In addition to the usual safety guidelines, contractors now have to make sure their employees are adequately protected from getting infected by the coronavirus. A recent article in the Commercial Observer looked at the challenges faced by New York construction sites one week after their phase 1 reopening.
Our managing partner, New York Personal Injury Attorney Ben Rubinowitz, has developed a reputation as a leading plaintiff’s trial lawyer throughout the country. In recognition of his skill as a national leader in his field, Ben will be speaking to the Wyoming Trial Lawyers at their annual convention. In light of the recent string of eight figure multimillion dollar verdicts that he received, Ben has been asked to speak about developing damages through cross-examination of experts.
The Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association’s Annual Convention ” Litigation in 2020 and Beyond” will take place on June 18th and 19th via Live Streaming.
Click here for more info or to register
A pregnant woman lost her baby and suffered serious injury in a car accident in Staten Island, NYC last Saturday. The accident occurred on Hylan Boulevard. A 26 year old male and his 28 year old pregnant female passenger were driving south on Hylan Boulevard. As they were in the left tuning line attempting to make a turn onto Cornelia Avenue, they were hit frontally by a Jeep Grand Cherokee travelling at high speed. The driver of the Jeep was identified as 21 year old Alexander Iacone. He was racing North on Hylan Boulevard and shifted into the left turning lane striking the Nissan. The impact was so strong that both vehicles careened into the woods. Iacone was driving without a license.
The 28 year old female passenger was rushed to the hospital where doctors performed an emergency C section but the baby didn’t survive the accident. The mother sustained serious injury but was in stable condition. The male driver was also hospitalized and treated for several injuries that include lacerations to his knees and to his hand.
The reckless 21 year old driver sustained an arm injury. He was also transported to the hospital and later arrested. He was arraigned in Criminal Court in St Georges on charge of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and second degree assault. Iacone could face a homicide charge depending on the results of a pending autopsy of the baby. If the City medical examiner determines that the baby took his first breath at the hospital, Iacone could be charged with homicide according to the New York Law.
Until last week New York police officers who committed misconduct or abuse had their disciplinary reports kept secret from the public. It is not the case anymore. Governor Cuomo signed a bill on Friday to immediately repeal provision 50-a of the New York Civil Rights Law that was shielding police officers, correction officers or firefighters with a history of misconduct from public accountability. Some elements such as the address of the police officer as well as his phone number and medical history will not be made public for understandable reasons.
I Can’t Breath
The repeal of 50-a is following major protests not only in NY but across the nation against police brutality toward black people and systematic racism and injustice. On May 25th, the murder of Georges Floyd caught on video and showing former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes while he was begging him to stop and telling him he couldn’t breath, started nationwide protests that are still going one as today.
9 motorists and one passenger died in traffic accidents and one cyclist was fatally sideswiped by a speeding bus. No pedestrian deaths were reported during the entire month. NYC car accident fatalities caused by speed and recklessness increased significantly in April during the lock-down.
Globally, the number of traffic accidents recorded by the NYPD in April dropped to 4,037 in April 2020 compared to 10,877 in March and 16,6332 in April 2019 as New York Streets stayed mostly empty because of the Covid-19 lock-down order. The number of reported accidents was approximately 4 times lower than what it was during the same month a year earlier when the city was not affected by the pandemic.
NYC Auto Accident injuries were also at their lowest with 1,287 people injured in April compared to 3,099 in March and 4,701 in April 2019. Drivers and passengers were the categories with most people injured.
The NY Child Victim Act was enacted on August 14 2019, allowing victims of child sexual abuse to bring a lawsuit against their abusers until the victim reaches the age of 55 year old. For those who are older than 55 year old and suffered sexual abuse in their childhood, the new law came with a one year look-back window during which any child sexual abuse victim in New York State, no matter their actual age and when the abuse occured, could file a lawsuit against their oppressor and/or the institution that hired them such as religious institutions, schools, boy scouts, etc.
Court services reduced to essential proceedings online during Coronavirus lock-down prevented child sexual abuse victims to file a lawsuit
When a child sustains head injury, parents always worry about the risk of traumatic brain injury and now more than ever seek medical advice through telephone triage call systems. When parents call such systems, they will be connected to a triage nurse who will provide them with recommendations on what to do next. However the question is, how parents follow up on these recommendations. A recent study by Catherine C. McDonald, PhD, RN, FAAN, Melissa R. Pfeiffer, MPH, Roni L. Robinson, MSN, RN, CRNP, Kristy B. Arbogast, PhD, Christina L. Master, MD, FAAP, CAQSM published in Clinical Nursing Research, tried to determine if parents follow recommendations and what percentage of the phone calls result in a TBI diagnostic. They especially wanted to know if parents who had been recommended to see a doctor because a traumatic brain injury was suspected, would indeed do it.
84.1% of parents follow phone recommendations to seek medical care for their child’s head injury
The researchers analyzed one year of pediatric head injury calls at the Barton Schmitt Pediatric Head Injury Telephone Triage Protocol. Among the 5,045 phone calls for patients ages 17 and younger and meeting the criteria for the study, they found 2, 464 calls during which the triage nurse recommended to seek medical care urgently or in the next 24 hours. They estimated that in 84.1% of cases parents followed the recommendations provided on the phone and brought their children for an urgent medical consultation at their medical home network or at an outside care facility. Among those children who were recommended to seek urgent care, 39.5% were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury.
Now that the construction industry is restarting in most of the country, some contractors are using the help and advice of medical professionals. to keep the deadly virus out of their job sites. Medical consultants are being hired to make sure the new Covid-19 safety guidelines are applied proprely and health and safety staff are being seen on job sites screening construction workers temperature. Industrial hygienists are being hired to work on safety protocols. Infectious disease experts are providing consulting to construction companies with large amounts of workers to make sure they get advice on proper infection control practices across construction sites such as installation of washing stations, cleaning, new protocol with food vendors, proper face covering and contact tracing procedures. Many large contractors have also created their own Response Team in charge of working with medical experts to make sure recommendations are proprely implemented. They also try to hire health care providers with pandemic preparedness background to join theses teams on a full time basis. However because of the actual shortage of healthcare providers these positions are difficult to fill.
In New York, employers are responsible for the safety of their construction workers. A large contractor not only consulted with medical professionals for its construction sites but also for its corporate offices. The contractor uses automatic temperature checking stations, barriers between open offices as well as staggered start times with rotation schedules for their employees. The flow of offices has been re-designed to one way. Employees received personal lunch kits, and silver defender virus-killing tape was applied on door handles, coffee stations and copy machines. Additionally the marketing team of the company has been creating various videos to proprely train employees on how to access their job sites or their office, how to behave on the jobs site and in offices, how to socially distance while at work as well as how to use sanitation and cleaning.
Read more in Construction Dive
As New York City is gradually re-opening, many New Yorkers may opt to commute by bike rather than by subway to mitigate the risk of getting infected by Covid-19. Many of them find it more convenient to use a bike share program rather than owning their own bike.
While some might worry that less experienced bike riders using bike share programs might result in an increase in bicycle accidents, a recent study found that bike share programs might indeed lead to a decrease in bicycle accidents
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that bike share programs lead to an increase of cyclists on the road but a decrease in the rate of bicycle accidents. The study took place in Philadelphia and analysed the number of people using a bike since the city introduced its bike share program in 2015. While the rate of bicycle accidents doubled between January 2010 and May 2015 in Philadelphia, it decreased by an average 13% yearly between May 2015 the end of 2018.
36% of patients who are hospitalized for Covid-19 have heart injury and have a higher risk of death according to a recent study by Anu Lala, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Anu Lala’s team studied the records of 3000 patients who checked in at the emergency room of five New York City hospitals during the first two weeks of April. Among these 3000 patients. 60% of them were male. The average age was 66 year old. 25% were self-identified as African American and 26% were self identified as Hispanic or Latino. A quarter of them had a history of heart disease and another quarter had cardiovascular risk factors.