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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Julia Sands and Daniel PollakIn their recent article in the New York Law Journal, Julia Sands, A New York Attorney and Daniel Pollack, a professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work in New York City, write: “Discrimination based on gender in many settings is illegal. However, because children in group homes are a particularly sensitive and vulnerable population to work with, there is a potentially tricky balance between steering clear of discrimination while hiring”. There is little information that can be found about the gender of staff members in group homes and there is no legislation in this field. In the article, Sands and Pollack review legal cases in the correction field  dealing with cross-gender supervision that may serve as examples for the residential group home arena.

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gas-metersTo prevent dangerous gas explosions or other gas accidents in New York City, the New York City Council passed the Gas Piping Work Civil Penalty Amnesty Program last spring.  This program that will end soon offers home owners the opportunity to bring potentially unsafe gas piping work up to code compliance without being subjected to any penalties. Home owners have until October 5th to apply for a permit. In most cases the Department of Building will authorize the request the same day as it was submitted.  For more information email LAA-Amnesty@buildings.nyc.gov read this Patch article

This amnesty program was created after investigations in recent deadly NYC gas explosions concluded that explosions were caused by negligent or illegal installations of pipes. In 2014 an explosion in an East Harlem building caused the death of 8 people. Last year another explosion in the East Village destroyed 3 buildings and killed two people.

Picture: courtesy of DOB

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matthew vo nohlen died in a NYC bicycle accidentLast year Matthew Von Ohlen was riding his bike when he was intentionally hit by a driver who left him dying at the scene of the accident. The accident occurred on July 2nd 2016 on the Grand Street bike lane in East Williamsburg. Brooklyn, NYC.  Von Ohlen was heading home after a night shift at work in Manhattan. Surveillance video of the accident show Von Ohlen riding in the designated bike lane and being intentionally struck by a car. The video clearly shows the car slowing down and moving into the bike lane to strike him. The bicyclist fell, the car ran over him and then dragged him 10 to 20 feet before speeding away. The  car driver was later identified as 56 year old Juan Maldonado,a  South Williamsburg resident. He was arrested by the police.

During an 11-day trial , Maldonado appeared in a courtroom filled with friends and family members of Matthew Von Ohlen. On Monday the jury delivered the verdict after 3 hours of deliberation. Maldonado was found guilty of manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal crash, and reckless driving.  Maldonado will appear in Court again on October 18 when he may be sentenced for up to 15 years in prison.

Read more in DNA Info

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motorcyle accident2 men died in motorcycle accidents in NY on Monday.

A Queens motorcyclist died after colliding with a car around 7:30 pm. 26 year old Jamie Pusey was riding his motorcycle on Merrick Boulevard when he collided with a car near 130th Street in St. Albans. The motorcyclist flew of  his bike and fatally fell on the asphalt. The 20 year old driver stayed at the scene of the accident. He wasn’t charged. Investigation is ongoing.

The accident occurred just an hour after another biker was killed in Long Island.

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Inadequately Maintained Building New YorkA woman fell 6 feet after the sidewalk of an inadequately maintained building collapsed under her. 47 year old Mariana Fuentes is a flower vendor in Washington Heights. Last Saturday around 7:40 am she parked her cart next to a building located on West 158th Street near Broadway. Suddenly the sidewalk collapsed and she fell 6 feet down into an abandoned underground vault. Her husband who was standing near her when the accident happened watched in horror. There wasn’t much he could do to help her as he was himself injured after having been run over by a city bus a while ago.

A good Samaritan who saw the accident, brought a ladder and went down to help Fuentes. He found her lying on the ground with a big concrete slab on her leg. He wasn’t able to remove it but he stayed next to Fuentes until EMS arrive. The firefighters were able to free her and bring her out on a backboard. She was transported to the hospital with serious injuries. Inspectors from the Department of Building came and issued a partial vacate order for the underground vault and the sidewalk as well as for an adjacent building. A sign on the building  read “The Department of Buildings has determined that conditions on these premises are imminently perilous to life”. The hole was covered with police tape and plywood.

The Fuentes have been living on the block for more than 20 years. The flower business is the family’s only income.

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Hudson Yard had many construction accidents2 construction workers died and another one was seriously injured in New York last Thursday at 2 different locations.  The first fatal accident occurred around 9:15 in the morning. 43 year old Juan Chonillo, a veteran construction worker and a father of 5 was working on the 29th floor of the 1 Seaport Residences construction site when he lost his balance. He fatally fell on the top of the scaffold bridge installed above the sidewalk. Just before the accident Chonillo was raising a concrete framework to lay concrete on the floor. According to his cousin Angel Munoz, at the time of the accident Chonillo was trying “to free the crane from the building after a cable got stuck somehow”. Chonillo who was trained and certified. He was wearing his harness but it wasn’t attached to anything. Chonillo had 10 years experience in the New York construction industry including several construction sites in the Financial district. The day before the accident the DOB issued a partial  stop work order for the unsafe operation of a crane. It appeared that the crane had been installed without a permit. It is not exactly clear so far if the death of the worker is directly related to the unsafe installation of the crane. Prior to the accident the construction site was hit with 28 complaints including several failures  to safeguard workers and property and a failure to provide a concrete safety manager at the time of an inspection. Chonillo was employed by the contractor Pizzarotti IBC. The construction site of the luxury all-glass residential building is located at 161 Maiden Lane.

Later on during the same day, two other construction workers fell 36 feet from a bucket lift at a construction site located at 401 9th Ave. The buildiing is part of the Hudson Yards development. One of the workers died and the other one was seriously injured. He was rushed to the hospital. According to NBC New York, the two workers were wearing a safety harness but were not attached to the bucket. It is the second time that a worker fell to his death at this location. Last June, Roger Vail was surveying the 16th floor of the building when he stood on a wooden platform that gave way (see previous blog).  The site was temporarily shut down in June and then re-opened after a safety plan was submitted to the city. Read more in the NY Daily News

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accident sceneA pedestrian in a wheelchair was seriously injured after being hit by a cab in New York. The elderly man whose identity wasn’t revealed was in a motorized wheelchair on Park Ave near 86th street when the taxi struck him. The accident occurred yesterday afternoon around 2 pm. The cab driver stayed at the scene of the accident. The NY Daily News indicates that he was taken into custody for a charge not related to the accident.

Over the summer several accidents involving yellow cabs occurred on the Upper East Side. On September 14th a woman died after being hit by two consecutive yellow cabs on Lexington between 68th and 69th street (see previous blog). In August, a family who was brunching at the corner of 85th and Second Ave was almost killed after two cabs collided (see previous blog).  In July, 80 year old Barbara Horn was killed by a yellow taxi while she was in the crosswalk. The taxi was making a left turn from third Ave onto 70th street (see previous blog).

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3 people died and 16 suffered injury in a bus accident that occurred in Queens, NYC, last week. Around 6:00 am last Monday, 49-year-old Raymond Mong was driving an empty charter bus owned by the Dahlia tour company when he ran a red light and crashed into a MTA bus in Flushing. The crash occurred at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and Main Street.  Footage from a security camera shows the Dahlia bus recklessly speeding through the intersection and crashing into the MTA bus which was making a right turn from Main street onto Northern Boulevard.

The bus driver, Raymond Mong, died in the accident as well as a pedestrian (68 year old Henry Wdowiak) and a MTA bus rider (55 year old Gregory Liljefors). Among the 16 other people who were injured in the accident, five of them were still hospitalized with 3 of them in critical condition.  According to the most recent results of the investigation,  Mong drove through the intersection at a speed of 58 mph. The maximum speed limit in the city is 25 mph.

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Our 2017 Super Lawyers New York Metro Personal InjurySuper-lawyers-goldGair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is proud to announce that 11 of their New York personal injury lawyers were named 2017 Super Lawyers for the New York Metro area. The 11 named are Marijo Adimey, Jeffrey Bloom, Seymour Boyers, Diana Carnemolla, Anthony Gair, Howard Hershenhorn, Jerome Katz, Stephen Mackauf, Ben Rubinowitz, Peter Saghir and Richard Steigman. Among them, our our managing partner Ben Rubinowitz and our senior partner Jeffrey Bloom also made the top 100 New York Metro Super Lawyers.

The firm also would like to congratulate NY personal Injury Lawyers Christopher Donadio, Rachel Jacobs and Allen Zachary for their selection as Rising Stars for the New York Metro area.

Over the last 12 years, no other personal injury law firm in New York City had that many attorneys selected by Super Lawyers.  7 of  our senior partners have been nominated for 12 consecutive years. All our attorneys have extensive experience in the field of  personal injury law. They have honed their skills and developed expertise in Construction Accidents, Auto Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability and other areas of personal injury litigation. The firm has gained a national reputation as “counsel to the profession”.

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truck and bicycle accident locationA cyclist was fatally hit by a truck in New York  and another one was critically injured after being struck by a car yesterday in Brooklyn. The first accident occurred in  Crown Heights, Brooklyn, around 7:00 am. A  35 year old man was riding his bike on Utica Avenue when he got hit by a car at the intersection of Empire Boulevard. The cyclist suffered critical injury and was rushed to a nearby hospital. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged. (read more on PIX11).

Another bicycle accident occurred later on around 5:45 pm in Manhattan. A box truck  fatally hit a cyclist. The 38 year old truck driver was driving East on Walker Street. As he was making a right turn onto Broadway he hit 48 year old Yan Jindee who was riding her bike.  A witness working near the scene of the accident said he heard a loud bang and stepped out. He saw the victim on the ground. When the paramedics arrived the victim was unconscious. They performed CPR on her for a few minutes but they couldn’t save her. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident. According to the police, it is not clear yet if he is facing charges or not. There are no bike lanes  either on Walker or on Broadway. (read more in the NY Daily  News)

Picture of the location of the accident between the truck and the bicycle, courtesy of Google Map