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.
Published on:

Tweet from the FDNY reporting the NYC fire accident5 young people died in a house fire in New York City Sunday afternoon.  2 year old Chayce Lipford, 10 year old Rashawn Matthews, 16 year old Jada Foxworth, 17 year old Melody Edwards and 20 year old Destiny Dones  all died in a fire that broke out in a house located on 208th Street in Queens village, Sunday afternoon around 2:30 pm.  911 received a call at 2:36 from someone who was driving in front of the house and saw flames coming out of the 1st floor window. The firefighters only took 4 minutes  to arrive but by that time the house was already completely consumed by fire. The only survivor is 46 year old Maurice Matthews, father of Rashawn Matthews. He jumped from a second floor window.  According to CBS New York, the victims may have been trapped in the attic of the house. The house had no working smoke detectors.  The investigation about the exact cause of the accident is still ongoing.

fdny education teamFollowing the tragic accident, the FDNY fire Safety Education Unit  founded by the FDNY Foundation and the New York Red cross set up a stand in Queens Village to teach community residents about the importance of having smoke detectors in their house. They also installed smoke detectors in houses that didn’t have any.

Published on:

Vanessa Raghubar died in a drunk driving accident in NYCA 22 year old woman died from her injury  after a drunk driver crashed into her car in NYC. The drunk driver, 32 year old Neville Smith is a NYPD detective. He was off duty when he crashed into Vanessa Raghubar’s car.  The accident occurred around 4:00 am Sunday morning on the Van Wick Expressway.  Vanessa  was returning from her sister’s birthday party when the drunk detective crashed his Mercedes into her Honda. The impact was so strong that Vanessa’s car was propelled against a light pole and a tree. She and her two passengers, her sister and her sister’s boyfriend suffered critical injuries. All 3 were transported to the hospital where Vanessa died the following day.

Smith was charged with vehicular assault, assault, driving while intoxicated and refusal to take a Breathalyzer test. More charges are expected.

Vanessa who studied psychology was supposed to graduate in June. Her family wants justice.

Published on:

accident sceneA NYC pedestrian suffered critical personal injury after being struck by a motorcyclist who disappeared into the night. The  unidentified middle-aged woman was crossing Bruckner Boulevard at the intersection of Hunts Point Avenue in the Bronx, NYC, when she was struck by a motorcycle. She was in the crosswalk. She suffered serious head trauma and was rushed to the emergency room. She is still fighting for her life. The police are still looking for the reckless biker who was riding a red Suzuki sports motorcycle.

Read more in the NY Daily News 

Published on:

firefighter who diedA FDNY firefighter fell to his death Thursday afternoon as he was fighting a fire in a NYC apartment. 42 year old, William Tolley was responding to a two-alarm apartment fire on the third floor of  a building located on Putnam Ave in Ridgewood, Queens.  The fatal accident happened when the fire was almost extinguished. Tolley had just finished executing a routine operation on the rooftop. He was about to get in the bucket at the end of a five story ladder when something went wrong and he fell to his death.

It is not clear so far if Tolley took a misstep or if  a mechanical issue with the ladder or the bucket caused the accident. The truck was kept on the street with the ladder extended for investigation purposes.

The FDNY said the fire was a minor blaze with very limited risk of injury or death and the accident was “bizarre”.

Published on:

Protected bike lanes have proven to be one of the most efficient street designs to prevent bicycle accidents in New York City. Yesterday the Department Of Transportation (DOT) announced that it was planning to add such a bike lane on 7th Avenue from 30th Street to Charlotte Street, in downtown Manhattan. The project was partially presented last night to the Community Board 4.

Despite having several safer options to ride safely North or South in Chelsea and in the West Village, a significant number of bicyclists are still riding on 7th Avenue.  In a 14-hour period, the DOT counted 2,350 people biking at the intersection of 20th street and 7th Avenue. The traffic is usually fluid on the downtown segment of the avenue and speeding is common, increasing the risk of serious or fatal crashes.

If the project is accepted, the number of  traffic lanes will be reduced from 4 to 3 and a protected bike lane will be added.  The DOT believes that the project will reduce speeding and increase bicyclists safety. Pedestrian safety will be improved as well as crossing distances being shortened.

Published on:

carbon monoxide danger signA couple died from carbon monoxide poisoning in New York last Sunday.

71 year old Doris Crawford and 80 year old John Crawford were found dead in their Harlem home On Easter Sunday morning by their daughter and her husband.  After her parents didn’t answer the phone, she and her husband went to check on them. They were supposed to go together to church for the Easter service.  The daughter told investigators that she smelled gas as soon as she entered the apartment. She and her husband found her dad lying in his bed in a pool of vomit and her mother siting in a chair in front of the tv. Both were dead. The oven was turned on but there was nothing inside it.

According to an ongoing investigation, The FDNY found a carbon monoxide detector without batteries on a table inside the apartment where the couple lived. Investigators suspect that the couple didn’t realize that their apartment was filling with CO2. They also suspect that the couple took the batteries out of the detector because the device started beeping. According to their neighbors, maintenance workers had just replaced smoke and CO2 detectors a few weeks ago in the building. Therefore the couple may have thought a defective detector was installed in their apartment and removed it.

Published on:

The truck driver who fatally struck a bicyclist may face criminal charges. The NYPD Collision Squad Investigation told the media yesterday that they are planing to recommend criminal charges against the truck driver who killed 31 year old Kelly Hurley. The woman was riding her bike through the intersection of First Avenue and East 9th Street when she was hit by a box truck making a left turn. Both the truck and the bicyclist had the green light.This type of intersection is called a “mixing zone” intersection. According to the NYC traffic law the bicyclist had the right of way. The truck driver failed to yield and struck her. According to the Collision Squad Investigation the woman tried to avoid the truck by dismounting her bike but she couldn’t avoid it. (Read more in DNA)

A few days ago, comments by a NYPD representative who blamed the victim and cops being seen ticketing bicyclists a lock away from the fatal crash outraged bicyclist advocates. (See previous blog)

Published on:

Radio-AntennasConstruction workers exposed to radio-frequency (RF) radiation may suffer personal injury such as blindness and sterility. Construction workers who are wearing pacemakers and other medical devices should also be aware that electromagnetic signals could cause their devices to malfunction. Additionally  recent research has found it possible that such radiation may also be carcinogenic to humans. The long term effects of exposures to radio-frequency radiation is still being studied.  Roofers or construction workers who are performing tasks on sides of buildings or near news gathering trucks are the most at risk of exposure to hazardous level of RF radiation.

In recent years the proliferation of cellular antennas and other devices transmitting electromagnetic signals has lead to health concerns about the danger of potentially harmful exposure to radio frequency signals. In 2014, the National Roofing Contractors Association in association with the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers  worked with the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) to reduce the illnesses and injuries in the roofing industry. They created together the Roofing r2p Partnership. This new partnership soon raised concern about the emerging hazard caused by the proliferation of RF antennas and the potential risks faced by construction workers in the roofing industry. As a result, a program was developed by the Roofing r2p Partnership* and the multi-trade labor-management RF Radiation Work Group* to raise awareness about the potential risks of RF radiation.

You can learn more about the new Radio-frequency (RF) Radiation Awareness Program for the Construction Industry in a free webinar that will be hosted by the CPWR on Tuesday April 25th at 2;00 pm ET. During this 45 minutes webinar participants will learn more about the hazard of RF radiation exposure and how workers can be trained to prevent such exposures using the newly developed Radio-frequency (RF) Radiation Awareness Program for the Construction Industry. Click here to register for this webinar. 

Published on:

ben1Personal injury attorneys Ben Rubinowitz  and Doris Cheng are the directors of a new training program designed by the  National Institute for Trial Advocacy. Entitled “NITA Drills: a Witness Examination Boot Camp”, this rapid-fire 3-day program will take place June 19th thru June 21st 2017 at the NITA Education Center in Boulder, CO.

Taught by highly experienced trial lawyers, this program will focus on direct examination of of  witnesses, including impeachment and expert witness variations, as well as methods for delivering openings and summations. Using NITA’s method of learning by doing and limiting the enrollment to 24 people, this program will allow each participant to take their trial skills to the next level.

To register or to learn more about this program click here

 

Published on:

Building-Blocks-NYC_logo-1Too many construction workers die in New York City because they are not proprely trained for the job. Yesterday the Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET) and District Council 9, International Union of Painter and Allied Trades (DC9 New York) announced that they were joining forces by creating Building Blocks NYC, a new coalition to advocate for the passage of Intro 1447 by the New York City Council. Intro 1447 is a legislation that would increase training for all construction workers in New York City, union and non-union alike.

Over the last 2 years 33 construction workers died on the job in New York City. The most recent fatal construction accident in the city occurred last week in Time Square, New York. 59 year old Jose Cruz fell 18 feet to his death. Cruz fell from an I-Beam. At the time of the accident, Cruz was wearing a safety harness but it wasn’t tied it off. The accident was completely preventable. (see previous blog)

Cruz was working for Streamline USA, a non unionized contractor. Streamline has a history of safety violations on its construction sites and was fined twice by OSHA over the last year. The majority of fatal NYC construction accidents occurred on non-unionized construction sites. Building Block NYC believes that many of these fatal accidents may have been prevented if employees were proprely trained. Unlike unionized contractors who require their employees to sit down in classrooms and participate in rigorous training programs, many non unionized contractors neglect to proprely train their employees.