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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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Bronx residents are the first New Yorkers to enjoy the benefits of the pilot e-scooter program but at the same time Bronx roads are among the most dangerous for cyclists and scooter riders.  E-scooters and e-bikes have been legal in New York City since the beginning of last year but so far there was no e-scooter share program in the city. E-scooters have been a very controversial subject in New York City. While they can be an excellent and sustainable mode of transportation for neighborhoods that are not well served by public transportation, they can be dangerous for users and for pedestrians alike.

After long discussions and negotiations, the city finally agreed to launch a pilot program in the Bronx, and since Tuesday  3000 e-scooters are available to East Bronx residents. The pilot will go on for a year and then, the city will decide to expand it or not.

While the scooter program is a great idea, the city needs to address the lack of protected infrastructures in the Bronx

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New York City Medical Malpractice Lawyer of the Year 2022 Richard SteigmanCongratulations to our partner Richard Steigman for being named 2022  Best Lawyers®  Medical Malpractice – Plaintiffs “Lawyer of the Year” in New York City.  This is a very prestigious designation and we are very proud of Rich for his achievement. Additionally to being named “Lawyer of the Year” for Medical Malpractice in New York City, Richard was also included in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs in New York City.  Since 2010, Richard has been included 10 times in the New York City “Best Lawyers® ” list. Richard started working with us as a paralegal. He then obtained his Law degree and officially joined Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf as an attorney in 1997.

We also would like to congratulate the following attorneys at our firm for being  selected by their peers for  inclusion in the 27th Edition of  Best Lawyers©  in New York City:

  • Marijo C. Adimey (2016) [5]
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A 23 year old New York pedestrian died and 5 others were injured in two separate hit-and-run accidents.

20 year old Aniya Blandon  died in a in hit-and-run accident in Brooklyn on Monday. The young woman was standing at a bus stop with her husband when a driver who was apparently drag racing, lost control of the vehicle, jumped the curb and hit them. Her husband, 23 year old Kevon Westley tried to push her out of the way but it was too late. The wife and husband were both on their way to work. Kevon was planning on dropping his wife at the dollar store where she works with her cousin before going to work as maintenance person at the Philip Howard Apartments in Brooklyn. As they were waiting for the bus at Utica Ave. and Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, Kevon saw a first car passing by at high speed, then the second one followed, hit a bump and drifted toward them. Kevon tried to push Aniya out of the way and then passed out. He woke up in the ambulance and was later on diagnosed with a concussion and multiple injuries to his arm, leg and foot. When he woke up in the ambulance, his wife was still alive but passed away shortly after.  A witness to the accident saw the two cars racing and saw one of them jumping the curb and hitting a utility pole that fell on Aniya and hit her in the head. The driver of the car took off on foot.

A day before, on Sunday evening, in Washington Heights, Manhattan, a hit and run driver slammed into two women and two children who were crossing the street.  One of the pedestrians, a 36 year old woman suffered traumatic brain injury and was listed in critical condition. The two children a 9 year old and an eight year old boy suffered minor injuries. The police are still looking for the driver of the Mercedes Benz who sped away after slamming into them.

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kipp logo48 year old Jesus Conception, a Bronx teacher, sexually abused students as young as 12 according to federal prosecutors. According to the New York Daily News, The man was a well known former middle school orchestra conductor at KIPP Academy. However allegations of abuse emerged in 2017 and the school cooperated with law enforcement to catch the preparator.

Jesus Conceprion who was raised in the Bronx and earned a degree at Julliard School was acclaimed by media as the most amazing teacher and orchestra conductor (see New York Times). However, Conception took advantage of his notoriety and power to prey on young victims. The man would identify students he thought were vulnerable and offer them gifts such as phones, money or alcohol and make them believe they were involved in a “romantic” relationship with him. Sexual abuse took place at school, in motel rooms and in his car, not only in New York but also in other states according to court documents.

Victims of child sexual abuse older than 55 year old have until August 14 to file a complaint under the New York Child Victim’s Act

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Ventricular_assist_device (1)Medtronic stopped the sale of the defective HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device, or HVAD last June after more than 3,000 patients died and 20,000 were injured.

Since 2011, multiple problems with the device have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration but the agency never took any decisive action to make sure the manufacturer  fixed the problems. The FDA and its Center for Devices and Radiological Health are in charge of making sure that medical devices are safe and effective for patients however as we highlighted in a previous blog, the agency policy is too accommodating with manufacturers. It has the power to seize products or to issue fines but rarely uses it.

In the case of the HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device, the FDA knew about issues with the product as early as 2011 when the product was developed by the parent company HeartWare and was seeking FDA approval. An inspector mentioned in its report that engineers were not reviewing documents fully before approving them and that the employee assigned to quality control did not have sufficient training. The company told the FDA they would take corrective actions.

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FDA-logoMany defective medical devices might still be used by medical professionals because deaths that occurred when using these devices are being mislabeled as injuries in the FDA Medical Database according to a study published last week in JAMA Network. The study looked at 290,141 reports of defective medical devices that resulted in serious injuries or deaths that were processed by an algorithm. They found that 52% were classified as deaths and 47.9% were classified by the algorithm as malfunction, injury, other or missing. Among these 47.9% that were not classified as death, 23% of these reports were indeed death reports that were not classified proprely by the algorithm. As a result many deadly devices might still be used on patients.  The FDA must review all reports classified as death but does not routinely review all reports that are classified as other or misfunction.

The most dangerous of all medical devices were the ventricular assist bypass devices. These devices represented 13% of all adverse event reports. Coming in second position was the dialysate concentrate for hemodialysis in liquid or in powder with 8.7% of all adverse event reports. The third most reported defective devices were the transcervical contraceptive tubal occlusion devices with 5% of all adverse reports.

The authors of the study also mention that 95% of the adverse event reports were made by manufacturers and not by healthcare facilities or physicians which might constitute a conflict of interest. The authors note that delays in reporting serious injuries or deaths were common. An example of this issue was the Essure permanent birth control device. 32,000 women reported issues with this device between 2002 and 2013 while the FDA only received 1,023 reports.

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injured hand of an elderly patientIn New York State, many nursing home residents are neglected because the facilities are significantly understaffed.  Most nursing homes are run by corporations that are more interested in increasing their shareholder profit rather than making sure their residents are proprely taken care off. Additionally,  the staff is so poorly paid, between $12.50 Upstate NY  to $15 an hour in New York City, that it is difficult to recruit people especially during the pandemic. In comparison, fast food workers are making $14.50 an hour in New York.

New laws signed to prevent understaffing will only take effect next year

Recently Andrew Cuomo signed new laws requiring nursing home and hospitals to form clinical staffing committees that include front-line nurses and other direct care staff when setting annual staffing standards for units. Additionally, nursing home facilities will be required to have a minimum daily average of 3 1/2 hours of nursing care per resident. These two laws will only take effect in January 22 and do not include a raise in the minimum wage for workers (read more in Healthcare Dive)

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accident sceneTwo men died in a two separate motorcycle accidents in Brooklyn, NYC, this week-end. A woman who was a passenger in one of the accidents is in critical condition. The first accident took place on the Williamsburg Bridge on Saturday night, around 9:40 pm. 48 year old Khayyam Jackson was riding his motorcycle at high speed going toward Brooklyn. As he was trying to pass a car he rear-ended it and as a result lost control of his bike and careened into a pillar of the bridge. The impact was so strong that the motorcycle driver was killed in the accident. The driver of the car remained at the scene of the accident and was not charged.

A few hours later, early Sunday morning, around 2:15 am, 30 year old David Fuller-Gist was riding his motorcycle with a 24 year female passenger on Atlantic Avenue in Crown Heights when he lost control of his bike. He crashed into a pillar of the elevated Long Island Rail Road tracks at the intersection of Troy Ave. Both riders were rushed to the hospital. David passed away and the female passenger was in critical condition. (Read more in the NY Daily News )

Speeding BMW driver  kills 77 year old woman on the Van Wick Expressway

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A man suffered severe burns in a sidewalk explosion in Queens last week.

57 year old Barry West was heading to his T-mobile store to pay his cell phone bill when a Coned underground transformer exploded sending a ball of fire through the sidewalk grate. The man was engulfed in the flames before he was able to move to safety. He suffered second degree burns in multiple areas of his face and body and was immediately hospitalized.  The man was still in the hospital a week after the accident. He told the NY Daily News that the explosion just came from nowhere. He felt he lost a lot of skin and was in so much pain that he could not work.

A similar explosion occurred at the same location exactly one day earlier and partially destroyed the front of a pizzeria next door  (read more and see video of the accident in the NY Daily News).

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injured hand of an elderly patientA policy instituted in 2017 that restricted fines to a maximum one-time amount of $22,320 to nursing homes violating safety standards, even if violations were persisting, has been reversed.

The reversal of the policy comes 6 months after the AAARP Foundation filed a Lawsuit with the help of  a Washington based law firm to fight this policy.

The 2017 policy  instituted by the Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) endangered the lives of nursing home residents as well as their employees.