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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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11 construction workers died and 586 were injured on the job in New York City last year according to statistics from the NYC Department of Buildings.  Half of the fatalities occurred in Manhattan, 2 in Brooklyn, 2 in Queens and one in the Bronx. No fatalities were reported in Staten Island.  12 construction workers died yearly during the 4 previous years. When looking at these numbers it is important to keep in mind that the NYC Department of Buildings has very narrow criteria to count construction fatalities in the city and an estimated one third of the construction deaths recorded by OSHA in New York City dot not appear in the DOT stats.

Construction accident fatalities NYC 2019
The number of workers injured in construction accidents in New York City last year declined compared to the 3 previous years but was higher than in 2015. 586 construction workers sustained injuries on construction sites in the city last year compared to 761 in 2018, 666 in 2017, 599 in 2016 and 472 in 2015 according to the DOT statistics. Most accidents occurred on Manhattan construction sites followed by Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island. The monthly number of hard hats injured on the job reached a peak in August at 62 and were above 50 during the warm season in May, June, July and September. During all other months of 2019 the number of injuries recorded on NYC construction sites in 2019 was below 50. This is quite an improvement compared to the year before during which injuries almost reached 100 in May and were above 50 every month except for November and December.

onstruction accident injuries in 2019 in New York
Manhattan Construction accident deaths and injuries are still on a rising trend despite a decline in both deaths and injuries last year.  4 construction workers died in Manhattan during the 3 month period of April, May and June and 2 others in October. July and August had the highest number of injuries with 38 workers injured in July and 34 in August.

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accident sceneTraffic fatalities in New York City were up again last year after five years of decline (see previous blog).  A recent article in the New York Times takes an in-depth look at the NYC motor vehicle accident crashes to find out if it was possible to identify specific patterns in the accidents that lead to injuries and deaths. The findings show that despite the common perception that pedestrians are not careful enough while crossing the street and that cyclists ride like dare-devils, most pedestrian and bicyclist deaths were caused by distracted driving or failure to yield. Pedestrian and cyclist errors were only cited in 5% of the fatalities.

When a driver fatally hits a pedestrian or a cyclist in New York, there is a good chance that he or she will not face serious consequences as long as the driver is not drunk and stays at the scene of the accident. Last year 28 cyclists died after being struck by vehicles but only 4 drivers were arrested . 8 others received a summons. The police often blame the victim.  Last year, Susan Moses, a 63 year old woman was killed by a Lyft driver on a busy street with no bike lane. In their report, the police blame Ms Moses for moving across the road to turn left and not wearing a helmet. They did not charge the driver despite camera footage showing the Lyft driver recklessly crossing the double line in the middle of Kings Highway to try to pass the cyclist as she was trying to turn.  Later on in a very rare move, a judge from the Department of Motor Vehicle reviewed the footage and revoked the driver’s license. The judge said that she didn’t agree with the police statement and that the driver was responsible for the accident. Previous to working for Lyft, The driver who killed Ms Mos used to work for Uber but he accumulated so many complaints from passengers that Uber removed him from the App in 2018.

Some locations such as Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Third Avenue and Southern Brooklyn are among the most dangerous areas for cyclists to ride. Brooklyn has the most cyclist deaths among all New York City boroughs. Other locations such as 125th Street and Chelsea in Manhattan as well as the South area of Prospect Park have a high rate of pedestrian accidents.   A significant part of the accidents are caused by trucks and large vehicles such as SUVs.

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accident sceneA pedestrian was killed  by a car and a cyclist was seriously injured after being struck by a van in New York City last week. Both accidents were caused by reckless drivers.

A man walking his dog in Bay Ridge died after he was struck by a speeding 19 year old driver. 66 year old Frank Decolvenaere was crossing in the crosswalk at the intersection of Fourth Ave and 101 Street around 7:00 pm on Thursday when he was struck by a speeding Mercedez Benz 350. Since 2019, the car had 4 school speeding violations, 4 parking tickets and an expired inspection sticker. Frank was found lying in the crosswalk covered in blood. His dog ran 10 blocks home to alert his wife.  (Read more in Street Blog)

Earlier during the week, on Tuesday, a 25 year old driver backing her car out of a driveway hit a 57 year old pedestrian. The accident occurred at a private driveway locate at 30-23 69th Street in Elmhurst, Queens. The man was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The woman stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged (Read more in QNS)

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Jeff-Bloom2Congratulations to our partner Jeffrey Bloom for being listed as the 19th most politically powerful lawyer in New York in the 2020 Law Power 100. Jeffrey serves as the Co-Chair of the Medical Malpractice Committee and LAWPAC of New York (the Trial Lawyers’ political action committee) for the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo described the trial lawyers as “the single most powerful political force in Albany”.

Jeff has been with our firm since he graduated from law school in 1979.  He is recognized as one of the best personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys in New York and has helped his clients successfully achieve numerous multi-million dollar recoveries.  Among his notable cases, he served as lead counsel representing the Estate of Joan Rivers in a medical malpractice action arising from her death following surgery at an ambulatory surgical center. Jeff also specializes in cases of  cancer patients  who have been misdiagnosed. He was instrumental in the 2018 enactment of“Lavern’s Law,” which, for the first time in New York, mandated that the statute of limitations in cases on behalf of cancer patients and their families begins to run when the patient reasonably discovers that he/she has been the victim of malpractice.

A 2020 Law Power 100 Reception will take place tomorrow at The Ainsworth Chelsea in Manhattan.

 

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Construction-workers-injuries-preventionSafety on construction sites is not only about preventing accidents but also about keeping construction workers healthy and preventing injuries.

Because of the nature of the tasks they perform on a daily basis, construction workers are at a high risk of developing work-related muskuloskeletal disorders (WMSDs) also known as soft tissues injuries.

Keeping  a worker free from injuries is a win win situation for both the employer and the worker

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ToyotaA potentially defective fuel pump in some Toyota and Lexus models manufactured between 2013 and 2018 may cause the vehicle to stop operating. The defect was previously reported in January and 700,000 were recalled at that time. Yesterday the manufacturer announced that it was expanding the recall for the same defect to a total of 1.8 million vehicles. The models recalled are:

  • 2013-2015 Model Year Lexus LS 460;
  • 2013-2014 Model Year Lexus GS 350;
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As investigations continue into past clergy sexual abuses, Propublica found that many of the priests that had been accused of abusing children were sent abroad by the Catholic Church and some continue to work with children.

Many abusers were sent to Mexico

In an article released Today, Propublica reveals that investigators were able to track 51 priests who had been accused of sexually abusing children and who were then kept on the church payroll but sent abroad in various countries such as Ireland, Nigeria, the Philippines and Mexico (21 of them were sent there).  One of them was Rev.Jose Antonio Pinal. Back in the 80ies Pinal was a young Mexican priest sent to the Parish of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Gridley, a small city in rural California. Pinal developed a friendship with a family of Mexican immigrants and helped them with some administrative tasks such as filling an application for food stamps. Their son Ricardo who was 15 at the time was encouraged to become an altar boy. When Ricardo went to the Parish, Pinal gave him alcohol, showed him porn movies and raped him. After the rape was discovered, lawyers assured Ricardo’s family that Pinal would never been allowed around children again.

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24 cyclists, 116 pedestrians, 17 motor vehicle passengers and 57 drivers were killed in 209,291 auto accidents in New York City in 2019. The total number of accidents recorded last year was significantly lower than the 3 previous years during which it was above 227,000 however traffic fatalities were higher last year than the two previous years.


auto accidents NYC 2019

After reaching a record low at 199 in 2018, crash fatalities in New York increased to 214 last year. Since 2013 traffic fatalities gradually went down every year. This is the first year since Vision Zero was implemented in 2014 that fatalities went back up from one year to the other. While fatalities are globally on a declining trend despite the recent increase last year, the number of people injured in car accidents in New York is on a rising trend. NYC Auto accident injuries  reached a record high last year and were above 6,000 for the first time. They slightly decreased in 2019 but kept around the 6,000 level. The increase in injuries sustained in car crashes is mostly due to a rising number of drivers being injured. One reason might be that because the speed limit was lower in the city, less people are dying in car accidents but more are injured. Distracted driving might be another reason why more drivers are getting injured in auto accidents in New York.

Traffic fatalities and injuries in New York City in 2019
Bicyclists are the only category of  New York road users who continue to experience a rising trend of accidents, injuries and deaths. After cyclists fatalities reached a record low at 9 in 2018, they reached a record high at 24 in 2019.  Last year as bicycle fatalities were surging quickly, Mayor de Blasio announced a new bike safety plan entitled the Green Wave. The plan is:

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location of the child pedestrian accidentA 7 year old male pedestrian was fatally struck by a car in New York City on Thursday.

Payson Lott was walking to school with his mom. They were in the crosswalk with the light in their favor at the intersection of Blake Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue when a Jeep recklessly struck them. Payson died in the accident. Her mother Shadeen Lott suffered personal injury.

RECKLESS DRIVER

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construction workers65 construction workers died from unintentional overdose while on the job in the US in 2018 compared to respectively 48, 32, 27, 18, 17, 7 and 7 in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. These deaths represent more than a quarter of the 305 overdose fatalities at workplaces recorded for all industries in the US in 2018. The construction industry is one of the most affected industries by the opioid crisis in the US.

In its recently published Quarterly Data Report, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) provides an in-depth analysis of the dramatic increase of unintentional overdose fatalities on american construction sites.

HIGH NUMBER OF UNINTENTIONAL OVERDOSE FATALITIES ON CONSTRUCTION SITES IN THE NORTH EAST REGION