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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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carbon monoxide danger signEvery year in the US, thousands of people are injured and an average 70 die from exposure to carbon monoxide after using a portable generator. With more and more power shortages caused by climate events, the number of deaths caused by dangerous carbon monoxide emissions from generators is on the rise in America. Last February in Texas, after a major power shortage, 1,400 people were treated in hospitals for carbon monoxide poisoning and 17 died.

One portable generator can emit the same amount of carbon monoxide as 450 cars together

According to a recent investigation by ProPublica,  the portable generator manufacturers are well aware of the danger of their products and over the years they have been resisting multiple attempts by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to require that their devices emit less carbon monoxide.

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Hospital PatientMost medical devices used by hospitals are legacy devices that are still operating on Windows 7 that Microsoft no longer supports.  Manufactured at a time when cybersecurity was not a preoccupation, these devices can now easily be hacked and potentially be dangerous to patients. As a result, on top of safeguarding traditional IT assets, hospitals now have to figure out a way to secure tens of thousands of legacy devices from hundreds of manufacturers connected to their network.  It is a real headache for most hospitals and healthcare organizations as many of them do not even keep an inventory of their medical devices. According to a recent study only 36% of healthcare organizations know where their medical devices are.

While some devices that can cause fatal injuries, such as insuline pumps or pacemakers, are being actively monitored and recalled by the FDA, it is estimated that all other medical devices have an average of more than 6 vulnerabilities per device and that 40% of devices used by hospitals are at the end-of-life stage and do not have security patches or upgrades available.

Not surprisingly, FDA regulations in this field are lagging with the agency only saying both hospitals and manufacturers are responsible for protecting devices from cyber attacks. Hospitals are pointing fingers at manufacturers for not providing the necessary support and want the FDA to mandate lifetime support of medical devices by manufacturers.  So far, the further the FDA went was to publish post-market guidance for medtechs on what they should do to secure their products. This is not enough as hospitals find themselves dealing with thousands of devices that they are supposed not only to track but also patch to prevent cyberattacks. With the ongoing Covid19 crisis, hospitals are unable to handle this task and as a result they become increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks that could injure or kill patients.

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NY pileup due to icy conditionsFreezing rain caused dozens of car accidents around New York City and in the tri-state area on Wednesday morning. While accidents resulted mostly in pile ups and damages to cars at least one man died and multiple people were injured.

Driver who exited from his car fatally hit by other car sliding on ice

The fatal car accident occurred on a ramp connecting the eastbound Cross Country Parkway to the northbound Bronx River Parkway in Mount Vernon.  After multiple vehicles collided on the ramp due to icy conditions, a man whose vehicle was stopped, got out of his car and was fatally hit by another vehicle that slid on the ice. The passenger of the same vehicle attempted CPR on him and so did the emergency personnel at the scene but the man could not be saved.

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storm drains can be deadlyWhen people died in flooding that occurs after heavy rain there is usually not a lot of information about the cause of the death except for “the person drowned”. However a recent investigation by ProPublica highlights the danger of the actual drainage system in the US. Giant storm drains with no grates have been constantly “swallowing people” during heavy rains and flooding.

A recent case occurred in New Jersey last September. A couple who was driving back from a visit at a North Jersey mall was driving back at night on September 1st when the remains of Hurricane Ida abated in New York and New Jersey. Extremely heavy rain left motor vehicles stranded on the road. The couple, like many other motorists, decided to abandoned their car, thinking it would be safer to walk in the muddy water and find a safe place to stay until a family member could pick them up. As they were walking in the muddy water, they suddenly were sucked under water into what looked like a large black vacuum. The woman, Kavya Mandly was able to grab a bridge railing and did not get sucked in but her fiancée, Dhanush Reddy who was only holding her hand, was not as lucky and disappeared in the drain. Reddy had just been sucked into a 3-foot wide storm drain. As the police arrived they started to look at the exit of the drain. They found another 18 year old man hanging in a tree who also had been pulled in a drain. He was still alive. Reddy was not as lucky and was found dead in a wooded area the following day, blocks away from the entrance of the drain.

Unfortunately Reddy is not the only one that has died after being pulled in a storm drain. Stories like this one are actually quite common but cities and communities are reluctant to put grates in front of these dangerous drains because of the cost of not only installing them but also keeping them clean so they are still functional when a storm occurs.

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patient transition can result in medical errorIn a recent study analyzing 5,270 medical malpractice claims related to medical events occurring between  2017 and 2019, Coverys, a company providing Medical malpractice Insurance, found that 210 of them were medical malpractice related to negligent care transition that led to an alleged medical error. While medical malpractice related to care transition only represents a small share of  all medical malpractice, they have a higher risk of resulting in severe injuries to patients and trigger claims that will result in payments of verdicts and settlements.

When a patient transitions from one healthcare provider to another, it can be difficult for the healthcare providers to proprely collaborate. Miscommunication can occur not only between people but also in the electronic medical records of the patient. Early or rushed discharge as well as not proprely informing the patient and his family about the transition process can also lead to medical errors.

Here are some of the most important findings of this study:

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Medical maplpractice attorney Ben RubinowitzThis past Saturday our managing partner Ben Rubinowitz lectured to urologists at the Societies for Pediatric Urology SPU2021 Pediatric Urology Fall Congress held in Miami, Florida.

Ben presented a dynamic talk as to the pitfalls of inadequate care and the resultant harm that comes to patients when doctors fail  to provide appropriate treatment. To reinforce his points, Ben cross examined doctors with regard to medical malpractice.  Ben’s talk and demonstration focused on testicular torsion cases and circumcision cases gone wrong. “I consider it an honor to be invited to speak at both the Mayo Clinic and at the Pediatric Urology Fall Congress,” said Ben Rubinowitz.  “ If we can prevent patients from being harmed we have all done something good — remember, we are all in this together — and no patient needs to suffer an injury that could have been prevented.”

For more than 25 years Ben has shared his expertise with physicians throughout the country.  This  program was attended by more than 300 urologists from across the country.

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construction workers moving equipment are at risk of struck by accidentsIn New York and in the US, construction companies, like any employers, are responsible for the safety of their employees while they are at work. If a construction worker is injured or killed on the job, the employer might be liable. Therefore during the pandemic they had to make sure that construction workers were adequately protected from getting the potentially deadly virus.

In their last month Data Bulleting, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), looked at how construction companies dealt with Safety Management during the Covid-19 pandemic. Because of the nature of their work, construction workers can not work from home and often have to work in teams. Therefore they can easily be exposed to Covid19 if one of the workers is sick. As a result, construction businesses had to take measures to keep their employees safe from potential viral transmission.  However  the CPWR found that safety measures were different from one construction business to the other.

It is not a surprise that three quarters of construction businesses in the US reported that their business suffered from the Covid-19 crisis and that  a quarter of them suffered large decreases in employment compared to pre-pandemic levels. Among the extra expenses related to Covid19, many construction businesses implemented on-site testing as many of them also did not require vaccination for employees working on their construction sites.  While 11% of all nonfarm businesses require their onsite employees to be vaccinated, only 6% of construction companies do.

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A New York City assistant principal planned a sexual encounter with a 14 year old boy on Grindr and instead found himself facing an adult who filmed the encounter and uploaded it on Youtube. Earlier this year, 40 year old Claudio Garcia who works at Queens Technical High School in Long Island City as an assistant principal, was on Grindr and starting to chat with a boy who told him first that he was 18 but then said he was actually 14. Garcia then planned a meeting with him in a park that was supposedly near the boy’s Bronx house. When he arrived at the meeting, an adult man was there. The encounter was filmed and posted on YouTube.

The Police recently arrested Garcia and brought him to the 52nd Precinct to be questioned. He was then charged with attempted criminal sex act and disseminating indecent materials to minors.

Garcia was arraigned yesterday night in Bronx criminal court. While the DA consented to release Garcia without bail, Judge Audrey Stone ordered Garcia to be on supervised release. “Given the nature of Mr. Garcia’s status within the community and the very serious charges here, I believe supervised release at a minimum would be appropriate,” the judge said. “Mr. Garcia, I want to explain to you that I understand that the D.A.’s office is requesting release without any conditions, however, these are very significant changes.”

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location of the explosion6 people were injured in NYC and 54 of them lost their home after an explosion sparked a major fire just after midnight on Wednesday. The explosion originated in the basement of a 3-story brick rowhouse located on Vermont Street near Jamaica Ave  in Cypress Hill.

According to CBS, tenants and neighbors complained to the landlord about gas smell 12 hours before the accident occurred. Tenants thought the landlord would take care of it but instead they were woken up in the middle of the night by a giant explosion.

The explosion which is being investigated, sent a giant fireball across the street and fire propagated quickly to the apartment units on the top (see video below) . Two tenants living on the top floor were awake and and were able to escape before the firefighters showed up 3 minutes later.