdicts against a defendant, and the strategy of defendants pointing fingers at each other.

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Ben to lecture on Medmal in Long Island NYOur managing partner, Ben Rubinowitz, will be sharing his unparalleled expertise at the upcoming Long Island Radiological Society Lecture Series on May 14th,  Ben will deliver a compelling presentation titled “How to Avoid Medical Malpractice & What to Do if You are Named in a Lawsuit,” aimed at equipping medical professionals with essential knowledge to navigate the complexities of medical malpractice claims.

About Ben Rubinowitz

Ben Rubinowitz has distinguished himself as a leading trial lawyer over an impressive 30-year career. His journey in law began as a prosecutor, a role that honed his formidable courtroom skills. Since joining Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf in 1989, Ben has specialized in representing severely injured plaintiffs in personal injury cases. His dedication and skill have not only resulted in numerous accolades, including being named Best Lawyers “Lawyer Of The Year” six times, but also reflect his commitment to his clients.

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As attorneys specializing in doctor sexual abuse cases, the recent conviction of Dr. Darius A. Paduch resonates deeply with the ongoing struggle to protect patients and uphold the sacred trust they place in medical professionals. The case, adjudicated in Manhattan federal court, reveals the chilling abuse of power and the devastating impact of sexual abuse perpetrated under the guise of medical care.

Dr. Paduch, a urologist specializing in male reproductive health, was found guilty on all 11 counts related to the sexual abuse of seven patients, including four children. These abuses occurred over several years, from at least 2015 through 2019, while Dr. Paduch practiced in New York. His disturbing actions included claims that certain inappropriate and invasive touches were medically necessary, although it was clear they were intended for his own sexual gratification.

From a legal standpoint, this case is significant not only because of the guilty verdict but also because it involved charges of enticing or coercing individuals to travel interstate to engage in illicit activities, and using interstate facilities to induce or coerce minors into sexual acts. These are serious federal crimes that highlight the complexity of prosecuting sexual abuse cases involving professionals who exploit their positions of authority.

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NYC Construction accident injuries and deaths in 2023As New York City construction accident attorneys, we are continually monitoring the trends and statistics related to construction safety in our city. Despite the overall high levels of construction activity, which naturally elevates the potential for hazardous incidents, there has been a notable decrease in fatalities within the industry. According to the Department of Buildings (DOB), there was a 36% decline in fatal incidents related to building construction activities in 2023, a nine-year low with seven workers tragically losing their lives.

However, this positive trend in reduced fatalities does not overshadow a concerning increase in the number of reported incidents and injuries on construction sites. Injuries have increased by 38% over the past three years as construction activity resumed post-pandemic. Notably, 2023 saw a significant rise in incidents such as ladder falls, stair falls, and tripping—common types of accidents that often lead to severe injuries.

From a legal perspective, it’s crucial to recognize that each injury and fatality is not just a statistic but represents a worker and their family facing significant distress