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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Tractor Trailer Accident ManhattanIt’s a miracle that no one was injured in a tractor-trailer truck accident that occurred Monday morning in Manhattan around 8:00 am. The morning commute was light that day as most  New Yorkers were observing the Martin Luther King Day Holiday and were off from work. As the tractor-trailer was crossing the intersection of 23rd Street and 6th Ave, the trailer disconnected from the truck cab and slammed into the entrance of the subway station for the F and M lines. The trailer not only blocked the access to the subway entrance but all also to all the 6th Avenue lanes. The police temporarily closed 6th and 7th Avenues to the traffic while they were towing away the rogue trailer. The entrance of the subway that had just reopened in November after 4 months of renovations was slightly damaged and was temporarily closed again. Read more in the Gothamist

Dramatic increase of NYC truck accidents

Truck Accidents NYC October 2018Truck accidents have been increasing dramatically in New York City over the last few years. In 2013 the monthly number of truck accidents in New York City was around 500 to 600 monthly. In 2014 it increased slightly and the NYPD was recording between 600 and 700 truck accidents every month. In October 2015, the number of truck crashes reached 827. The number of truck crashes recorded that specific month was a record number for 2013, 2014 and 2015.

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dangerous skyscraper construction sites in ManhattanLast week a giant concrete slab fell from the 26th floor of a skyscraper construction site and crashed into the roof of a sixth story building next to it, destroying the studio apartment of 34 year old Steven Jones. Jones was taking a shower at the time of the accident. If he would have been in his kitchen instead he would be dead. Instead miraculously he only  suffered minor injuries. While he was in the shower, Jones heard what he thought was an explosion and walked out of his bathroom to discover a huge hole in his ceiling and thick dust all over. Jones tried to get out of his apartment but the debris was blocking the entrance as well as the fire escape. Firefighters came to the rescue. They were able to clean the debris and get him out of his apartment safely while the rest of the building was evacuated. The slab of concrete fell after the the 26th floor of the skyscraper under construction at 1059 Third Avenue collapsed.  The Department of Buildings issued a full stop work order for the site. According to their records, a similar accident previously occurred a month earlier and the DOB had already issued a partial stop work order between floors 26th and 30th after debris fell and broke the glass roof of a nearby townhouse. The stop order was lifted after an inspection determined that the violation had been corrected. Apparently the problem was still there.

Construction elevator dangling 30 stories on top of sidewalk

On Monday another freaky accident occurred at a super skyscraper construction site located on 57th Street near Sixth Avenue. An exterior elevator came loose on the 58th Street side of the building and began smashing against the building sending glass and other debris onto the street below. The police closed the entire area for hours. Tenants were evacuated from the top floors of a nearby building.  Customers were stuck in restaurants for hours until the heavy elevator that was dangling from the scaffolding 3o stories above the street was removed. Again the worst was avoided and nobody was injured as the cold kept many New Yorkers inside and very few pedestrians were in the street when the accident occurred around 8:00 pm.

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Snow Blowers can be dangerousInjuries related to Snow Blower accidents are among the most gruesome injuries related to snow storm hazards. As New Yorkers are gearing up for a massive snow storm this week-end, many home owners will use a snow blower to clean their driveway or sidewalk. The use of a snow blower can speed up and facilitate snow removal but it can cause severe injuries if people are not careful. Thousands of people are missing fingers because they were injured in a snowblower accident. According to statistics, the typical patient visiting the ER after a snow blower accident is a 44 year old male with amputation of the tip of the fingers with the middle one being the most commonly amputated. Typically the patient has been removing some heavy wet snow, exactly like the one expected in New York on Sunday morning, and his machine got clogged. He then tries to unclog the snowblower using his hand, the blade rotates and the accident occurs. Even if the machine is off the blade can still rotate and that’s how many people get injured. They believe that because the machine is turned off they are safe.

Fingers amputations are the most common snowblower injuries

Please never use your hands to unclog your snow blower! Many manufacturers are providing special devices to unclog snow blowers and you should use them!A snowblower injury can alter your life forever. While a few people only lose a little bit of skin off the tip of the fingers, most people sustained much more severe injuries that involve bone, tendons or joints.  Amputations are  frequent and the less soft tissue left covering the finger the more the surgeon will have to cut in the bone. Partial or complete amputation of one or several fingers can have life changing repercussions. For people who are using their hands for their vocation such as surgeons or pianists it can have dramatic consequences.

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New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer Ben RubinowitzOur managing partner, NYC Medical Malpractice Attorney Ben Rubinowitz will be lecturing at the 43rd Winter Urologic Forum at the Winter Meeting of Urologists in Steamboat Springs, CO. Organized by WJ Weiser and Associates, Inc, the Forum will take place at Steamboat Grand from January 19th to January 22nd.

This meeting will summarize for practicing urologists and other interested professionals, new concepts in diagnosis and treatment for conditions including local and advanced prostate, renal and bladder cancer, lower urinary tract symptoms, incontinence, urinary tract infection, reconstructive urology, andrology, stone disease and medical malpractice. At the completion of the meeting, urologists will have been exposed to methods to optimize patient care and maintain patient centricity of care delivery.

Ben will moderate the session “Cases of Urologic Complications and Implications”. This session will focus on Medical Malpractice with trial demonstrations including witness examination, opening statements and summation of cases related to prostate cancer, urothelial cancer, female urology, stones, renal cancer and male AUS.

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New-York-School-Zone-Speed-CameraSpeed cameras have proven their efficiency in reducing car accidents as well as  pedestrian injuries and deaths. As part of the Vision Zero Program, 140 speed cameras were installed nearby schools all over the city. The installation of the cameras led to a decline of 63% of  speeding in school zones and pedestrian injuries decreased by 23%.

Based on this successful record the city asked the NY Senate for more cameras but New York State Senators refused to vote on a bill to continue the program and increase the number of cameras in NYC school zones to 290. As a result, all the 140 cameras were shut off in the middle of last summer.

After that episode, the Mayor signed a new city bill at the beginning of September to not only preserve but also expand the use of speed cameras in school zones. In order for the bill to become law, Cuomo declared a state of emergency and so far has been renewing the emergency order every month. The bill provided no cap on the number of speed cameras that the city was permitted to deploy.  The result of a collaborative effort between City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez, the bill can only expire after the state legislature passes a “photo speed violation monitoring program in the City of New York that is identical to, substantially similar to or more expansive in scope than the program that would result from the enactment of A. 7798-C, as passed by the New York state assembly on June 18, 2018.”

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Jeffrey-Bloom2Our partner, NYC Medical Malpractice Attorney Jeffrey Bloom will be Co-Chairing “Lets Talk… All Things Med. Mal.”. Organized by the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, this seminar will take place at NYSTLA office in Manhattan on January 23rd from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.

Presented as a round table type discussion, the seminar will address all the aspects of a Medical Malpractice Trial – jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross examination as well as summation  – from the different perspectives of the plaintiff, the defendant and the Court.

Participants will learn:

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Gotham residential construction siteLast June, two construction workers were seriously injured in a mini-crane accident in New York because of the negligence of their contractor, Western Waterproofing Co. Inc from St. Louis (see previous blog).

The accident occurred after two supervisors working for the contractor rented a mini-crane, installed it on the fourth floor of the construction site and instructed an untrained worker to lift heavy curtain wall panels with it. The load was too heavy and the crane tipped and fell four stories down. Two workers, Jorge Delgado and Christopher Jackson were seriously injured during the accident.

Last week, OSHA cited the Missouri contractor for exposing employees to serious injuries and proposed a $155,204 fine against the company.

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Pickup truck accident locationA pedestrian was fatally struck by a pick up truck in New York City last Friday around 5 pm.  51 year old Jose Rubi was crossing Maspeth Avenue in Bushwick when he was hit by a 46 year old man driving a 2015 Ford pick up. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged. According to the police, the driver was attempting to make a left turn onto Vandervoort Ave when he struck Rubi. He told the police that he didn’t see the victim.

The police blamed the victim for crossing “mid block”. However it is unclear how the police could determine that the pedestrian was crossing mid-block while the driver testified that that the accident occurred as he was making a left turn at the intersection.

After the accident, the pedestrian was rushed to a nearby hospital but he didn’t survive his injuries.

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respiratory test set upThe dust generated on construction sites can have adverse health effects on construction workers. Different activities on construction sites can generate different types of nanoparticles and ultrafine particles that can lead to serious respiratory diseases such as silicosis and lung cancer. To prevent these diseases the NIOSH recommend that workers use N95 respirators. However according to a recent pilot study conducted by the Center for Construction and Research Training (CPWR), these respirators might not protect construction workers properly depending on the task that they execute.

The CPWR used two manikins fitted with two types of  NIOSH approved N95 masks, the pleated N95 mask and the foldable N95 and assessed their respiratory protection against ultrafine particles and nanoparticles in various construction environments.

The researchers first found out that it was very difficult to get the N95 masks themselves as they were out of stock or back ordered for several weeks and substitutes had to be used for the studies.

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Broken glass on NYC bike lanesAnti bike lanes activists intentionally put NYC cyclists at risk of  dangerous accidents by spreading broken glass on the  12th and 13th streets bike lanes in the West Village in Manhattan.  This is the second time that a bike lane has been intentionally vandalized for political reasons. In November, thumbtacks were thrown all over the 43rd Avenue bike lanes in Sunnyside, Queens by bike lanes opponents.

Yesterday afternoon, “bring back our parking!” graffiti and other anti-bike lane signs appeared on the 12th and 13th street bike lanes. Broken glass was also spread over the two bike lanes putting cyclists at risk of dangerous accidents.

According to Street Blog, the graffiti reflect the opinion of the anti-bike lane 14th Street Coalition. This group is asking the city to remove the two bike lanes on 12th and 13th street as well as the bus lane on 14th street.  The two bike lanes and the dedicated bus lane were implemented by the city in anticipation of the L subway lane closure. Now that the city announced that the L will not shut down, some anti cyclists neighborhood groups want their their street back to the way it was before.