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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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location of the deadly drag racing crashA 17 year old behind the wheel of a 2018 Honda Civic crashed his car and died during what might have been a drag race according to the Police.

Last night around 9:25 pm, Antonio Fonseca was driving at high speed on the Henry Hudson Parkway in the Harlem area.  He was in the left lane. On the center lane was another Honda Civic driven by a 20 year old and on the right lane was a Honda Pilot driven by a 26 year old.

Antonio Fonseca lost control of his vehicle and sideswiped the Honda in the Center lane which then collided with the Honda Pilot on the right lane. As for Antonio, his car stroke the median and overturned several times before stopping in the middle of the center lane. He was rushed to the hospital but did not survive his injuries. Read more in the Daily News

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Vision Zero recently released a cycling trend in New York City. However the presentation is a little bit disappointing as it doesn’t contain any bicycle accidents statistics or safety analysis that compare the surge in the number of bicycle rides in the city with the number of bicycle accident injuries and deaths. So we used the bicycle accident injuries and deaths statistics from the NYPD and we compared them with the DOT estimated numbers of rides.

While the city has been making some improvements over the years and  created new bike lanes, numbers clearly show that this is not enough as a record high percentage of riders dying in bicycle accidents were recorded in 2019 and 2020. While the de Blasio administration has been pushing New Yorkers to use bicycles and other clean modes of transportation, recent data show that more has to be done to protect New York cyclists.

The ratio of  bicycle accident fatalities compared to the number of rides which was pretty high in 2014 when Vision Zero started decreased significantly in 2015, remained a little higher in 2016 and 2017 and droped in 2018. Unfortunately it didn’t last. In 2019, the percentage of cyclists deaths was back at the 2014 levels and it reached a record high in 202o.

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Sadly Thanksgiving Holidays are not only associated with good family time but also with a rise in car accident fatalities and injuries. National statistics show that car crashes increase by 17% during the day and the night before Thanksgiving as families travel across the United States to get together. Consumption of alcohol is also a contributor in many accidents that occur during the Holidays.

overpass where the deadly crash occurred NY19 year old loses control of vehicle packed with 5 passengers killing two of them and seriously injuring two others

In the New York area, two young people died in a car accident in Long Island on Thursday night. According to the police, the driver of a Honda Pilot who was carrying 5 other passengers sideswiped a Toyota Corolla on the Southern State Parkway near Hempstead and lost control of the vehicle. The car then crashed into an overpass located near exit 21.  The driver, identified as 19 year old Herson Gonzalez survived while two 23 year old passengers, Patricia Rakissoon from Bay Shore and Elliott Bryant from Brooklyn, died. Two other passengers were transported to the hospital with serious injuries while the driver and another occupant were also transported to the hospital to be examined. The occupants of the Toyota were not injured. The exact causes of the accident are still being investigated.  (read more in the Nassau Daily Voices) (Picture of the location of the deadly crash: courtesy of Google Map).

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Triborough_Bridge were the accident occuredThankfully nobody was seriously injured in an accident involving multiple cars  after a NY State trooper opened fire on two suspects fleeing in a stolen car  on the RFK bridge that was packed with holiday travelers.  The bridge was closed  for hours creating major traffic delays.

The hunt for the car, a 2021 Acura Sedan, started the day before when the owner of the car reported to the police that the vehicle was stolen. On Sunday afternoon, the owner of the Acura contacted the police again and told them that his tracking app was showing the vehicle on the RFK bridge. The car was spotted by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority officials who contacted the NY State Police.

According to a witness the State troopers were able to localize the car and get close to it. One of the troopers knocked on the window of the stolen car. After a while the driver opened it and the officer grabbed him by the neck.  The driver took off, hitting another car that struck the trooper. The trooper then opened fire on the fleeing suspects who hit multiple other cars as they were fleeing from the police.   Two people were hurt including the State Trooper and the thieves were arrested in Harlem after they got off the bridge.

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Personal Injury attorney Rubinowitz gala honoree
Congratulations to our managing partner Ben Rubinowitz for being among the 50 alumni who will be inducted to the Hofstra Law Hall of Fame as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the  Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.  Ben and 49 other alumni as well as 15 distinguished alumni on the bench will be recognized at the Law School’s 50th anniversary gala on April 5, 2022, at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Recognized as a top trial attorney nationally, Ben graduated from  Hofstra Law and started his career as a prosecutor where where he honed the trial skills that would become his hallmark. He joined the Personal Injury Law Firm of Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf  and throughout his 30-year legal career he made his mark as a leading trial lawyer devoting his career to helping those in need. Results speak for themselves as through his hard work, meticulous trial preparation and his outstanding courtroom skills and presence, Ben has obtained 200 verdicts and settlements in excess of one million dollars. Among the most recent outstanding results was the largest pain and suffering award ever affirmed in New York State history by the Appellate Division. This record setting award was based on a $60 Million jury award in which a 16 year old student was severely burned in his Chemistry class when his teacher negligently performed a demonstration in violation of the school’s own science safety manual.

Throughout his brilliant career, Ben received multiple prestigious awards such as the prestigious Prentice Marshall Award and Robert E. Keeton Award for Trial Practice, and was voted “Lawyer of the Year by “Best Lawyers in America” four times. He was also invited to be a member of the Inner Circles of Advocates whose membership is limited to 100 trial lawyers in the country.

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Alonzo Yanes suffered devastating injuriesThe Appellate Division of New York just allowed the largest award for Pain and Suffering ever in New York State History. Although the jury verdict was reduced, the Appeals court allowed $29 million for Pain and Suffering. This award represents an almost 50% increase from the next highest award — $20 million which was a recent decision from the same court.

The case was one that sparked national attention. A 10th grade student, Alonzo Yanes, was severely burned in his 10th grade chemistry class due to the negligence of his teacher Anna Poole and the New York City Board of Education.  The teacher, who had been performing the “rainbow experiment,” failed to take necessary safety precautions to protect the students in her class. In the experiment the teacher was using methanol, a highly flammable substance, and failed to ensure that the students were kept at a safe distance from the demonstration table, failed to provide goggles to the students, failed to ensure there was a fire blanket was in the classroom and conducted the experiment in a classroom which did not have proper ventilation or showers.

Alonzo was burned alive. As the teacher poured the methanol from a gallon jug into a beaker a large  fireball erupted and coated this young student with millions of droplets of burning methanol. Alonzo was screaming in agony —  but because there was no protective equipment in the classroom and no shower or fire blanket he kept burning while a teacher from another classroom finally entered the classroom with a fire blanket to smother the flames.

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the house that went on fire in Long Island5 people died in an apartment fire in Long Island NY last Tuesday night. The fire erupted around 10:40 pm in a century-old house located on East Second Street in Riverhead. The house had 3 apartments with the landlord living in one of them on the ground floor and two other families living on the second and third floor. A total of 10 people lived in the house. 5 of them who were living on the top floor died in the fire. It was a mother with her son and daughter as well as her two nephews.

According to preliminary investigations, the fire might have been started by a cigarette. The fire was discovered by a resident of the second floor who had stepped out to walk his dog. As he was returning home he smelled the smoke and then heard the neighbors screaming “Fire”.

The investigators are still trying to figure out if there were smoke alarms installed in the apartment and if there were, why they didn’t work.

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Cross Bronx ExpresswayHeavy pollution causing asthma to the population, deadly car accidents, no consideration for pedestrians and cyclists and racially biased, the Cross Bronx Expressway is in serious need of a revamp.

Activists who have have been asking for years for the 8-mile highway to be capped have finally been heard. This week, as part of the infrastructure bill,  Transportation Secretary Pete Buttiegieg announced that $2 million will be invested in a study looking at  the negative impacts of the Cross Bronx Expressway by capping it and building parks, investing in electrical vehicle chargers and creating safer options for cyclists and pedestrians.

Originally built and designed by Robert Moses, the Cross Bronx Expressway has not only displaced populations of Black and Latinos and destroyed their businesses but has also became a major health issue for those families of the South Bronx who live nearby.

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injured hand of an elderly patientSadly elder abuse is quite common in the US. It is estimated that 5 to 10% of elders suffer abuse of various types such as physical or psychological abuse, financial exploitation  or neglect. Often those who are abused suffer multiple types of abuse together. Depression, chronic illness hospitalization and placement in nursing homes are often the direct consequences of these abuses. When an elder has little contact with the outside world except for his or her oppressors, the physicians are often the only ones who can determine if abuse occurs and raise the alarm. When physical abuse occurs, elder patients who show up at the emergency room often pretend they fell.  A good emergency physician should be able to differentiate between fall injuries and abuse injuries and raise the alert if necessary.

A recent study  published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine and led by Tony Rosen, Department of Emergency Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College / NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, in New York compares the injuries of 78 elder patients who were physically abused with the injuries of 78 elder patients who unintentionally fell. Here are some of the findings:

  • Bruises could be a sign of abuse. 78% of elders who were physically abused suffered bruises compared to 54% of those who fell
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HyundaiA Hyundai employee who provided key information about a defective engine in vehicles manufactured by the Korean carmaker  was awarded $24 million by the U.S. auto safety regulator. In 2016, Kim Gwang-ho informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that his employer, Hyundai was not addressing a design flaw linked to its Theta II engines, which were prone to seizing up and even catching fire. Kim provided an internal report from the quality strategy team to management that their inaction in addressing the engine fault would cause an increase in crashes.

After NHTSA officials received the information, they began an investigation in 2017 and found out that Hyundai and its subsidiary Kia did recall vehicles for this defect but the recall was too late and the information provided about the issue was inaccurate according to them.  In 2020, Hyundai and Kia agreed to pay a record $210 million in civil penalty for delaying the recall of their vehicles after they learned about the defective engine.

Maximum percentage awarded to the whistleblower