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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Auto accident deaths NYC 2017In 2017, 102 pedestrians, 20 cyclists, 24 passengers and 63 drivers died in auto accidents in New York City compared to respectively 134, 18, 17 and 54 in 2016.

According to the traffic collision data released monthly by the NYPD, a total of 209 people died in traffic accidents in 2017 compared to a total of 223 in 2016 and 286 in 2013 before Vision Zero was launched. This is the lowest number of motor vehicle accident fatalities ever recorded since the city started to create statistics in 1910.

The decline in traffic fatalities is mostly due to the decline in pedestrian deaths that went down by 39% from 168 in 2013 before Vision Zero to 102 in 2017. During that same time fatal bicycle accidents almost doubled going from 11 to 20. Passenger deaths stayed almost stable from 23 to 24 and motorists fatalities declined by 25%.

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one of the vehicles recalledIn April 2016, Polaris recalled a potentially defective recreational off-highway vehicle so it could be repaired. The model recalled was the Polaris RZR. The company recalled it after they received more than 160 complaints that some of the RZR models caught fire as consumers were driving. A 15 year old passenger died and 19 people reported injuries such as first, second and third degree burns.

Last December Polaris and the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that after the repair consumers continued to report fires. These fires have caused death, serious injury and property damage. Additionally new models launched by the company in 2017 have also experienced fires.

If you, a friend or a family member owns a Polaris RZR, please stop using it and contact Polaris at 800-POLARIS or 800-765-2747 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Saturday and Sunday or online at www.polaris.com 

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construction workerThe industry hates to talk about it but in the recent year many construction workers have been dying not from accidents but from opioid abuse. According to a previous study, workers in the construction industry are the second most susceptible workers to use opioids after workers in the food industry. The study estimates that more than 15% of  construction workers are using illicit drugs. Because of the nature of the job, construction workers are more prone to serious injuries than workers in other industries. Statistics indicate that the cost of opioid use is greater in construction than in any other industry. When comparing the total cost of prescription by industry, opioids account for 20% for the construction industry compared to an average 10% for the average of all other industries.

Opioids are used to reduce pain but they can cause addiction and lead to abuse

A recent article in Cleveland.com looked at deaths statistics and found that Ohio construction workers were seven time more likely to die from an opioid overdose than workers in other industries.  Workers addicted to opioids not only can cause injury to themselves but they also put at risk their coworkers or even passersby.  They also have a negative impact on the productivity and the profitability of their employers.

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New York Personal Injury Lawyer Howard Hershenhorn
Our partner, NYC Personal Injury Attorney Howard Hershenhorn and his team including Christopher Donadio and Anthony Gair have filed notices of claim against the City of New York, the Hudson River Park Trust and the State of New York for more than $600 million on behalf of 20 individuals who were either fatally struck or injured during the terror attack that occurred on October 31, 2017. The attack occurred on the Hudson River Greenway, a popular Manhattan bike path along the Hudson River.  Our personal injury law firm represents the families of 7 of the 8 bicyclists who were killed by the terrorist, as well as 13 individuals who were injured. Our clients include families and individuals from Argentina, Belgium and New York.

Our New York personal injury lawyers believe that authorities failed to “to implement measures and precautions to prevent vehicles from intentionally entering the bicycle path despite the fact that it was foreseeable”. It was foreseeable, based on various prior incidents, including the death of Eric Ng who was killed by a driver on the same bike path in 2006.  In addition, following Mr. Ng’s death, multiple studies have shown that necessary precautions were needed to prevent motor vehicles from driving on the Hudson River Greenway bike path. Also, for the past ten years, safety advocates have been asking for the installations of steel bollards and other safety measures to prevent cars and other motor vehicles from driving on the bike lane. The City of New York, Hudson River Park Trust and State of New York were presented with detailed plans to prevent collisions between cars and cyclists on the bike path. Unfortunately, no action was taken.

In 2010, the Department of Homeland Security, in light of concerns that terrorist groups using vehicles to ram innocent people, issued a warning to the City of New York and State of New York about the need to secure public pedestrian and public bicycle areas from motor vehicles. Again, despite this warning, no action was taken.

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electric linemenConstruction is the industry that has the highest electrocution deaths among all industries. OSHA identifies electrocution as one of the leading causes of fatality among construction workers. In its latest Quarterly Data Report, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) is taking a close look at recent electrocution data and proposes solutions to prevent them.

Since 2012 the construction industry rose back from the 2008 recession and so did the number of fatal construction accidents. From 2011 to 2015 fatal construction accidents increased by 26% from 781 to 985 fatalities. During the same period, electrocution fatalities rose by 17% from 70 to 82 fatalities. In average during this period electrocution deaths represented 9% of all construction accident deaths.

Electrocution deaths in the construction industry have been declining since 2003. From 134 in 2003 they recorded their lowest in 2012 with 66 deaths and went back up to 82 in 2015. The rate per 100,000 workers also went down from 1.3 in 2003 to 0.8 in 2015.

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accident sceneA woman was injured in a truck accident in NYC after the driver of the truck, naked and high on meth, crashed into her car. 38 year old Stephen Walker had spent Saturday night inside his box truck on a parking lot doing meth and having sex with his lover. In the morning the pair was caught naked by a jealous boyfriend. The couple sped away with the box truck to escape the angry boyfriend. Both men in the box truck were naked from the waist down. As they were escaping, the driver still high on meth rear-ended a car on Old Rockaway Blvd. and North Boundary Lane in Springfield Gardens, Queens. The truck careened off the road and crashed through a fence.

Walker who was driving the truck first ran away and hid from the first respondents in an empty horse trailer at a nearby animal shelter. However a few minutes later, consumed by remorse, he returned half naked to the scene of the accident to let the responding officer know that his lover was stuck in the truck. First responders were able to use “jaws of life” to cut though the truck door and liberate the half naked lover. The two men as well as the woman who was driving the car were transported to the hospital. The woman suffered neck and back injuries.

The truck driver was charged with with reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, drug possession, driving under the influence of drugs and obstructing government administration.

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A 13 year old boy died in a bicycle accident in New York City last Friday. Kevin Flores, was fatally struck by an unlicensed truck driver at the intersection of Jefferson Ave and Lewis Ave last Friday a little bit before 6 pm. Emergency responders found Kevin lying on the road with critical head trauma. He was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved. The driver of the oil truck, 28 year old Philip Monfoletto of Deer Park, Long Island, NY, drove for one block before someone told him he had hit the cyclist. The police found out that not only Monfoletto was driving with a suspended license, it was the seventh time that Monfoletto’s license had been suspended. Monfoletto was also arrested several times including once for driving with a suspended license and also for marijuana possession as well as stabbing someone in the arm.

Monfoletto was driving an oil truck belonging to M&M Oil, an owner-operated company with a single vehicle and registered at Monfoletto’s home address. It is extremely concerning that Monfoletto was able to continue to operate an oil truck despite his history.  (Read more in NYC Streetblog)

In a press conference on Sunday, Brooklyn Borough Presidents Eric Adams and City Council members Antonio Reynoso and Robert Cornegy Jr. called for tougher criminal penalties for unlicensed drivers and the companies that hire them. In New York drivers who are busted with a suspended license receive a fine of $450 if it is the first time, $750 if it is the second time and $1,500 if it is the third time.  Currently, it is only a felony for drivers if they have 10 suspensions on their licenses  According to Adams these laws are just a complete mockery. They are antiquated and do not fit the actual times. The Brooklyn Borough president is urging Mayor de Blasio to explore regulatory actions to improve the situation. (Read more in the NY Daily News).

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New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer Jeff Bloom with client Lissy McMahonThe NY Medical Malpractice Attorneys at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhornm, Steigman & Mackauf are happy for the family of our client Lissy McMahon.  New York Governor Cuomo and the state legislative leaders announced that the Governor will sign Lavern’s Law on Tuesday. With the help of our Medical Malpractice Attorney Jeffrey Bloom, Lissy a mother who was misdiagnosed with cancer after the statute of limitations had passed, relentlessly pushed for the passage of this Law. Lavern’s Law moves the starting date of the statute of limitations to the date of the discovery of the misdiagnosis instead of the date the when the misdiagnosis occurred.  Sadly Lissy passed away before the signing of the law. She left behind a 15 year old son (read more in our previous blog).

Jeffrey is the Co-chair of the Medical Malpractice Committee of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association as well as the Co-Chair of LAWPAC New York, the Trial Lawyers political action committee. In these roles he pushed relentlessly for the passage of the law.

After Cuomo announced that he would sign Lavern’s Law, the family of  Lissy McMahon released the following statement:

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accident scene3 pedestrians were seriously injured in an accident in New York wednesday morning around 10:00. They were struck and rolled over by a postal truck backing up in the crosswalk.  The USPS truck was parked on First Ave just in front of the crosswalk at the intersection of 37th Street.  As pedestrians were crossing the street, the driver backed up into the crosswalk and struck three of them. The driver continued to back up and rolled over them without realizing what just happened. According to the NY Daily News, the driver didn’t see the pedestrians because they were in his blind spot. He kept on rolling over them because he thought there was a bump on the road.

The 3 pedestrians were rushed to the hospital. They were in a lot of pain but all 3 of them were conscious. The driver of the truck remained at the scene of the accident and was given a summons by the police.

 

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Are car accidents up or down on Corona’s 111th Street since the DOT  redesigned the street? They are up says Community Board 4. Nope, they are down says DOT boss Polly Trottenberg.

On January 11th the Queens Chronicle published an article saying that car accidents had been on the rise on Corona’s 111th Street since the Department of Transportation had redesigned the street this summer. The article mentioned that between August 1st and November 20 2017 49 crashes were reported on 111th street compared to 38 for the same period the year before. Already a month before the publication of this article, the community board 4 had sent a letter to Queens Commissioner Nicole Garcia to express their concerns. In the the letter the CB4 was asking the DOT to revisit the design of the street because they didn’t believe it was making the street safer and was reducing the number of accidents.

On Thursday, Polly Trottenberg personally replied to the CB4 attacks in an opinion in the Queens Chronicle.  According to Trottenberg, the CB4 is looking at statistics that are covering the complete length of 111th street (in yellow on the picture) while they should focus on the official project area which is from 43rd Avenue to Corona Ave (between the two red signs on the picture). In this exact area the number of accidents recorded from September 1st to November 30th decreased by 4 from 16 to 12 between 2017 and 2016. Therefore Trottenberg insists that the street redesign is making  the street safer.