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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Sanitation Salvage, one of the biggest New York trash haulers has a history of fatal accidents. The company was all over the news recently after one of their truck drivers killed two people in less than 6 months and lied about one of the person he killed pretending it was a homeless man while it was an off-the book worker.

Propublica and Voice of America took an in depth look at how the company is running its business and they recently published the result of their investigation.

Ruthless brothers

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construction workers94.7% of the 38 construction workers who died on the job in New York State in 2016 were non unionized. In New York City 93.8%  of them were non unionized. These number speak for themselves.  The strength of the unions and labor movement has been on the decline for years and suffered another severe blow when the US Supreme Court barred public-employee contracts from requiring workers to pay union dues. Unions not only protect workers’ income but also workers health.

A new study analyzed occupational fatalities from 1992 to 2016 and found that 7,300 workplace fatalities could have been avoided  if union membership had not been undercut by right to work laws. The author of the study, Michael Zorobod, is a a PhD candidate at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences. Zorobod demonstrated that the uptick in workplace fatalities that started in 2013 is correlated to the increased number of States who adopted  right to work laws. In 2000, right to work laws were statutes in 20 States.  Now they are statues in 28 States.

Read more in Fair Warning

 

 

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Laundromat dangerous parkingA young pedestrian was killed and her mother was injured in a car accident in Brooklyn, NYC, on Sunday afternoon.

A 4 year-old girl was riding her mini scooter on the sidewalk of Wyckoff Ave near Hart Street while her mother was walking close by. At one point the little girl lost a shoe.  She picked it up, then the mother bent to help her. As the mother was helping her daughter, a car parked at a laundromat just next to them backed up, hit them both and continued on its way. The little girl died at the scene of the accident. Her mother survived but was injured.

The car driver and two passengers were stopped by the police two blocks away. It is not clear if the driver realized than she ran over the mother and her daughter. Residents have been complaining for a long time about the dangerous parking lot of the laundromat. In order to park or to leave the parking space, drivers have to cross the sidewalk.

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FChildrenor 100 years, we at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf have had the privilege of representing individuals and families whose lives were torn apart in an instant because of another person’s negligent conduct.

Through our clients’ lives we see the unimaginable: pain on parents’ faces as they struggle to accept that their child is dead; pain on a child’s face when the child realizes that their Mom or Dad will not be coming home; someone trying to learn to walk again after suffering a devastating spinal cord injury; spouses realizing that their partner in life is not the same after suffering a life changing injury.  At our firm we work tirelessly to right these wrongs that result in families being torn apart.  Our work is motivated by the fact that every day we witness firsthand what happens to families when a loved one is injured or lost.  We know our clients would do anything to make their families whole again. We know there is nothing more important to them than their health and the health, safety and well being of their family and friends.

That is why we feel obligated to speak out against the policy recently implemented by the government of separating families who seek shelter and a better life in the United States.  The fact that our government is intentionally separating children from their parents and purposefully causing unbearable suffering goes against everything that we stand for.  The harm that occurs when a family is torn apart, whether through negligent or intentional conduct, is irreparable.  This unconscionable policy must come to an end.

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VA nursing homeFor years, the VA has been hiding statistics on the quality of care at its nursing homes because it didn’t want the public to know how bad it was. Recently, pressed by the Boston Globe and US Today the VA finally made its data public and it is scary.

Among the 133 VA nursing homes located all over the US, 60 (almost half of them) received one star out of  five for their quality of care. Pennsylvania has five of these facilities. Texas and California both have four of them. Only two facilities received five stars: Castle Point, NY and Carrollton, GA.

Families had no access to nursing home ranking and information

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A woman was seriously injured in a building collapse in Poughkeepsie yesterday afternoon around 4:00 pm. It took four hours for the firefighters to be able to secure the building and rescue 43-year old Rotanya Hargorve who was trapped in heavy debris. The woman suffered very bad leg injuries and had to be brought out of the accident scene on a stretcher. She was transported to the hospital to be treated.

At the time of the accident, Rotanya was working in a boutique in the building next to the vacant 7-story building near the corner of Canon Street and Academy Street in Poughkeepsie. When the tall building started to collapse, heavy debris fell onto the adjacent 3-story building and caused the roof to cave in. Debris and brick crashed through the building and fell onto Rotanya who was working in the boutique on the first floor located at 15 Academy.

Authorities believe that the collapse was caused by a heavy storm that had just made its way through the area and produced winds exceeding 60 mph. Located a 19 Academy Street, the vacant building was built in 1911 by Manning Cleveland, a businessman who was planning to bring skyscrapers to Poughkeepsie. It was recently sold to Pok 23 Acad and Pok Acad, limited liability companies with New York city addresses. The limited liabilities companies also own the next 2 vacant adjacent buildings located on Academy 21 and Academy 23.

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Staten Island fire injured 20 firefightersTwo elderly women died in separate fire accidents in Queens on Monday. The first accident occurred early morning Monday around 2:10 am in the Rockaways, Queens. A fire caused by careless smoking quickly spread through the 15th floor of  a high rise apartment located at 7-11 Seagirt Ave. There was no smoke alarm in the house. The 71 year old woman who was living in the apartment died in the fire.

Later on during the day another fire caused by an electrical  extension killed 82 year old Audrey Hebling. The woman was found unconscious in the kitchen of her house located at 252nd Street between 87th Road and 87th Drive in Bellrose Manor. Again there was no smoke alarm in the house.

Last week-end the FDNY also had to battle a massive blaze in Staten Island during which 20 of them got injured, including 4 seriously.  The fire that destroyed several properties on Steinway Ave was sparked by a kid who was playing with a lighter.

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Road work in NYCurrent extreme temperature and humidity are exposing New York construction workers to higher risks of accidents related to heat. Road workers especially those handling asphalt as well as house builders working in attics can get easily dehydrated and suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

It is important during hot days, like those we have this week in New York, that employers remind their workers to drink a lot of water and make sure they are well hydrated while they are working. Employers should also ensure that their supervisors are proprely trained to recognize signs of heat exhaustion. When a supervisor sees that a worker starts to be lightheaded, that his color seems a little off or that he starts to sweat more than usual, he should pull him aside and make sure he takes a break in a shady area.

WATER, REST, SHADE

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Thankfully nobody was injured or killed in another NYC accident involving a garbage truck belonging to a private company. On Saturday morning, 40 year old Anthony Castaldo was drunk behind the wheel of his garbage truck. He was driving on 60th Street between 19th Street and 20th Street in Borough Park, Brooklyn, when he lost control of his vehicle, slammed into 8 cars, then a tree before ending up in the front yard of a private property. He tried to run away on foot but he was quickly caught by the police. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, drunken and reckless driving and resisting arrest. Castaldo was immediately suspended by his employer, Viking Sanitation, a private company with a garage in Bath Beach.

A month ago, a 78 year old woman had her leg crushed by a private garbage truck in Brooklyn (see previous blog). Two month ago a pedestrian was killed by another private garbage truck driver. The driver had killed another person with his truck 6 months before but was still behind the wheel (see previous blog).

Private carting companies are responsible for the deaths of 43 pedestrians between 2010 and 2017.  They have a terrible reputation, forcing drivers to work extended hours and cover large geographical zones. How many innocent people will still suffer terrible injuries or die until the City does something to strengthen the regulations for these reckless companies?

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Staten Island Pedestrian accident locationA pedestrian died in New York City on Sunday morning. He was hit by a drunk driver around 4:40 am. 32 year old David Bloomer, a father of four, was crossing Tompkins Ave at Broad St. in Stapleton, Staten Island, NYC when he was struck by a car. The driver tried to speed off but one of David’s cousins rallied a group of people to run after him. They were able to catch him a block away from the accident. The driver, identified as 25 year old, John Rudder was allegedly drunk.

During the accident, Rudder hit Bloomer so violently that the pedestrian went flying into the air and crashed through the windshield of a jeep that was parked nearby. The firefighters had to remove the roof of the jeep to try to save him. Unfortunately Bloomer died at the scene of the accident.

Bloomer left behind him 2 children, 17 year old Charlie Perez, 8 year old Mikayla Papon and 2 stepdaughters, 14 year old and 6 year old Yolanda and Dakota Makins.  He was a DJ and a beloved member of the Stapleton Community.