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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construction worker from New York died after a wall collapsed at a Brooklyn construction site last Wednesday. 47 year old Luis Almonte of Innwood was part of a crew of 6 construction workers who were digging into the ground with an excavator at a one-story building located on 39th street. The workers were preparing the ground for the construction of a new manufacturing and healthcare center. As they were digging, a slurry wall suddenly collapsed and buried Almonte.  The FDNY first responders searched for hours through the rubble assisted by a NYPD K9 Unit. A Con Edison truck designed to vacuum debris and soil was also used to assist the crews. The rain was making the search more difficult. The body of Luis Almonte was finally found on Thursday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The DOB is still investigating the reason for the wall collapse. The construction site had active permits and no complaints or violations.

 

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10th ave and west 42nd streetA pedestrian was injured after being ran over by a NYPD tow truck last Thursday around noon at the intersection of 42nd Street and 10th Ave. The elderly man was walking with a cane in the middle of the crosswalk on 42nd street when he was run over by a NYPD tow truck that was making a left turn from 10th Avenue onto 42nd Street. The pedestrian had the green light.

According to witnesses, the driver of the tow truck wasn’t paying attention to the road and didn’t yield to pedestrians. She made a very sharp turn while there were still people in the crosswalk and she didn’t even realize that she hit someone. A witness told the Gothamist “she was driving like crazy”.

After pedestrians screamed at her, the tow truck driver stopped near the scene of the accident but never left the truck to check on the unconscious man. She remained inside the truck while she was questioned by traffic supervisors.

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NYC construction workers The number of construction accident fatalities in New York City recorded by the DOB doubled during the first seven months of 2018 compared to the same period of 2017. The DOB data does not include fatalities from transit and roadway projects, as well as health emergencies, that are not in DOB’s jurisdiction and usually approximately account for an additional third of the DOB numbers. These numbers are usually recorded by OSHA but are not available so far.

8 construction workers died between January 1st 2018 and July 31st 2018. The year before, 4 of them died during the same period of time. Injuries also rose by 17% from 401 to 469 while the total number of construction accidents went up 18.4% from 386 to 457.

Among the 8 workers who died, 4 of them died while working on a Manhattan construction site , 2 of them while working on a Queens site, one of them on a Brooklyn site and one of them on a Bronx site. Sadly most of these deaths might have been prevented if safety rules had been proprely implemented and respected.

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school sport can lead to injuriesOveruse Injuries often occur when young athletes are pushed by their parents, their teachers or their coach to be highly specialized in one sport at an early age. As kids get back to school, many of them will be lead to focus on one specific chosen sport only. Supported by their parents and their teachers, they will try to develop into great athletes. However a recent study in Pediatrics shows that athletes below the age of 18 who are highly specialized in one sport only have a much higher risk to develop overuse injuries and to ultimately quit sports.

Most elite athletes practiced several sports as kids before they specialized in one sport in late adolescence

Social pressure to develop kids into superstar athletes has led parents to believe that early sport specialization and more practice is beneficial for their children. While focusing intensely on one sport in an early age may give a temporary advantage to a child, it may sadly result in an increased risk for injury that ultimately may cause the child to miss time from playing or to quit. Additionally the idea that elite athletes started to specialize at a young age is a misconception. Studies show that most of them participated in multi sports in their early teens and only specialized in one sport in late adolescence.

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Approximately 100 patients from Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn had their private information stolen  by an unscrupulous employee. 52 year old Orlando Jemmott, a long time hospital employee working in the emergency room is accused of selling the health data of 98 employees to an alleged buyer from Pennsylvania named Ron Pruitt. Orlando Jemmott was arrested by the FBI in February and Ron Pruitt was arrested last week.

Two years ago someone close to Jemmott learned that he was stealing patients info and selling them through whatsapp. She took Jemmott’s phone and gave it to the FBI with a picture of his whatsapp profile. After they got a warrant to investigate the phone, the FBI found hundreds of messages between Jemmott and Pruitt including names and phone numbers of patients.

Jemmot was fired by the hospital in April. For now he is free on a 80,000 bond and he is negociating a plea deal with prosecutors. Pruitt remains free on his own recognizance after his arrest last week.

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Personal Injury Attorney Ben RubinowitzOur managing partner Ben Rubinowitz will be speaking at the Meadowlands Seminar 2018 on November 14th 2018. Organized by the New Jersey Association for Justice, the seminar will focus on Case Framing.

In the first part of the program, Mark Mandell from Mandell Shwartz & Boisclair in Providence, RI will introduce the concept of Case Framing to participants. In the second part, Ben Rubinowitz will explain how to Create Echoes by developing, reinforcing and  successfully presenting your theory of the case to the trier of facts.

The Seminar will take place at the Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is restricted to regular members of the NJAJ.

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NYC personal injury lawyer Ben RubinowitzCongratulations to our managing partner, Ben Rubinowitz  for being recognized for obtaining one of the top 50 verdicts in the Country by The National Law Journal’s Elite Trial Lawyers for the period January 2017 through April 2018. The Verdict was also one of the top 5 in New York. Ben obtained a $71,000,000 Verdict in Wang v. Sexton in New York Supreme Court, New York County. The case was tried before Supreme Court Judge James d’Auguste. After 3 weeks of trial, the Manhattan Jury awarded Ms. Wang a stunning amount of money to fully and fairly compensate her for injuries suffered in a car accident in New York in August of 2012. This is one of the largest verdicts ever in the Country for a Spinal Injury case.  For details regarding the case see our prior Blog.

Elite Trial Lawyer Top 50 Verdicts highlights the largest verdicts from January 2017 through April 2018. The National Law Journal’s VerdictSearch affiliate scours the nation’s court records in search of the largest verdicts; it also consults with practitioners and with additional ALM Media LLC publications”.

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construction workers trainingMany construction accidents are preventable. As part of their training, construction workers often receive various written material such as safety and health handouts or training brochures. However for the people in charge of training these employees it maybe difficult to choose which material is best and will get the point across to all workers.

In order to help them, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) tested more than 100 different types of brochures, pamphlets, handouts and other written materials to find out which are the ones that can be understood by all workers. The CPWR worked with hundreds of  construction apprentices and journeymen to identify bad and good practices when using written material to train construction workers on health and safety.

Tomorrow the CPWR will share the results of  this research in a free webinar open to anyone who is interested in construction safety. The webinar will take place Today August 23rd at 2PM ET.

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New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer Ben RubinowitzOur managing partner Ben Rubinowitz has been asked by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy to join a group of experts throughout the country to teach lawyers to become Child Advocate Attorneys. The program, sponsored by Facebook, Baker McKenzie and NITA, will teach Corporate in-house and Public Interest Advocates how to represent vulnerable youth in children’s cases involving immigration, child welfare, juvenile justice, education and substance abuse cases. “More than ever these children need good, solid representation,” said Ben Rubinowitz “especially with what is going on with the unfortunate child separation policy recently enacted by our government. Clearly, these children have no idea how to navigate their way through the legal system and can suffer life long injuries if not represented properly. I am honored to be a part of this program.” Rubinowitz, who is donating his time, explained, “These lawyers are truly champions of children”s rights. They will make a difference. I applaud the efforts of Facebook in donating their facility and all the lawyers who are so generously giving their time to help children in their time of need. Some of these children have had their lives turned upside down, some have been forced into prostitution, some have become drug users and many are just too afraid to speak up. This is why advocates are needed.” The program will be held at Facebook’s Menlo Park facility in California from August 21 through August 24, 2018.

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84 people including 49 pedestrians, 6 cyclists, 3 vehicle passengers and 26 vehicle drivers died in traffic accidents in New York City during the first semester. This is the lowest number of traffic deaths ever recorded in the city during the first six months of the year. Last year 96 people died in traffic accidents during the same period. It was the  first time that the number of traffic deaths was below 100 for the first six months of the year.Traffic Deaths NYC first semester 2018

While less and less people are dying in auto accidents in the city, more and more are getting injured. 28,544 people suffered injury in a crash during the first semester of 2018 compared to 27,923 during the same period of the previous year and respectively 27,540, 23,530, 24,508 and 26,119 during the first semester of 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.

As part of the Vision Zero initiative, the speed limit in the city went down to 25 mph in 2014. This speed limit decrease may have been a factor in the reduction of traffic deaths and in the increase of injuries. Accidents at lower speed may prevent road users from dying, instead they are getting injured.