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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N-NitrosodimethylamineEuropean and US Health regulators found that Zantac and other generic versions of the heartburn pill contain small amounts of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a cancer-causing chemical that is classified in the United States as an extremely hazardous substance.

No official recall announced but distribution of the potentially dangerous medication stopped by some companies

No official recall has been announced yet by Sanofi, the Zantac maker. Howver another big pharma, Novartis, which produces a generic version of the medication has announced that it stopped distributing the dangerous medication to the European and the American markets.

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Lead poisoning can cause lifetime injuries especially when it affects unborn children, babies or toddlers. Damage to the brain and the nervous system leading to compartmental behavior issues such as irritability, hyperactivity or inattentiveness, learning and reading disorders, delayed gross and hearing loss are among the most common consequences of lead poisoning. Lead paint in housing was banned in the early 70ies and in New York City, The City’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act (Local Law 1 of 2004) requires landlords to check their propriety for lead and take necessary action to remove it if the building was built before 1960 (or if the owner knows lead paint was used between 1960 and 1978 and if children below the age of 6 live in their property).  The plan of the city was to eliminate lead poisoning by the year 2010 but a report by the New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer found that between January 1, 2013 and October 10, 2018 alone, 26,027 children under the age of 18 tragically tested positive for elevated blood lead levels of 5 micro-grams per deciliter (5 mcg/dL) or greater. Furthermore the investigation found that the city knew about it and didn’t take any measures to protect these children.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) received thousands of alarming blood results each of them with the name and the address of the children but the results where never shared with the the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) so they could proactively inspect the locations at risk and take the appropriate measures to address the dangerous situation. Instead HPD only deployed inspectors on locations after receiving complaints from residents.  The report shows that the city clearly missed its goal to eradicate childhood lead poisoning and protect children from the irreparable arm associated with lead exposure. While the City issued the LeadFreeNYC Plan in 2019, the report shows its complete failure  to leverage its own data related to lead exposure and utilize that data to precisely and methodically inspect buildings and areas most likely to pose a threat to children.

Read Report here

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Borden-Ave-and-11streetA 14 year old cyclist was fatally struck by a truck in New York City on Saturday afternoon. Mario Valenzuela was riding his bike on Borden Avenue around 2:00 pm Saturday afternoon when a truck belonging to limited Interior Group, a private sanitation company, made a right turn onto 11th street and fatally struck him.

The 33 year old truck driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged even though he violated the Right of Way Law.

Last week an off duty cop on a motorcycle was also killed by a private sanitation truck in the Bronx and at the beginning of the month another cyclist suffered critical head injury after he was struck by a dump truck in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Plans to reform the industry and reduce truck roads by having a limited number of companies taking care of specific areas have all been opposed so far.

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Two elderly pedestrians died in Queens last week after they were struck by cars in two different accidents.

The first one occurred on Tuesday afternoon around 5:35 pm in a residential neighborhood of Jamaica. An 85 year old pedestrian was crossing 89th Avenue in the crosswalk when a car making a left turn from 170th Street fatally struck him. Despite violating the Right of Way Law, the driver who stayed at the scene of the accident wasn’t charged. The accident occurred in the 27th City Council District. This area is considered to be one of the most dangerous in New York City. Last year, more than five thousand crashes injuring 42 cyclists, 224 pedestrians, 1,447 motorists and killing 2 pedestrians and 4 motorists were reported in this district.  (Read more in StreetBlog).

The second deadly Queens pedestrian accident took place on Saturday. 75 year old Elou Rakhminov was crossing Jewel Avenue near the intersection of 141st Avenue in Kew Gardens Hills around 9:20 am when he was mowed down by a car. The 3o year old driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged.  The pedestrian was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved. (Read more in Street Blog)

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location of the reckless driving fatal accidentReckless driving killed another NYC pedestrian: a one year old girl who was in a stroller pushed by her mother on a Bronx sidewalk. The fatal accident occurred on Tuesday afternoon. The mother of 1 year old Djeneba Magassa was pushing her daughter in her stroller on the sidewalk of  East 215th Street near Mama G African Kitchen when a reckless 22 year old driver identified as Kier Boneparte lost control of his white BMW SUV, jumped the curb and pinned the stroller against the wall. A man sitting in front of a grocery store a few steps away heard a loud noise and a woman screaming for help. He ran to the corner and with another man they pushed the car to free the baby. The mother and the daughter were rushed to the hospital. When they arrived, one year old Djeneba was pronounced dead.

The driver of the BMW stayed at the scene of the accident. When the police arrived they tested him to check if he was intoxicated but he wasn’t. However the police found out that he didn’t have a driving license.

Last week 4 pedestrians including a 10 year old boy waiting at a bus stop, were killed by reckless drivers in New York City and none of them were charged (see previous blog).  In this case, the was charged with reckless driving, driving without a license or insurance and failing to yield to a pedestrian.  (Read more in the New York Times )

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An off duty high-ranking NYPD cop died in the Bronx after a garbage truck making a left turn hit his motorcycle. Around 8:15 am on Monday morning, 56 year old Michael McGrath, was riding his bike south on East Tremont Ave when a dump truck making a left turn onto Waterbury Avenue hit him. He was rushed to the hospital where he later died from his injuries. The driver of the truck stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t immediately charged. Inspector McGrath was the commanding officer of the NYPD’s Strategic Services Division. He was in charge of the department’s cadet program providing internships and police training for college students interested in a law enforcement career.

The accident occurred less than 10 days after a 62 year old e-biker suffered critical head injury after colliding with a garbage truck in Gowanus, Brooklyn. The accident was pretty similar to the one that killed Inspector Mc Grath. The dump truck struck the e-biker while making a left turn from third Ave onto 12th Street. The driver was a 52 year old off-duty firefighter working an authorized second job.

Hell on Wheels

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Personal Injury Attorney Ben RubinowitzThis Friday, September 20,  Ben Rubinowitz will be lecturing for the New York State Trial Lawyers annual Decisions Program. Ben will be lecturing on trial practice and will be giving specific examples  from recent cases dealing with thorny evidentiary issues and up-to-date Case law. His lecture will discuss recent issues and holdings by trial and appellate courts. Ben’s lecture is one that has been viewed in the past as essential for any trial lawyer working on medical malpractice, products liability or general negligence cases.

The program will take place at the Hotel Pennsylvania located at 401 7th Avenue In Manhattan. For more information or to register click here

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Police are looking for a reckless driver who fatally struck a pedestrian in Brooklyn, NYC. The accident occurred on Albany Avenue near Park Place in Crown Heights on Sunday morning around 5:30 am. 30 year old Kaseem Mathhew, a father of two  was hit by a speeding car whose driver left him dying in the street. He was found dead in the street by a neighbor who called the police.

3 other pedestrians lost their life in NYC last week after being hit by a car. Last Thursday night 72 year old Juan Mendez, a Queen’s resident was working as a security guard in a booth located in front of a building located on Paidge Ave near Newton Creek in Greenpoint. He was in the booth when a 62 year old driver lost control of his SUV and crashed into the booth. Mendez was rushed to the hospital with severe injuries to his leg where he later died from his injuries. The SUV driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t immediately charged.

Earlier during the week, on Tuesday afternoon around 2:45 pm, 10 year old Enzo Farachio was standing at a bus stop located at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Avenue L in Midwood, Brooklyn. He was fatally struck by a driver who lost control of his vehicle and jumped the curb. The 59 year old driver then crashed into a nearby building with a scaffolding causing the scaffolding to crash on the car. A 9 year old girl who was a passenger in the car suffred pelvic and arm injuries and was transported to the hospital. Again the driver wasn’t charged and the police told the media that “he possibly suffered a medical episode”.  However, reporters ran his license plates through “howsmydriving” and found he previously had 4 school zone speed camera violations.

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E-Cigarette-16 people have now died in the US and 450 others, including 64 of them in New York, have suffered lung injuries connected to vaping. In order to prevent more deaths and injuries related to vaping in New York State, Governor Cuomo just announced that he is planning to issue an emergency regulation to ban all vape flavors beside tobacco and menthol.  By banning fruity and sweet flavors such as bubble gum,  cotton candy or captain crunch that are usually appealing to teenage customers, the governor hopes that he can fight addiction to nicotine at an early age.  Tobacco and menthol flavors will be allowed as some studies have indicated that vaping might help smokers to quit cigarettes. The American Lung Association released a statement criticizing Cuomo’s decision to keep tobacco and menthol flavors saying that it will just make more people addicted to menthol flavor.  The governor said a ban of menthol might be considered in the future.

Investigation by the NY Department of Health

In addition to the ban, the NY Department of health will also investigate the 64 cases of lung injuries that occurred in New York State.  So far it has been difficult to identify exactly what caused some vape users to check in to the emergency room however according to the NY Department of Health many cases were linked to cannabis products which contained a high level of vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E acetate acts as a thickening agent for vaping products. As a result of this preliminary investigation, Cuomo also directed the Department of Health to subpoena companies that are manufacturing and selling what is called “thickening agents” which are often added to black market products.

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51 pedestrians, 13 cyclists 11 passengers and 28 motorists died in auto accidents in New York City during the first semester of 2019. After two consecutive years of decline, traffic fatalities in the city went back above 100 at 101 during the first six months of the year compared to respectively 84, 96, 107, 107, 97 and 121 in the same period of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Fatalities increased for all categories of road users except for motorist deaths which stayed stable at 26 during the first semester of this year and the previous one. Auto-accident-fatalities-NYC-first-semester-2019

NYC Traffic injuries reached a record high at 29,081 during the first semester of the year compared to respectively 28,544, 27,923, 27,540, 23,530, 24,508 and 26,119 during the first semester of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. All category of road users except pedestrians suffered more injuries during this semester than during the previous one.

Car Accident Injuries New York first semester 2019
While the total number of bicycle accidents reported to the NYPD during the first semester of 2019 was slightly lower than the number of accidents reported during the same period of 2018, cyclist fatalities more than doubled during the first six months of the year compared to the first semester of 2018 to reach a record high of 13.  Bicycle accident injuries jumped to 1,907, a record high as well. These numbers came as a bad surprise as 6 months earlier, the de Blasio administration which had been promoting using bicycles to commute around the city was proudly announcing that the number of cyclists killed in the city reached a record low of 9 for the entire year of 2018 and that Vision Zero Initiatives were working. A similar pattern occurring in 2015 and 2016 is an indication that despite all Vision Zero improvements, the city remains a dangerous and deadly place to ride a bicycle.