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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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leg crushed in car accidentA FDNY firefighter was seriously injured while trying to rescue victims of a car crash in Manhattan during which the driver of a black BMW with “Medical Doctor” plates drove over the side of a white SUV.

On Sunday afternoon, around 3:20 pm. Matthew Wahn and his wife Randy from Bayside, Queens were on their way to grab some food in downtown Manhattan. As they were sitting  in their SUV, waiting at the red light at the intersection of West 42nd Street and 11th Avenue,  a black BMW literally drove  up on the side of their car.  Miraculously the couple was not injured and was able to exit their car. However firefighters had to be called to the  to free the occupants of the BMW and one them got seriously injured during the rescue.

The injured firefighter is Ryan Warnock who, just a week before, found the little boy under the boat that capsized in the Hudson River

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where the bike lane ends on Centers StreetThe bike lane that exits on the Brooklyn Bridge and heads north on Center Street abruptly stops at the intersection of Worth Street and puts riders at high risks of  dangerous bicycle accidents. The area is so dangerous that cyclists commuting regularly through this road nicknamed it  “The Sluice” because crossing it is like entering an abattoir.

Not only the bike lane abruptly stops but also busy Court Houses located on both sides of the street, add to the chaos. The curbsides lanes are filled with placarded law enforcement and court cars and car services and taxis are constantly double parking, even sometime triple parking to drop customers going to court. Even experienced cyclists navigating this area are at high risk of  getting injured in accidents and the many tourists taking a ride of the famous New York City landmark  even more.

The DOT is well aware of the situation and a plan to end “the Sluice” was presented to Community Board 2 last March. This morning, an article in Street Blog confirms that  work has indeed started to continue the actual Center Street bike lane North of Worth and up to Kenmare Street.  The new protected bike lane will also help cyclists cross another high risk accident area around Canal Street.

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construction workers moving equipment are at risk of struck by accidentsCarlos’Law, a bill named after Carlos Moncayo, an undocumented and nonunion construction worker who was 22 year old when he was fatally crushed by a collapsing wall  on a Manhattan construction site, is on the desk of NY Governor Hochul. The bill that passed the State legislature earlier in June proposes to significantly raise fines for contractors and their agents who have been criminally charged after a serious in jury or death occurred at their construction site. Fines for misdemeanor would be raised to $300,000 and fines for a felony in criminal cases related to the death of a construction worker would be raised to $500,000 instead of the actual $10,000.

The actual NY state-imposed limit on corporate penalties of $10,000 is “Monopoly money”

Construction companies are rarely criminally charged in New York. Since The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was signed by President Nixon, out of 400,000 hard hat fatalities, 80 of them were prosecuted and around 12 only resulted in criminal charges.  Harco Construction, the general contractor for the site where Carlos Moncayo died was one of them (see previous posts). The contractor was sentenced to pay $10,000 (the maximum fine on corporate penalties in NY State) after being found guilty of reckless endangerment, criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter. At the time Cyrus R. Vance Jr who was the District Attorney called the fine “Monopoly money”.

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NYC personal Injury lawyer Richard SteigmanOur partner Richard M. Steigman will chair the 2022 CPLR Update Seminar organized by the New York State Trial Lawyer Association on July 20,2022 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. He will be accompanied by Hon. John R. Higgitt, Justice of the Supreme Court, Associate Justice, Appellate Division, First Department.

One of the key requirements of successfully managing a civil caseload is staying abreast of legislative changes and court decisions in the field of New York Civil Practice. This seminar will provide an in-depth review of these new developments, including practice tips and pitfall warnings that are invaluable for the civil litigator.

For more information or to register, please click here

 

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The Hudson River where the boat accident occurredA woman and a young boy died and 3 other people were critically injured after a boat capsized in the Hudson River. The 27-foot boat was chartered by a family and friends travelling from Colombia and visiting the city. It was  chartered out of New Jersey and the owner of the boat was following them on his jet ski. An amateur video shows the jet ski and the boat travelling side by side and the boat all of sudden capsizing. Investigators are still trying to figure out what were the factors that caused the accident. Overload might have been one of them. Yesterday’s heavy winds and waves might also have contributed to the tragedy.

The little boy was wearing a life jacket

The accident occurred at little bit before 3:00 pm  near Pier 84  located at the west end of 46th street. 12 people were on board when the vessel capsized.  The first to arrive to the scene of the accident were two NY Waterway ferries whose staff were able to rescue most passengers out of the water. However  a 50 year old woman and a 7 year old boy were missing and divers from the NYPD and FDNY were called to the rescue to find them. According to FDNY diver Ryan Warnock who found the little boy, the conditions were very windy and waves were significant. The water was muddy and both the little boy and the woman had swallowed water. The little boy was wearing a life vest but he got trapped under the boat. The rescue team tried to resuscitate them but it was too late. After their death was announced by officials, the owner of the boat collapsed on the ground. 3 other people suffered critical personal injury, including the captain of the boat who was licensed.

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Graphics_Heat_Hydration_InstagramTwo years ago, on July 7 2020 in Geneseo, NY, Tim Barber, a 35 year old construction worker died from heat stress on his second day at work. The young man had just been hired as a construction laborer on the Genesee River bridge project in Geneseo, NY. Tim was living with his parents and came back home on the first day not feeling well. On the second day before he headed back to work, his father told him to eat his lunch, take breaks and drink water. Several hours later, in mid-afternoon, their son died from hyperthermia.

According to the investigation, Tim was working alone in a summer heat that was around 95 degrees. He was sorting bolts which is considered a light duty, however his body was not accustomed to the heat.  The accident could have been prevented and the employer, Pavilion Drainage Supply, Inc. was cited by OSHA for not training and protecting their employees against extreme heat. His parents are now advocating for better  workers education and protection for extreme heat.

Tim’s parents are not the only one campaigning for better workers protection against heat illness and fatality. New York Attorney General Laetitia James is at the head of a coalition of six States that are asking OSHA to implement a national standard to protect not only construction workers but all workers, outdoor and indoor, that are exposed to extreme heat during their work.

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Ghost bike showing locations of previous NYC deadly bicycle accidentsThe NYPD just announced that an e-bike rider was killed in a an accident in Manhattan on July 11th around 12:40 am. The accident occurred on the Second Avenue bike lane near 89th Street. For reasons that so far are unknown, the cyclist who was a delivery person, lost control of the bike and hit a pole. He suffered traumatic brain injury and was pronounced dead upon his arrival to the hospital.

Another young delivery man on a bike died in a crash in the Bronx a week before.  21 year old Christian Castelan was killed by a hit and run driver at the intersection of East 172nd Street and Metcalf Avenue in the Bronx. According to witnesses, a white jeep that had been reported stolen a week before, turned too fast, hit the young cyclist and pinned him against another car. As witnesses ran to help the victim and gathered around him, the driver, a woman, got out of the car, picked up a baby on the back seat and got on board of another car that came to pick her up. Witnesses did not even notice she disappeared.  Christian Castelan had just turned 21 year old last May. He was born in New York and then returned to Mexico when he was a young boy. After he turned 18, he returned to the Bronx and worked as a food delivery person. A vigil was held last Thursday night.

Also in the Bronx, five days earlier, another e-bike rider was killed in a car accident. 26 year old Victoriano Angeles was driving his e-bike on St. Ann’s Ave in Mott Haven in the Bronx when he collided with a 2013 Chevrolet Impala.

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Hylan and Richard where the 3 teens died in a crash3 teenagers who were passengers in a Mustang driven by another teenager were killed in a car crash in New York City on Sunday night. The horrific accident occurred around 8:50 pm on Hylan Boulevard at the intersection of Richard Avenue in Pleasant Plain, Staten Island, NYC. The victims are Ashley Rodriguez who was planning to celebrate her sweet 16 next week, 15 year old Jessie Gil and 16 year old Fernanda Gil. All 3 were passengers in a red Ford Mustang driven by a 16 year old boy who only had a learners permit and was supposed to drive while accompanied by a licensed adult. The 3 passengers are dead and the driver remains in critical condition.

According to the SI Live the group of friends had just attended a birthday party in Tottenville and had decided to go grab snacks at a nearby store with another group of teens riding a Honda Civic. The Mustang departed the group at high speed according to witnesses.  The young driver was speeding east on Hylan Boulevard when a 47 year old diver behind the wheel of a Yukon attempting to make a left turn from Richard Avenue crashed into the side of the Mustang which then careened into a pole on the side of the road.

The driver of the Yukon was driving with a suspended license and was taken into custody while his four passengers, two women of 44 and 19 year old, a 23 year old man and an 11 year old girl were transported to the hospital. They suffered minor injuries.

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Surgery at HospitalWhile too many hospitals in the US are sacrificing patient safety for profit, a small number of them are dedicated to focus on healthcare safety and quality.

NYU Langone Hospitals in New York, NY, Gouverneur Hospital in Gouverneur, NY, White Plains Hospital in White Plains, NY and NYU Langone Hospital Long Island in Mineola, NY are the only 4 hospitals in New York state that have been included in the Best Hospitals in America compiled by Money and the Leapfrog Group.

The Leapfrog Group is a nonprofit organization helping consumers to make informed decision. To be part of the list, hospitals that previously received a A grade from a previous assessment went through an additional assessment of  39 performance measures in the 7 following categories:

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cyber attack can arm patientsHospitals are one of the favorite targets of ransomware hackers because hospitals simply can’t afford to have their IT down as it can cause severe harm or even death to patients. As a result when a hospital  has its systems blocked by hackers it might be more willing to pay a ransom than any other type of organization in order to get their systems working again.

Recently, a debt collection company working with 657 healthcare providers announced that it had been the victim of a cyber attack. Hackers were able to obtain patients information including their name, address, social security number and medical information. It is unclear so far how many patients have been affected but this might have been of of the largest healthcare data breach of 2022.

CISA warns hospitals and healthcare providers of Maui ransomware