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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17 people were injured in a fire that erupted in a Manhattan building early Wednesday morning.  Among the injured were 14 firefighters and 3 residents who were treated for smoke inhalation, heat exhaustion and minor injuries. The fire was so smoky that it was difficult for residents that were being evacuated to see where they were going. The firefighters stayed on location for 6 hours.

Most of a roof extension located on the first floor of the building was on fire and  posing a risk of collapse,preventing firefighters to get in that small section of the building. Investigation is still ongoing but according to the media, the fire probably started a little bit before 2 am on the first floor of the five-story building located on 188 First Avenue between 11th and 12th Street. The restaurant Uogashi as well as the 8 apartments of the building were badly damaged by the smoke and the fire. The East Side Community High School at 420 East 12th Street near First Avenue and P.S. 19 at 185 First Avenue near East 12th Street were closed for one day to make sure students didn’t get exposed to smoke.

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Jeffrey-Bloom2Our partner, NYC Medical Malpractice Lawyer Jeffrey Bloom, was recently invited to be a faculty member at the “Mount Sinai Update 2018: Breast Imaging” seminar that occurred October 1st to 3rd in New York. Jeff  spoke on how to reduce Medical Malpractice Exposure.  Organized by The International Institute for Continuing Medical Education, the seminar covered all clinical aspects of breast imaging including mammography, digital breast tomosynthesis,  breast ultrasound, breast MRI, molecular breast imaging and interventional procedures, as well as medicolegal issues. Jeff was part of a faculty of  nineteen nationally and internationally recognized experts.

More info about the seminar can be found here

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surgeonLast year a neurosurgeon was sentenced to life in prison after it was found that he committed medical malpractice and butchered 33 of the 37 patients he operated on, including two who didn’t survive. His name is Christopher Duntsch. After he was arrested in Dallas, his story was covered by all the local media who nicknamed him Dr. Death. A few days ago, ProPublica released  the result of an  in-depth investigation on his story and describes how the case had to be taken to the criminal system because the medical system wasn’t working and patients couldn’t be protected.

After an unsuccessful beginning of a career as a football player, Duntsch decided to become a neurosurgeon. He was able to get his undergraduate degree and to enroll  at the University of Tennessee at Memphis College of Medicine to get an M.D. and a P.H.D. During his surgical residency, with a few partners, he launched DiscGenics, a company that was developing and selling disc stem cells.

Duntsch also developed a terrible cocaine habit and had the reputation of being a party animal. He would often do cocaine and alcohol all night and go straight to his residency to the hospital. His partners at DiscGenics worried about it and forced him out of the business.

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diabetic-medicineThe rising prices of insulin has lead diabetes patients to cut back on insulin or to buy it on the black market putting them at risk of dangerous injury and even death. In 1996, a vial of Humalog insulin cost $21, it now costs close to $400. While the price of milk increased by 23%, over the last 20 years, the price of insulin increased by 1150%.

A mother interviewed by CBS New York said that even though she has insurance for her diabetic daughter, she has to pay $1300 out of pocket every 3 months. Other patients are turning to the black market where they can find insulin for much cheaper. This practice is dangerous as unscrupulous dealers might sell fake products that can have deadly consequences.

A recent study by Yale  researchers also found out that many patients are cutting on their insulin dose to try to save money. As a result they are exposing themselves to dangerous levels of glucose in the blood which ultimately can lead to death.

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Citi BikeThe bus driver who fatally struck a cyclist on West 26th Street, New York, was found guilty of  violating New York City’s Right of Way Law, failure to exercise due care and traffic violation, after a trial that lasted two days.

On a Monday morning in June 2017, Dan Hanegby was pedaling to work on West 26th Street. The street has no bike lane and cyclists share the road with motor vehicles. David Lewis who was driving a Coach USA bus arrived behind the biker, clearly saw him and barreled past him in a narrow area of the street instead of slowing down and waiting for a safer opportunity to pass the bike. The bicyclist was knocked down by the bus and died.

During the trial the attorney for the bus driver tried to blame the victim and claimed that Hanegby lost control of his bike. However a surveillance video from a nearby building clearly shows that the bicyclist drove on a straight line and that because vehicles were parked on both sides of the street, it was just too narrow for the bus driver to pass the bike. The video also shows that the bus driver doesn’t slow down at any moment. Not before and not after the accident, completely failing to exercise caution.

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Last Halloween, a terrorist driving a rental truck plowed into bicyclists and pedestrians on the Greenway bike path along the West Side Highway near Battery Park. In his act of terror, Sayfullo Saipov killed 8 people and injured 13 others after he entered the bike path  North of Chambers Street and drove 14 blocks down the path, striking bicyclists and pedestrians on his way.  The police were able to stop him after he slammed into a school bus at the Chambers Street intersection and tried to run away on foot.

According to the authorities, Saipov was inspired by the Islamic Sate group when he committed his act of terror. He is now behind bars and held without bail. He pleaded not guilty but the federal prosecutors announced on Friday that they are seeking the death penalty which is extremely rare in New York. The last time it occurred was in 1953 for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Our firm represents most of the victims of the terror attack and while this decision by the  federal prosecutors will satisfy the families of the victims it will never make up for their losses.

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5 young pedestrians from Long Island, NY, were injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver. On Sunday afternoon, 59 year old, Thomas Murphy was drunk behind the wheel of his Mercedes when he struck a group of 5 boy scouts walking on the shoulder of David Terry Road in Shoreham. The boys aged from 12 to 16 year old were all injured in the accident, one of them so badly that he had to be transported to the hospital by helicopter. The driver was charged with driving while intoxicated and was held overnight at the police station. The 5 boys, including the one who was critically injured, are expected to survive. They were on their way to a hike onto the Greenbelt Trail in Manorville organized by Troop 161 in Shoreham when the accident occurred.  Read more in NewsDay

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An 18 year old driver died and his 22 year old female passenger is in critical condition following a terrible crash in the Bronx, NYC. The teenager was driving his car on the Hutchinson Parkway in the Bronx around 2:30 am on Monday. As he was near the New England Thruway he sideswiped a BMW with his Subaru and then crashed into a tree. His car was completely mangled. He and his passenger were both transported to the hospital. He was declared dead when he arrived. The passenger was listed in critical condition.

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of deaths for teenagers in America in front of suicide, homicide and cancer. Every year around 3000 teenagers are killed in car accidents and thousands more are injured . According to statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 16 to 19 year old drivers are 3 times more likely to die in a car accident than drivers 20-year-old and above. 2/3 of the teens who are killed in car accidents are boys. Distracted driving and underage drinking are often a factor.

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nursing homeUnderstaffed nursing homes cause patients to be neglected. The most common result is the development of bed sores or broken bones after a fall, both leading to hospitalization.

Until recently, the five star rating system published by the government  to help American families find a nursing home for their loved ones wasn’t  taking the payroll of each facility into account for their ranking. However in 2010, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicare collect and publish payroll data of nursing home instead of having the nursing home reporting their own data to the government.  Medicare found that many nursing homes were reporting numbers exaggerating staffing that were masking significant fluctuation in day-to-day staffing with huge shortfalls during the weekends.

As a result 1,387 of the 15,616 skilled nursing facilities in the country received the lowest rating, one star, for staffing after Medicare recently changed its rating.

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Virtual reality (VR) can help prevent construction accident injuries and deaths. Recently, the American Society of Safety Professionals developed a virtual reality app for fall protection training. The app provides an immersive experience where the trainee is transported on the roof of a building, has to identify hazards and select the the proper equipment and tools to execute a dangerous task. The advantage of virtual reality is that it can virtually put workers in dangerous situations and let them experience how their actions can affect outcomes without taking any safety risks. So far the app is pretty basic but as technology continues to develop, it has a great potential to become a fantastic training tool for fall prevention.

Other simulators such as welding simulators are now used by 30% of union chapters in the US. Virtual sprayers to learn how to paint have also been in use for the last 5 years saving a lot of paint and material. A virtual lift simulator was presented last year at the Iron Workers annual conference as well as a beta version of a virtual training room where several trainees can work together in the same space.  More and more unions are considering adding VR in their training programs especially now that VR providers are trying to bring the costs down.