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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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snow tubing can be dangerousA 16 year old died from her injuries in a sledding accident in Lewiston, New York. The teenager, identified as Renee Hill was riding a sliding tube with her 3 year old nephew in front of her on the tube when she realized that they were about to hit a tree. To prevent her nephew  to hit the tree first she put her foot down to flip the tube. She hit the tree while her nephew was saved.  She was rushed to the hospital in critical condition but she died on the way. Renee was a sophomore at Niagara Wheatfield High School.

The sledding hill in Clyde L. Burmaster Park where the  fatal sledding accident occurred  was closed until further notice and the accident is being investigated.

While it is quite fun, sledding can be dangerous

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construction workers are at risk of heat strokeWhile construction companies have to respect very strict safety protocol to prevent their workers being injured in construction accidents, they often overlook the global health of their workers.

In a recent opinion in Construction Dive, Gordon Childress, the executive VP and GM for the California division of Skanska Building USA  look at the risks of heart disease among construction workers and how can their employers help reduce these risks.

According to statistics from the CDC, 1 out of 4 construction workers is at risk of a heart disease. While some workers are genetically pre-disposed to this risk and have histories of diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol running in their family, others simply have an unhealthy lifestyle that puts them at risk of developing such disease.

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child-playingChildren and teenagers are prone to traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Over a million of them check in an emergency room in the US for a non fatal Traumatic Brain Injury every year. A recent study conducted by researchers under the lead of Bina Ali for the nonprofit Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation  looked at the causes of these injuries.  To do so the researchers used data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. They  found that between 2010 and 2013 more than 4 million children were diagnosed by emergency room doctors for non fatal TBI.

Among the different categories of ages, those the most prone to suffer TBI were among the youngest and among the oldest. 1,085,680 children between the age of 1 and 4  and 1,107,463 teenagers between 15 and 19 year old were diagnosed with TBI during the period under review.

The causes of  TBI vary depending on the age of the child. Almost 3 quarters of TBIs suffered by  toddlers were related to home fixtures, furniture and structures.  Falling from chairs and beds were the most common furniture related accidents while tripping on the floor or falling down the stairs caused the most TBIs related to home fixtures and structures.

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accident sceneA man who stopped to help a stranger died after being struck by a hit and run driver in Queens, NYC. Last Friday night around 8:30 pm, 51 year old Mike Agurkis was driving his car on the Nassau Expressway in Springfield Gardens when he saw a motorist stranded along the side of the highway. The good Samaritan pulled in front of the stranger got out of his car and offered to help him.

As he was standing in between the two cars stopped on the side of the highway, the driver of a blue minivan hit the vehicle of the stranded driver which in a chain reaction slammed into Mike and killed him. The driver of the blue minivan abandoned the blue van and ran away on foot. The police are still looking for him.

Mike Agurkis’s children and his ex-wife are heartbroken. They told journalists that that’s how their dad was. He would always stop to help people. Mike’s landlord and a neighbor also confirmed that Mike lived his life to help people.

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OSHA logoA NY contractor was fined $138,000 for putting his employees at risk of dangerous construction accidents by not respecting multiple OSHA safety rules. OSHA investigators visited a Multifamily Housing Construction site located at 176 E. Denison Parkway in Corning, NY, and found that the contractor Riedman Cos., a non unionized contractor from Rochester, did not set up an enclosed chute to dispose of waste material from heights of 20 feet or more. Additionally, employees working at heights of 6 feet or more were not provided with adequate fall safety such as personal fall arrest system, safety net system and guardrail system.  As a result the contractor was hit with one willful violation and a $121,443 fine for  the absence of fall protection and 2 serious violations with fines of $10,409 for dangerous disposal of waste material and $ 6,940 for unsafe stairways.  The violations are being contested by Riedmans Cos. The total fine was the 8th highest OSHA fine received in the US during the last quarter of 2020.

The highest fine was issued to Fabcon Precast LLC in Ohio after a worker died at their facility. Fabcon was hit with a total of 10 serious and 5 willful violations for a total fine of $451,079 which is now being contested by the company.

The second highest fine was in an amount of $299,825 for a painting and restoration comapny that exposed its workers to methylene chloride and violated lead safety and cadmium standards. The company, Fortune Restoration Painting & Masonry in Illinois had already been hit with similar violations in 2014.

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Jim BakerSome Covid-19 scams can cause personal injury, others will just hurt your wallet.  According to a recent article in Fair Warning, the Department of Justice had received more than 76,000 tips reporting all types of scams related to Covid-19.

Now the limited number of vaccine doses on the market has again triggered the creativity of scammers and thousands of website promoting fake covid-19 vaccine have been shut down by Federal Authorities.  Other scammers are knocking on doors to offer quicker access to the vaccine for money. There is no such thing and you should not give anybody financial compensation to secure a vaccination.  Conmen have also pretended being contact tracers to get personal information such as Medicare card numbers.

Fraudulent unapproved medicine or supplements as well as fake rapid test kits have invaded the market with phony promotions.  At the beginning of the pandemic, evangelist Jim Baker received a cease and desist notification after selling a silver solution that he claimed cured the virus in 12 hours. Another company NameCheap Inc was sued by the US government after selling fake “World Health Organization Vaccine kits online.

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endoscopic surgeryInappropriate cleaning of medical devices especially the cleaning of flexible endoscopes continue to be a significant cause of deaths and serious injuries to patients.

Not adequately processed reusable devices are a main conduit for healthcare associated infections which according to previous reports have caused at least 2 million infections and the death of 90,000 patients.

A  previous study at 3 large American hospitals and published in the American Journal of Infection Control found that more that 70% of reusable medical scopes ready for use on patients tested positive for bacteria.

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8 construction workers died and 502 were injured on the job in New York City in 2020 compared to respectively 11 and 596 in 2019. The slowdown in the construction industry  related to the COVID-19 pandemic in all market sectors, except for healthcare construction, is the main factor behind this decline. Additionally Local Law 196 which was signed in 2017 but took effect in 2019 might also have contributed to a decrease in construction accident deaths and injuries in New York City. Local Law 196 requires that construction workers take a 40 hour safety training course and supervisors 62 hours safety course to be able to work on a NYC construction site. Most construction accidents are preventable and often occurred when workers lack sufficient knowledge or training.

NYC Construction accident fatalities decreased in every boroughs except for Brooklyn.

Construction Accident Deaths NYC 2020
Manhattan is the borough that saw the most significant decrease in construction workers fatalities in 2020. Two construction workers died in accidents in Manhattan last year compared to respectively 6, 6, 7, 5 and 7 in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015. It is the fist time over the last 5 years that the number of construction accident fatalities in Manhattan is that low.

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A nyc school teacher was arrested for having sex with an underaged victim. 31 year old Zeshaan Naqvi is a teacher at The Young Women’s Leadership School in Jamaica, Queens, a girl only NYC public school serving more than 500 girls in Grades 6 through 12.

The teacher knew that the victim was underage

The sexual predator who lives in Queens Village in NYC met his victim, a teenage girl, online and knew she was underage. They chatted online for 3 months after which the teacher booked a flight ticket to Tampa and a hotel room on Falkenburg Road in Tampa, FL.

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1200px-Harlem_condemned_buildingTo prevent accidents related to façade collapse or falling debris, any New York City buildings of six stories or higher must have its façade inspected every five years  as part of what is known as the “Façade Inspection Safety Program”. This program was started in 1980 after Grace Gold, a Columbia University student, was killed by falling debris on a Broadway sidewalk. It was originally called Local Law 10 which then morphed into Local Law 11 as the DOB tried to improve the inspection  process.

Despite the regular inspections,  falling debris from defective façades continue to kill and injure pedestrians.  Last year multiple cases of façade collapses including a dramatic accident during which architect Erica Tishman was killed by falling masonry, lead the Department of Buildings to issue a new amended rule for façade inspections in New York City just before the start of the 9th Cycle Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP) starting on February 20.

Penalties are going up