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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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In Fox v H&M Hennes & Mauritz, L.P;, 2011 NY Slip Op 03205, decided April 19, 2011, The Appellate Division, Second Department rejected defendant’s claim that plaintiff was enagaed in routine maintenance and thus Section 240(1) was not applicable.

The facts as set forth by The Court were as follows;

“The plaintiff was employed by the fourth-party defendant Garrity Electric, Inc. (hereinafter Garrity), as a mechanic performing general electrical contracting work. Pursuant to an agreement between the defendant third-party plaintiff, H & M Hennes & Mauritz, L.P. (hereinafter H & M), and the third-party defendant/fourth party plaintiff Maintenance, Etc., LLC (hereinafter Maintenance), which provides retail companies with vendors for construction services, Garrity was hired to replace bulbs and ballasts/transformers in 78 overhead light fixtures, located approximately 12 feet above the floor, in a retail store leased by H & M. Garrity had done business with H & M since 2000, performing electrical work for which it was paid the sum of $30,000 to $50,000 per year. Garrity furnished a team of “seven or eight” workers, including the plaintiff, which was led by a team foreman, to perform the subject work in the H & M store. The plaintiff allegedly was injured when he fell from a ladder while engaged in this work. The Supreme Court, inter alia, granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability on the Labor Law § 240(1) cause of action.”

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busOur partner Ben Rubinowitz successfully resolved a claim against the New York City Transit Authority for $4 million. At the time of the accident, a young woman was crossing a New York City street when she was struck by a bus driven by a N.Y.C.T.A. employee. The defense claimed the accident was her fault asserting that she had not crossed in the crosswalk and that she failed to pay attention to the traffic conditions. The injured victim asserted that the bus driver failed to keep a reasonable and proper lookout failing to pay proper attention and in failing to avoid the pedestrian. As a result of the impact the woman suffered a degloving injury to her knee and pelvic fractures.

Rubinowitz, who recently won a $27.5 million verdict for another client struck by a bus said: “This successful result was part of a team effort. Howard Hershenhorn, Diana Carnemolla and Peter Saghir also worked timelessly for our client.” Rubinowitz continued: “We have the ability to secure the very best results for our clients because of two main reasons: We work harder and put in more effort than any other law firm.”

Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf has had remarkable results for its clients in car accident, construction, premises liability, civil rights and medical malpractice cases. Ten of its lawyers have been listed in Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers.

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By Anthony H. Gair,

In Arnaud v. 140 Edgecomb LLC, et al., decided on April 14, 2011, The New York Appellate Division, First Department, reversed the denial of summary judgment in a construction accident case on a construction worker’s New York Labor Law 240(1) cause of action.

Plaintiff was working at a building undergoing renovation. Plaintiff and a co-worker were moving wood planks from the fourth floor to the second floor, by use of a pulley and ropes. While plaintiff was on the second floor, with his arms outstretched through a window to grab the wood as it was lowered, he was suddenly struck by a plank, which caused injury to his wrist and fingers. While we believe the decision was correct it seems the Courts are continuing to have trouble interpreting Runner v New York Stock Exch., Inc. The Court stated as follows;

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On April 4, 2011, a jury, after a two-week trial in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court awarded $10 Million to a 60-year-old man in a medical malpractice case in which it was claimed that the plaintiff was mis-diagnosed as suffering from ALS a fatal neuromuscular disease.

The Plaintiff’s attorney, Matthew Casey, claimed the mis-diagnosis resulted in the plaintiff having to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

At trial, it was argued that the defendant did not perform tests and consult with radiologists before diagnosing the plaintiff with ALS.

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Brooklyn Law School President Joan G. Wexler has appointed our partner Howard Hershenhorn to the law school’s President’s Advisory Council. This select group of attorneys will help guide the Law School forward by offering the school President and Dean practical advice on the most important issues the school will face in the future.

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Peer Review Ratings attest to a lawyer’s legal ability and professional ethics in specific areas of practice, and reflects the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and Judiciary. Mr. Sallay’s legal ability in the field of Personal Injury Law, as rated by his peers, received a “Preeminent” rating which is the highest rating an attorney can receive. In addition, Mr. Sallay was determined to have the highest professional ethics as evidenced by his adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence and other criteria relevant to the discharge of professional responsibilities.

The New York law firm of Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is proud to have 10 attorneys who have been awarded with a “Preeminent” AV rating by their peers.

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The Nassau Academy of Law is hosting a 6-session hands-on workshop series to learn and develop effective trial skills, from jury selection through summation.
On Monday,  April 4, 2011 our Partner Ben Rubinowitz will co-chair and present a lecture and interactive workshop on cross examination to lawyers who attend this lecture series.  Recognized for obtaining some of the largest verdicts in the State, Ben has always been willing to share his expertise with fellow trial lawyers. “I view it as an honor to be asked to speak at the Nassau Academy of Law and look forward to speaking on this subject.”
Ben’s firm,  Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is known for their expertise in representing victims of car accidents, bus and train accidents, construction accidents, products liability, wrongful death  and medical malpractice claims and is the only Plaintiff’s Firm in New York with 10 of its lawyers listed in “Best Lawyers.”
Monday, April 4
Marvin Salenger, Esq.,
Salenger Sack
Schwartz & Kimmel, Woodbury
Ben Rubinowitz, Esq.
Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf, New York

Event Program

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In Jose Miguel Moran v 200 Varick Street Associates, LLC, et al., 80 A.D.3d 581; 914 N.Y.S.2d 307, The Court granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on his 240(1) cause of action. The plaintiff suffered injury when he fell from a scaffold that lacked proper safety railings. Of particular interest is The Court’s holding regarding intoxication of the injured worker;

“The evidence that the plaintiff was not engaged in a statutorily protected activity or was intoxicated was not admissible (see Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 563, 404 N.E.2d 718, 427 N.Y.S.2d 595; Maniscalco v Liro Eng’g Constr. Mgt., 305 A.D.2d 378, 380, 759 N.Y.S.2d 163; Madalinski v Structure-Tone, Inc., 47 AD3d at 688). Moreover, since the scaffold lacked safety railings, the defendant’s alleged intoxication was not the sole proximate cause of his injuries (see Bondanella v Rosenfeld, 298 AD2d 941, 942, 747 N.Y.S.2d 645; Podbielski v KMO-361 Realty Assocs.., 294 A.D.2d 552, 553-554, 742 N.Y.S.2d 664; Sergeant v Murphy Family Trust, 284 AD2d 991, 992, 726 N.Y.S.2d 537).”

The New York Construction Accident Lawyers at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf have years of experience representing construction workers who have suffered injury in construction accidents in New York.

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By Anthony H. Gair

In Gasques v. State of New York, 15 N.Y.3d 869, 910 N.Y.S.2d 415 (Ct. Apps. 2010), , a two paragraph decision with regard to Section 240(1) the Court stated as follows:

“Claimant Wanderlei Gasques was injured while repainting the inside of a leg of the Kosciuszko Bridge, using a ‘spider scaffold.’ His hand was injured when it became caught between the scaffold and the leg of the bridge, while the scaffold was ascending.

With respect to claimants’ Labor Law §240(1) cause of action, the parties agree that Gasques’s hand was crushed because the scaffold continued to move, under the impetus of one of its motors, while his hand was trapped between an external motor control on the scaffold and the steel of the bridge. This injury was not the direct consequence of the application of the force of gravity to an object or person (see Runner v. New York Stock Exch., Inc., 13 NY3d 599, 604, 922 N.E.2d 865, 895 N.Y.S.2d 279 [2009]; Ross v. Curtis-Palmer Hydro-Elec. Co., 81 NY2d 494, 500-501, 618 N.E.2d 82, 601 N.Y.S.2d 49 [1993]). Therefore claimants’ Labor Law §240(1) claim was properly dismissed.”

On first reading this decision one might conclude that in future cases a defendant might argue that there is no Section 240(1) liability if;

1. A motorized hoist or scaffold is involved.

2. Gravity is not involved if the hoist or scaffold is going up.

3. No 240(1) liability because no elevation related differential.

If one watches the oral argument on The New York Court of Appeals web site one could reasonably conclude that the basis of the decision was that the scaffold was going up since The Justices asked numerous questions as to how gravity could be involved since the scaffold was going up.

It is submitted that the basis for the Court’s decision had nothing to do with the scaffold being motorized or the fact that it was going up but the fact that there was no elevation related differential involved. This seems clear since the Court cited Runner v. New York Stock Exchange, supra.
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In a recent article, the New York Law Journal joined with lawyers and law firms in celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. NITA, as many lawyers know it, is widely recognized as the premier training center for trial lawyers in the United States.

Our partner, Ben Rubinowitz, has been an active faculty member and Team Leader at NITA for more than 25 years and is a member of its Board of Directors. “I consider it a privilege to be a member of such a fine and distinguished organization,” said Rubinowitz. “NITA has helped to train some of the best trial lawyers in the Country and I am proud to be a part of this organization.” Known for its expertise in the field of personal injury law, the lawyers at Gair Gair Conason Steigman Mackauf Bloom and Rubinowitz have obtained some of the largest awards in the country for victims of motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, products liability cases, medical malpractice and civil rights cases.


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