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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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OxyContinThe lawyers for Dr Xiulu Ruan and Dr Shakeel Kahn will argue tomorrow before the Supreme Court of the United States that the criminal standard that physicians faced is not applied consistently among the federal circuits. Dr Xiulu Ruan was one of the largest prescribers of quick-release fentanyl drugs in the US and he is serving a 21-year sentence in federal prison. Dr Shakeel Kahn is serving a 25-year sentence after running pill mills in Arizona and Wyoming.  Their lawyers want their convictions to be overturned but the probability that it occurs is extremely low. However what the lawyers want is that the Supreme Court define a uniform standard that would allows doctors to raise a “good faith” defense and as a result a jury would be able to consider if a doctor was using his or her best medical judgement.

For doctors and patients all over the country the case is not about judging if Ruan and Kahn were bad actors among doctors and committed medical malpractice  but about good doctors who are risking criminal investigation because of  a difficult decision they made.  When the opioids started to flood the market 20 years ago, excessive prescribing was common. In order to curb the actual opioid crisis, authorities have been investigating prescription habits intensively to the point that doctors are now scared to prescribe them to their patients even though they need them.  People coming out of surgeries are being left to unnecessarily suffer because hospitals have implemented drastic guidelines and long term chronic pain patients can’t find a doctor anymore and have to turn to the illegal market.  As prescriptions for opioids fell down, the opioid deaths hit a record high last year in the US with most deaths being related to illegally obtained opioids.  Recent studies indicate this is not a coincidence as long term patients that have been cut from their doctors find themselves in the emergency room because they were poisoned by illegal drugs or committed suicide (See New England Journal of Medicine).

A recent article in the New York Time discuss this difficult issue extensively.

 

 

 

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Infusion pumps are at risk of cyber attacks75% of infusion pumps used by hospitals and other healthcare providers are at risk of being compromised by hackers and as a result can cause harm to patients or expose sensitive data.

Infusion pumps are some of the most commonly used medical devices and some big hospitals are managing thousands of these devices. A recent study by Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42, looked at 200,000 infusion pumps manufactured by 7 different companies and being used by multiple hospitals and healthcare organizations that are all using IOT Security to monitor their medical devices.

Researchers found that an alarming number of these devices were highly vulnerable to cyber attacks with 40 known security gaps identified among the devices. Additionnally, 70 types of alert messages received from  these devices through the IOT security network where identified as messages related to security issues.  Most vulnerabilities identified were leakage of sensitive information and unauthorized access causing the device to become unresponsive.

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location of the two houses destroyed in the crash6 people were injured and two houses were destroyed after a car driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a residential building in Staten Island. The driver, identified as 38-year-old Mark Robles, was initially pulled over by the police for a broken brake light. One of the officers said he  saw a crack pipe in the car and the police attempted to get the man out of the car. Robles did not comply and sped away behind the wheels of his 2007 Jeep Patriot and the police started to chase him.

Residents were sleeping when the jeep crashed in their house

The chase took place at 3:30 am on Thursday morning during a rainstorm. Robles sped down on St Pauls Avenue, hit a patch of water, skidded, rotated 360 degrees and ended crashing into two houses located at the intersection of St Pauls and Van Duzer Street. 6 people suffered minor injuries.

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IPhone_12_-_3A recent study found that strong magnets in some electronic devices can interfere with the good functioning of  pacemakers and result in potential injury or death for the wearer.   “If you carry a portable electronic device close to your chest and have a history of tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) with an ICD, strong magnets in these devices could disable your cardioverter defibrillator,” said lead author Corentin Féry, a research engineer at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Institute for Medical Engineering and Informatics.

Devices that have been identified as potentially dangerous for people who have a cardioverter defibrillator are the new Apple 12, Apple Airpods charging cases, the second generation of Apple pencils and the Surface Pen from Microsoft. In the study, researchers were able to deactivate five different types of defibrillators by simply putting the electronic devices next to the defibrillators. Deactivation would occur when Apple products were at a 0.78 inch distance from the pacemaker and 1.14 inches for the Microsoft pen.

The study is a confirmation of a previous warning by the FDA that some electronic devices such as mobile phones and smart watches might cause some medical devices implanted in patients to switch to “magnet mode”. Many implanted medical devices are designed with a “magnet mode”,  which is a safety features that for example allows patient with such devices to undergo some medical procedures such as MRI. However this safety feature can actually become dangerous for patients, especially those wearing a pacemaker, if an electronic device such as a cellphone can switch the pacemaker to “magnet mode”.

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car accidentDespite a significant decline  in the number of average miles driven on American roads during the pandemic, the number of car accident fatalities exploded. While multiple studies found that most fatal car accidents during the pandemic were caused by reckless behaviors such as speeding, drunk driving or drugged driving, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety tried, in a new study to find out the underlying mechanisms leading to this increase in dangerous driving.

In 2020, the foundation collected data from 2,888 drivers who had been driving between October 23rd 2020 and November 23rd 2020.  Drivers were asked if they reduced, increased or did not change their driving habits because of the pandemic. Participants were also asked if over the 30 days under study they had engaged in risky behavior such as talking on a cellphone, texting, emailing, speeding on highways, speeding on residential streets, running red lights, switching lanes aggressively, drowsy driving, driving without a seatbelt, driving after drinking alcohol, driving after using marijuana.

The study found that drivers who reduced the most their driving habits were 50 year old female drivers and the ones who increased the most their driving habits were males 39 year old and younger.  50 year+ females were also the category of drivers that were taking the less risks on the road while 39- males were the category taking the most risks on the road.

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Daniel Pollack and Jamie TesterToo often people shot or brutalized  by police are suffering mental issues or drug addiction and have trouble finding stable housing. In a recent article published in Policy & Practice, the flagship publication of the American Public Human Services Association, Daniel Pollack, a professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work in New York City and Jamie Tester Morfoot, an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire’s Social Work Department describe how the city of Eau Claire in the Midwest created a Criminal Justice Collaborating Council (CJCC) that studied the life of a victim during the entire year previous to being shot by the police and as a result proposed changes in Eau Claire County services systems to prevent such shootings.

Responding police teams now have a mental health professional with them and may have access to information related to the personal mental health history of the person they are going after. The county jail also added mental health services. The County Treatment Courts has redefined its terms to be more accessible to drug dealers fighting addiction. Eau Claire also created a Free Mental Health Clinic that will be expanded and also studies options to expand affordable housing.

“By embracing the uncomfortable conversations around how service systems may have failed an individual, Eau Claire County has implemented changes resulting in improved outcomes for its citizens in need of additional supports. By reframing gaps in service as a community issue, instead of just individual government system issues, the human services provider leadership is striving to create better outcomes for all Eau Claire community members.”

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annabis edible are attractive to childrenMore and more children are getting injured after ingesting cannabis products that are being packaged in multicolor packaging and look like children treats. Hospitals are seeing an increase in young children getting poisoned after inadvertently ingesting THC edible products.

Most cannabis edible products look like regular children treats such as gummy bear, chocolate bars, candies, lollipop with packaging that are colorful and attractive to children. Some of them even mimic famous brands of candies such as the THC infused Zombie Skittles whose manufacturer was recently sued by Wrigleys, the manufactured of the “real Skittles”.

In a recent article, the Children Hospital of Philadelphia, Center for Injury Research and Prevention, describes the case of an elementary school child who went to a local grocery store with her parents and picked a “Krispy Treat” snack.  The parents did not notice that the colorful packaging of the treat indicated that the treat contained delta-8-THC which is now sold in the Philadelphia region as a “legal high”.  The child ingested the entire snack and only at dinner time parents noticed that their daughter started to get distressed, holding her head, becoming drowsy and loosing her balance. They rushed the child to the emergency room where she was hooked to a respirator and transferred to the intensive care unit until doctors figured out that testing showed that she was poisoned by THC and that she would recover soon.

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Reckless driving  and speeding caused 6 people to die and several to be injured in multiple car accidents all over the city. On Monday early morning, around 2:00 am, a black BMW landed on the Amtrak tracks below the Henry Hudson parkway around 183rd Street. The driver lost control of the vehicle and went over the barriers of the highway. When the car landed on the tracks it exploded, killing the driver and the passenger. The police was seen at the scene investigating the accident while Amtrak published a service advisory signaling delays for the trains travelling between Pen Station and Albany.

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Steinway building3 people suffered personal injury caused by falling ice in Midtown Manhattan and streets had to be temporarily closed around the Steinman high rise to prevent further accidents.  Falling ice from super-tall high rise all glass sky scrappers is an ongoing issue in New York City that has been causing entire streets to shut down.  Studies have found that the energy efficiency system installed on aluminum and glass high-rises causes unexpected accumulation of ice and snow (see previous post) and as a result when the temperature rises, this ice is falling down on the street from such height that it becomes deadly.

On Friday afternoon, a woman was driving her car on Sixth Ave when a giant piece of ice, crashed on the top of her car, causing the roof to crash down on her head and seriously injuring her. The ice fell from the high-rise located at 111 W. 57th St also known as the Steinway building because it was built at the location of the Steinway pianos showroom. It is also one of the highest building in the US and the thinnest skyscraper in the world.

35 year old Deneice O’Connor said she thought a body fell on her car when the accident occurred. She said she was traumatized but was able to drive the car to the curb and find refuge under an awning while 10 foot long panes of ice continue to crash down on the street.

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road defect killed cyclistA senior cyclist died in a accident caused by a road defect in Queens, NYC, last Thursday. 77 year old Lin Wen-Chiang was riding his bicycle on 40th Driver in Elmhurst when he hit a broken cave-in pavement  and fell off his bike. He suffered severe head trauma and died from his injuries.

6 complaints were previously logged in with the Department of Transportation as the cave-in pavement was never properly addressed

After the accident occurred, city workers were seen patching the defect which had been poorly addressed despite multiple complaints to the city.