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.

Articles Tagged with personal injury

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Defective Hoverboard Lazy BoardDespite the many fire accidents and injuries caused by defective lithium-ion battery packs in hoverboards, the toy remains among the most popular holiday gifts. If you or your kids own a self balancing scooter or if you are planning to buy one as a gift you should visit the Consumer  Product Safety Commission website and check on the recent Self Balancing Scooter recalls. Here are some of the most recently recalled models:

  • The Layz Board hoverboard was recently the subject of a second warning by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. According to the agency this hoverboard caused a fire on October 23, 2017, in Manchester Township, Pennsylvania, which destroyed one town home and damaged four others. The hoverboard was the object of a previous warning in May 2017 after two young girls died in a house fire caused by the Layz Board hoverboard on March 10, 2017, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Salvage World just recalled 700 Smart Balance Wheel self-balancing Scooters/Hoverboards. The battery can overheat and pose a risk of smoking, exploding or catching fire
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OSHA logoUnder the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, some employers in high risk sectors such as construction, manufacturing and building materials are required to report employees illnesses and injuries to OSHA. Until last year these employers reported these data manually in what was commonly called the “OSHA Log”.  The OSHA log commonly refers to:

  • the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300)
  • the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300A)
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New York Forklift Accident Attorney Christopher DonadioOur Construction Accident Attorney Christopher J. Donadio obtained a $1.1 million settlement in a construction accident that occurred in New Jersey.

The case involved a construction accident that occurred on April 15, 2015 on a construction site in Hackensack, New Jersey. On that date, the plaintiff,who was a worker on the job site, was struck by a large forklift, suffering injuries to his left leg and right ankle.

Due to the impact, the plaintiff was taken by ambulance to Hackensack University Medical Center. At the hospital, the plaintiff was diagnosed with fractures of his left leg and right ankle. As a result of the injuries, the plaintiff required a surgery to repair his fractured left leg, and required three surgeries on his right ankle.

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How many people die from personal injury every year in the U.S.? What are the leading causes of these injuries? How many were the result of a disease? Were these injuries intentional or not? Every year since 2000 the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide very precises statistics about the type of injuries people suffer in the U.S. They recently released their statistics for 2015 and here are some interesting points:

  • Among the entire population of the U.S., Heart Disease was the leading cause of death in 2015, followed closely by Malignant Neoplasms. More than 23% of the 2.7 million deaths recorded in 2015 in the US were related to Heart Disease and 22% were due to Malignant Neoplasms.
  • 146,571 people died from Unintentional Injury. This number represents 5.4% of all deaths and is the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. just behind Chronic Low Respiratory Disease. Click on the graphs for full size10 leading cause of death in 2015
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spray foam insulation can be dangerous for construction workersConstruction workers using spray-foam insulation are exposed to chemicals that can lead to asthma and skin conditions if they don’t use adequate protection. Spray foam insulation is one of the most popular choices for home owners to save energy, however some of the chemicals used to make the foam are detrimental to human health.

Spray polyurethane foam contains isocyanates and flame retardant TCPP than can cause severe breathing and skin problems. In a recent webinar from the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR)  Dhimiter Bello, ScD, MSc; Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell explained the results of recent studies and summarized the risks of exposure to dangerous chemicals in spray foam insulation associated with current work practices.

Overall airborne exposure to spray foam insulation are usually below OSHA recommended levels but some risks are still unknowns and under evaluation (see blog from Center for Disease Control and Prevention).  The risk of dermal exposure is elevated for both exposure to isocyanates and TCPP and is a major concern when using SPF applications. Nitrile gloves as well as breathable coveralls such as Tyvek or PP provide construction workers with significant protection when used during spray-foam insulation applications. It is important that Nitrile gloves be at least 5 mil. thick to provide a better resistance to wear and tear.

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children at campConcussion is one of the most commonly sustained injuries by children and teenagers when they are at camp.  Therefore it is important that camps not only have specific requirements and guidelines to prevent traumatic brain injuries but also have a medical staff that is trained to recognize and treat concussions.

In regards to prevention, camps should always make sure that children wear proper helmets for activities involving motorized vehicles as well as activities such as skate boarding and skating.  Helmets also have to be mandatory when kids are involved in adventure activities such as climbing, spelunking or zip lining.  Children should also wear a helmet when bike riding as well as when horseback riding including pony riding.

Despite actively preventing concussions, accidents still happen and the camp medical team has to be ready.  The camp medical staff has to be able to recognize and evaluate a concussion sustained by a camp goer.  After  the camp clinician properly evaluates the young patient, he will have to communicate not only with the child but also with the parents to assure a proper recovery.

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 Electronic Health RecordThe Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)  released a study on Monday that looked at 14,527 traumatic brain injury-related primary care office visits for 7284 unique patients over a period of 4 years. They found out that after physicians used a concussion management tool provided to them through the Electronic Health Records (EHR) of their patients, they perform better diagnosis and treatment. 

82% of children suffering from concussion visit a primary care physician rather than a specialist to be treated. In the study, the researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) found that many primary care physicians  then refer their young patients to specialists because they feel they are not properly equipped to manage Traumatic Brain Injury cases.

With the input of the primary care physicians, the researchers developed an electronic template guiding the physician through a step by step approach for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of young patients suffering from concussion injuries. The electronic tool was integrated in the Electronic Health Record of the patient. The tool provided physicians with a “concussion Smartset” allowing them to document the evolution of the patient. Physicians were trained to used the tool at various seminars organized by CHOP researchers.

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child in carLast week a bill that would help prevent kids dying from heat stroke in hot cars was introduced in Congress. Backed by several safety, health and consumer advocates, HOT CARS Act of 2017, H.R. 2801 is a bi-partisan proposal introduced by U.S. Representatives Tim Ryan (D-13th OH), Peter King (R-2nd NY) and Jan Schakowsky (D-9th IL). The  bill was launched at the same time as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) kicked  off  The National Vehicular Heatstroke Prevention Campaign. More than 700 children died in hot cars over the last 18 years. Every summer distracted parents unintentionally leave their children unattended in their car. This situation occurs mostly when the children fall asleep in the back seat and parents temporarily forget about them.

The bill that was just introduced proposes to require car manufacturers to install an alert system to remind parents that a child may still be seated in the back. A similar bill stalled in committee last year. If this bill was passed it would still take several years for changes to be implemented.

Some manufacturers however have already started to offer to options to prevent them from leaving their child in the back seat.   The company evenflo now has car seats equipped with sensors that will remind the driver that a child is in the car seat when the car engine is turned off (see video below). Many cases of children dying in hot cars have been reported after children entered a car and locked themselves in it. The new line of General Motors Acadia SUV is equipped with an alert that will go on if a back door is open before the vehicle is started.

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smallerimg_0361_007The Injury Science Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)  kicked off yesterday. Every year this 10 week program sponsored by the National Science Foundation is offering to a group of  selected undergraduate students the opportunity to prepare for a career in injury science. The program is highly selective and prior to be accepted students interested in this program have to submit detailed applications on their motivations and go through an interview process.

This rigorous internship  allows each student to participate in a research project of his or her interest. Additionally each student is allocated a highly trained pediatric injury researcher as a personal mentor. This one to one mentorship program is a great opportunity for motivated students to develop their skill in injury research and have the possibility to participate in fundamental research with their mentors. Through the internship and depending on their personal interest,  students will participate in hand-on experiences in areas such as science, engineering  or statistics in the field of pediatric injury.

The idea of this program is to plant the seeds for the future and to gather a group of international motivated students that may become the future new actors in injury prevention research with a focus on youth.

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investigation on workers injured at Case Farms on Pro Publica TwitterOsiel Lopez Perez suffered severe personal injury while working in extremely dangerous conditions at a Case Farms chicken plant. He lost his left leg while cleaning a machine. Perez is an illegal immigrant worker. He’s 17 year old. He left Guatemala after his mother was shot by a gang that also tried to kidnap his sisters. At the time of the accident, Perez had to sanitize a liver giblet chiller. To do so he was supposed to first climb on a ladder to turn off the water valve above the machine. Because there was no ladder available, his supervisor showed him how to climb onto the machine to reach the water valve. One day, as he was standing on the machine his foot slipped into the machine which automatically started. His whole left leg was ripped off by the machine.  For years OSHA inspectors have been warning the plant about the dangerous habits of workers climbing onto the machinery for cleaning purposes.  The accident was completely preventable, simply by providing employees with ladders.

One of the biggest suppliers of chicken for the entire country, Case Farm chicken plant has a long history of abusing vulnerable immigrant workers. According to a recent investigation by  Michael Grabell from ProPublica in collaboration with the New Yorker, Case Farms chicken plants are some of the most dangerous places to work in the U.S. The company was fined $2 million in 2015 for disregarding worker safety. Over the last 7 years the company was cited 240 times for workers safety violations.

Companies that are hiring immigrants workers can be fined for doing so and employers can be sent to jail according to an immigration law that was passed by Congress 30 years ago. However this law is rarely applied, allowing abusive employers to evade responsibilities. Under The Obama Presidency, Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agreed not to go after undocumented workers during labor disputes. Will this agreement remain now that Trump took over? Workers advocates worry that ICE may ditch it. If an employee is injured and complains, employers who have a history of abusing and neglecting illegal immigrant workers may then just call ICE to have them deported.