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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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location of the elevator accidentA young mechanic was killed in an elevator accident in New York City last Thursday. 25 year old Joseph Rosa, a mechanic apprentice was helping repair an elevator in a building located at 133 E. Clark Place in the Bronx. The elevator cabin fell down the shaft and crushed the young man at the bottom. According to tenants in the building, the elevator was out for months. Jospeh Rosa was there with a team to perform modernization work when the dramatic accident occured. Another worker was also injured.

Joseph Rosa had just married his wife Karina Stepanova in a Russian Orthodox Church. A month before the wedding he converted to his wife’s religion and got baptized. “He was starting to get closer to religion, closer to God,” the bride-turned-widow said. “It’s like he knew this was coming.” (read more in the NY Daily News)

Installing and repairing elevators is a dangerous job and multiple fatalities and serious injuries are reported nationwide every year. In New York,  too many workers have died while repairing elevators because they were lacking the proper training or because the elevators were defective or unsafe.

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colored-smokeA father to be died and his brother was injured after a homemade pyrotechnic device they were preparing for a gender party exploded in their garage on Sunday.

28 year old Christopher Pekny learned around Christmas that his girlfriend was pregnant. The couple had planned a gender reveal party on Sunday to announce that the baby was a boy. Christopher Pekny was in the garage with his brother Michael preparing the gender reveal device that was intended to explode in a cloud of colored powder. However the device exploded earlier than planned while the two brothers were setting it up. Christopher died and Michael was seriously injured in the knee by flying shrapnel.

Not much information is available  about the exact nature of the device only that it was in the shape of a pipe. Investigation as the nature of the explosive is still ongoing.

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location of the fatal car wash accidentA NYC pedestrian was fatally struck by a drunk car wash employee as she was about to pick her car up last week.

54 year old Tracie McManu, a mother of three was about to pick up her car at Crossbay Car Wash in Ozone Park, Queens, when a drunk employee pulling another out of the car wash mowed her down.  The pedestrian who was with her daughter had just tipped some employees and was about to pick up her car.

The employee lost control of the car and suddenly hit the gas, rolled over the victim and crashed. McManu was rushed to the hospital but she could not be saved. Her family is heartbroken (see NY Daily News).

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accident sceneA reckless unlicensed 18 year old driver, behind the wheel of a stolen car, blew a stop sign and crashed into another car, killing the passenger and seriously injuring the driver last week in Staten Island. He then fled on foot. The police found him later on. He was arrested and hit with multiple charges.

Last Tuesday night, around 6:15 pm, Shahzad and Krauzer Akund were driving their Mercedes-Benz East on Lambert Lane in Bulls Head, Staten Island, when they got T-Boned by a reckless driver who blew a stop sign. The driver who was driving a Honda completely destroyed the front of his vehicle and ran away on foot, leaving behind him the couple dying in the street.

When EMS arrived they found the couple in critical condition

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location of the gas explosion accidentA  gas explosion injured 10 people including several children in the Bronx, NYC.

The explosion blasted a three story multi-family residence located at 1520 Paulding Avenue in Morris Park, yesterday afternoon around 3:30 pm.  A gas leak on the building’s second floor  seemed to have been at the origin of the explosion according to preliminary investigations.

A tenant who  was watching television on the first floor had all his windows blown out. His kitchen cabinets were thrown outside taking down the kitchen wall. Above him a mother and a baby were stuck on a balcony. The mother had to throw her baby down to her neighborgh before others helped her get down the balcony. Another mother and her two kids were stuck on the seconf floor. The blast was so powerful that even the window guards flew off and the front door of one of the appartment units got stuck in the power lines across the street.  The building looked like it had been devastated by a tornado.

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BABY-GRETAImagine a scenario almost too terrible to speak about.  But by not speaking about it, justice will never be done, and others might be injured.  On May 17, 2015, a caring, loving grandmother took her 2-year-old grandchild for a walk in New York City.  They paused for a moment and were in front of a building when the unimaginable and unthinkable happened –– a portion of the cement façade of the building fell 8 stories and crushed that beautiful grandchild to death in front of her grandmother’s eyes.

In New York State there is a doctrine of law known as “zone of danger” damages, in which an “immediate” family member can receive compensation for the emotional harm suffered in witnessing the death of a family member.  But there was one caveat: before today, a grandmother was not considered to be an “immediate” family member.  Unfortunately, the grandmother’s claim for zone-of-danger damages was dismissed by the Appellate Division.  That injustice was something that had to be rectified.  The NYC personal injury lawyers of Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman and Mackauf  have never given up in the face of injustice.  “When the law is wrong, it’s time to change the law,” said Ben Rubinowitz.  “That is why we took this case and fought all the way to the highest Court in the State.”

Today, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision reversing the Appellate Division.  Through our hard work and fortitude justice will now be done.  The grandmother’s claim has been reinstated and a jury will now decide what the damages should be awarded for such a horrific injury.

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502 construction workers were injured on NYC construction sites last year conpared to 596 in 2019 and 761 in 2018. The number of construction accident injuries in New York is at its lowest since 2015.  The COVID  lockdown and the global slowdown in the construction industry contributed to this decline.

More than half of the injuries occured on construction sites located in Manhattan (289) while Brooklyn sites had the second highest number of injured workers (107). Queens came third with 43 workers injured last year followed by the Bronx with 43 injuries. Only 2 workers were injured on Staten Island construction sites last year.

Except for Staten Island where injuries dropped from 25 in 2018 to almost none over the past two years, all boroughs saw a gradual decline of construction accident injuries. In Staten Island, 2 worker injuries were reported to the DOT in 2020 and 3 in 2019 compared to 25 in 2018. These numbers seem unusually low.

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Work-Zone-Stand-Down-Announcement-FlyerThe number one cause of injuries among construction workers are “struck-by” accidents. Struck by a flying, falling, swinging or rolling objects are the 4 most common “struck-by” accidents causing injuries to construction workers. To raise awareness and reduce these types of accidents, the NORA Construction Sector Council along with the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) is organizing, on April 20, a National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-by Injuries”.

Participants to the stand down will pause work on April 20 and set aside time time for stand down activities such as virtual or small group Toolbox Talks, look at work zone safety training and review the traffic control plan of the construction site. Sending emails or texting safety reminders as well as putting posters up and holding quiz contests will also help raising awareness.

Organizers can look for ideas and get material to download on the CPWR website such as promotional flyers, various tool box talks in English and in Spanish related to how to operate a vehicle safely in a work zone, how to work safely around vehicles on a construction site, how to make sure cranes are stable and don’t tip and how to prevent objects from falling. Organizers can also download infographics cautioning workers to stay alert, vehicle operators to observe safety rules and contractors to make sure they have a solid internal traffic control plan.

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accident sceneA pedestrian was fatally hit by a dump truck last week in Times Square, Midtown Manhattan. The accident occurred Saturday afternoon around 3:00 pm. The pedestrian, a 64 year old woman whose name was not released, was crossing 7th Avenue at the intersection of 45th Street when she was struck by a large dump truck. The driver did not stop immediately and the pedestrian got stuck under the vehicle and dragged by the truck while horrified witnesses started to scream at the driver who then stopped and remained at the scene of the accident.

A street vendor with a stand right at the corner of the intersection told the NY Daily News that there was a lot of blood and when EMS removed the victim from under the truck she was not moving. However she was still alive and rushed to the hospital with critical injuries including severe leg trauma. She later died from her injuries at the hospital.

Truck side guards might have prevented the victim to get dragged under the truck

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Teen speeding is a leading cause of fatalitiesSpeeding is the cause of many fatal crashes especially among teenagers. A recent analysis conducted by Richard Retting of Sam Schwartz Consulting for the Governors Highway Safety Associations found that teen drivers and passengers account for a much greater proportion of speeding related fatalities than any other age group.

From 2015 to 2019, 4,930 teen drivers and passengers died in car accidents related to speed. Speed related accidents accounted for 43% of all teen fatal car accidents. As a comparison speed is a factor in 30% of all fatal accidents for people above 20.

Globally, car accidents remain the main cause of fatalities among teens with the 16 year old’s being the most at risk