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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Bianca Bennett died in a NYC crashA NYPD officer died and a sergeant was seriously injured in a car accident that occurred last week in the Bronx. 27 year old rookie officer Bianca Bennett was a passenger in a car driven by Sergeant Randolph Price. Both cops were off-duty. They were returning from a diner with friends in City Island.  Price who was speeding, lost control of his vehicle and careened into a tree stump. The car flipped upside down and burst into flames. Two other cops on their way home from the firing range saw the accident and ran to the rescue. They were able to pull Price out of the flames but it was too late to save Bennett. According to them she was so badly burned that it was impossible to determine if she was a woman or a man.  27 year old Bennett was fiancee to her high school sweetheart Micheal Coleman, they were about to get married in April. A vigil was held yesterday in the East Village. Read more in the NY Daily News

 

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The number of pedestrians hit by cars in The NYC 112th Precinct increased by 64% in January 2017 compared to January 2016. Last month 23 people were struck by cars in Forest Hill and Rego Park in Queens compared to 14 during the same period of 2016. Many of the pedestrian accidents occurred during a turn. In order to try to reduce these types of crashes, the NYPD 112th Precinct launched a campaign to tell motorists to be careful while driving through an intersection or trough crosswalks. Last week officers handed flyers to motorists containing Zero Vision information and also specific reminder about speed, not cutting corners and being especially on the look out for pedestrians after sunset. Read more in DNA Info

tweet from the NYPD to prevent pedestrian accidents

 

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Rubinowitz-Ben-B_12d7428b-27a7-4195-bebc-7788dce430881Ben Rubinowitz, a partner at our firm, has been asked by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine to deliver a Grand Rounds lecture to its radiologists. This talk will specifically focus on medical malpractice and communication issues that lead to medical negligence. Throughout his 30 years as a trial lawyer, Ben has been lecturing to doctors, lawyers and patients concerning all areas of medical malpractice and personal injury. Ben’s lecture will take place on February 8, 2017.

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Car accident on the Taconic Parkway2,080 crashes occurred on the New York Taconic State Parkway over a period of 3 years. While being a picturesque scenic road that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, the road has a horrific history of  severe traffic accidents.

In 2009 a 36 year old mother driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana entered the Taconic highway in the wrong direction. She had 4 passengers, all children. There were her daughter and 3 nieces. She collided with a SUV after driving almost 2 miles in the wrong lane. There were 3 occupants in the SUV. All 8 people died in the accident. This accident was the deadliest on this highway since 1934 when 20 people died in a bus accident near Ossining, New York

According to a recent article published by Only in Your State, most accidents occur in Westchester and Putnam Counties. Speeding is common on this segment of the Taconic. The Taconic is the longest Parkway in New York State. Click on link above to see map of Parkway  and photographs of dangerous portions. A report from 2015 indicates that, for the 7 years before 2015, State Troopers gave 54,000 speeding tickets on the Parkway. 18,000 of them were for drivers speeding in the Westchester area.  The highway is used daily by commuters going to work in the city. The two lanes available in each direction are often overcrowded.

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photo__1428053_peter_saghirOur partner, NYC injury attorney Peter J. Saghir, recently obtained a verdict of 100% liability against a glass company that dropped a large glass panel on a woman’s foot as she walked on the sidewalk. On September 29, 2012, Manhisha Narwani, 28, was walking with friends on 9th Avenue at 50th Street when two workers who were replacing a glass storefront dropped a large glass panel on her left foot causing her to sustain three metatarsal fractures. She underwent surgery on two of the metatarsals and subsequent physical therapy. The glass company blamed Manisha for the happening of the accident and for failing to see the glass as it was being carried on the sidewalk. After a 5 day jury trial in New York County before Hon. Arthur F. Enforon, the jury found Manisha was free from fault and that the glass company and workers were 100% at fault for the happening of the incident. The jury awarded Manisha $300,000 for past pain and suffering and $150,000 for future pain and suffering. The top offer by the insurance company was 250,000.

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464 hard hats died in construction accidents in New York State between the beginning of 2006 and the end of 2016. 55 of them died in 2015. Construction is the second most dangerous industry in NY Sate after the agricultural industry. In New York City deaths related to construction accidents represent 34% of all occupational deaths compared to 32% in Los Angeles and 24% in Chicago. Most of these deaths are preventable according to the Annual Report on Construction Fatalities in New York State published this week by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH)

Over the last few years, the boom in the construction industry led to an increase in hard hat fatalities in New York City.  25 construction workers died on the job in 2015 compared to 22 in 2014, 17 in 2013, 20 in 2013 and 17 in 2011. Over these five years, almost 60% of the fatalities were related to falls.  Other common construction accidents were related to elevator installations, electrocutions, falling objects and workers caught between equipment or machinery. From 2014 to 2015, the number of NYC construction accidents involving injury or death almost doubled, It went from 231 in 2014 to 435 in 2015.

fatal construction accidents NYC
There are only 66 OSHA inspectors in New York State. In 2014, these inspectors visited more than 2,000 construction sites. Inspectors found violations on 2 out of 3 sites visited. The most common violation was failure to protect workers from falls. The average fine was $3,673. Since August 2016, OSHA increased its fines, hoping that it may deter contractors from violating safety standards. This increase in penalties took place two months after the preventable death of 22 year old Carlos Moncayo. After the death of Moncayo, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance collaborated with construction workers advocate groups to support the use of criminal laws to prosecute negligent contractors who recklessly endangered their employees life (see previous blog). As a result, Moncayo’s employer was criminally convicted and sent  to jail.

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New York Personal Injury Lawyer Richard SteigmanOur partner, NY injury attorney Richard Steigman will be the chair of the “2017 CPLR Update” seminar organized by the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. The Co chair will be Judge Ariel E. Belen (Ret.), JAMS Mediator & Arbitrator, Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department. The seminar will cover all new recent developments in the field of New York Civil Practice. Participants will be updated on  the recent legislative changes and court decisions in this field.

The seminar will take place Tuesday January 24 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the NYSTLA Office. The address is 132, Nassau Street, Second Floor, New York, NY 10038.

To learn more about this seminar or to register please click here

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Hospital watch list 2017As healthcare evolves so does medical malpractice. The ECRI Institute just published its 2017 Top 10 Hospital C-suite Watch List. Here are the top 10 issues and technical challenges faced by hospitals in 2017.

  1. LIQUID BIOPSIES

    Liquid biopsies are tests using patients liquids such as patients’ blood, urine or plasma rather than tissues. They are easier, cheaper and less risky than needle or surgical biopsy of tissues. Mostly used for patients with cancer, these types of biopsies are the new trend but they are so new that their reliability  is still questionable.Hospitals using these tests need to set up a solid genetic test clinical utilization process to  mitigate diagnosis error.

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Construction_Accident31 people died in construction accidents in New York over the last 2 years. Injuries from construction accidents recorded by the New York City Department of Buildings increased by 250% from 2011 to 2015.  The recent construction boom in the city has contributed to this increase in hard hats deaths and injuries.

In a recent opinion in the New York Times, Dominique Bravo, director of Pathways 2 Apprenticeships, expressed his outrage at the laissez-faire attitude in regards to safety regulations in the New York construction industry. Bravo notes that while the number of construction permits issued by the DOB increased by 18% between 2100 and 2014 the number of OSHA inspectors in New York State decreased by 13% during the same period of time. They are only 71 OSHA inspectors for the entire State of New York.

INADEQUATE FALL PROTECTION IS THE MOST COMMON VIOLATION

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Trasnportation Alternatives logo9 people including 7 pedestrians and bicyclists died in NYC car crashes in the first 10 days of 2017. In a recent statement, Paul Steely White, the Transportation Alternatives Executive Director, expressed his outrage and asked the city of New York to accelerate street redesigns. He also wants the New York police to change their attitude and be more accountable.

In his statement, Steely White, noted that 7 of the 9 fatal crashes occurred in locations that have been previously identified by Vision Zero as “priority areas”.  Transportation Alternatives asks the city to allocate immediate funding to redesign these high crashes locations.

Steely White also expressed his outrage towards NYPD investigators behavior. The  NYPD has a horrible habit of blaming the victims and exonerating drivers. For example, the driver of the box truck who fatally struck Rafael Nieves last week and left the scene of the accident was let go without his case being referred to the district attorney (see previous blog). The police also didn’t charge the driver who killed 43 year old Marlon Palacios. The driver told the police his leg had become stiff and got stuck on the accelerator.  The police have the power to act as a judge and a jury while a court should make such decision.  Additionally  the police are supposed to deter dangerous driving in New York City but they often blame the victims and let go reckless drivers.