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 wrongful death

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Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Jeffrey Bloom and Ben Rubinowitz represented the family  of Joan Rivers after she died during a routine endoscopy at a Manhattan surgery center. Sadly many other patients have died following complications or surgical errors at this type of center as many States still do not have regulations that may prevent them. For example in most of the country there is no law that prohibits a doctor who was laid off by a hospital for misconduct to open a surgery center.

A recent USA TODAY NETWORK and Kaiser Health News investigation found that a surgery center in Arkansas 3 people died during colonoscopy procedures in 15 weeks and none of them were reported to an oversight authority. Patients coming for procedures were obviously not aware of these deaths either. This must change.

The lack of oversight continues to kill patients at surgery centers

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Among all the States in the US, New York State has the highest rate of mothers injured while giving birth.  Many of these injuries are the direct result of hospital negligence and medical malpractice. A recent investigation by USA Today shows that not only in New York but all over America negligent medical workers skip basic safety practices that have proven to be life savers for mothers.

Weighing blood pads to track dangerous hemorrhages as well as controlling blood pressure and if necessary immediately providing medication to prevent strokes are basic procedures that protect a mother about to give birth. However in the US many nurses, doctors and hospitals continue to ignore them. As a result while in most developed countries the rate of maternal deaths and injuries dropped drastically over the last decades, it rose sharply in the US.

maternal deaths in developed countries
Excepted for California where safe practices have been implemented, hospitals in other Sates continue to ignore basic safety practices.  As a result, every day in the US, 2 mothers die from complications related to delivery. Many of them bleed to death because doctors and nurses don’t bother to quantify blood losses. Many others die from stroke because the hospital staff didn’t track their blood pressure or didn’t provide blood pressure medication on time. Most of these deaths are preventable. Experts estimate that 93% of the deaths related to bleeding could be avoided by quantifying blood loss and 60% of the deaths related to blood pressure disorder could be prevented simply by proprely monitoring blood pressure.

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ATV on paved roadEven though driving an ATV on the road might be allowed in your town, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recently released an announcement urging ATV users to stay off paved roads.

According to the agency, ATVs which are designed for off road use are more difficult to control on paved surfaces and are at risk of over turning. Obviously there is also a higher risk of collision with cars and other motor vehicles when driving an ATV on a paved road.

ATVs are dangerous vehicles. Between 2010 and 2013, 430,000 people were treated for injuries related to ATV accidents and 2,400 died from these accidents. Among the 2,400 deaths, 770 occurred on a paved road, That’s more than 30% of all ATV deaths.

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School busFor years safety advocates have recommended that school buses be equipped with  3-point seat belts to protect children from injuries or deaths in case of a bus accident. Yesterday the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) joined in by recommending for the first time that all US School buses be equipped with lap and shoulder belts.

Based on previous studies, The NTSB also recommended  that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mandate automatic emergency braking systems for all American school buses.

States such as New York, New Jersey, Florida and Louisiana that already have buses equipped with lap belts should also upgrade to lap and shoulder belts.

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keyless carMultiple owners of key-less cars have been dying of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning after mistakenly thinking that their car had stopped running. In most scenarios the car owner parks the vehicle in the house garage and takes the wireless key fob thinking that the car has shut down while it hasn’t. Overnight the garage and the house fills with odorless carbon monoxide gas, leaving the owner and other potential house residents dead or severely injured.

There are no exact records of how many people have died or how many people were left with serious injuries such as brain damage after inadvertently leaving their car running but 24 deaths nationwide were reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since 2006 when the first known case occurred. 70 year old Jeanette Colter, a Florida resident who  left her Toyota Avalon running in the garage ended up collapsing and dying between her kitchen and her living room. Her 89 year old husband died in the bedroom.

In 2009 after several other similar accidents were reported, the Society of Automotive Engineers formed a panel to develop recommended practices to address key-less ignition hazards. In 2011, the group recommended an externally audible or visual alert or automatic shut off of the engine if all doors are closed and the key fob is not present. That same year the NHTSA proposed a new rule with similar recommendations.

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Hit and Run Crashes by State2,049 people died in 1,980 fatal hit and run crashes in 2016 in the US according to a study recently released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This is the highest number of fatal hit and run crashes ever recorded in the US. Among the 2,049 people who died in these accidents, 1,229 of them were pedestrians, 169 were cyclists, 380 of them were drivers and 229 were passengers. Since 2009 hit and run crashes increased by an average annual rate of 7.2% per year.

New Mexico, Louisiana and Florida have the highest rate of fatal hit and run crashes per 100,000 people while New Hampshire, Maine and Minnesota have the lowest rate.

Almost 60% of the victims of fatal hit and run are pedestrians with elderly over 80 year old and children under 6 being 50% more likely to be a victim of such accidents. Gender is also a factor. 70% of pedestrians dying in a hit and run accidents are male.

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Prevent falls in Construction Campaig
Falls are the number one cause of death in the construction industry. In 2016, a total of 991 hard hats died in construction accidents. Almost 40% of them, 370,  lost their life after they fell from a height. Most of these accidents may have been prevented.

To increase awareness and to prevent more injuries and deaths related to falls, OSHA and several other partners advocating for safe construction practices are asking employers all over the country to organize Safety Stand-Down events and discuss safety with their employees.  Employers are invited to focus on Fall Hazard and Fall Prevention. Safety stand-down can be conducted in various ways. Toolbox talk during a break or inspections of safety equipment, development of rescue plans or discussion related to specific job hazards are examples of activities that can be organized during a safety stand-down. The OSHA website proposes various suggestions and ideas to employers on how to organize a successful Stand-Down. OSHA also has an event page for Stand-Down events by regions that are free and open to the public. OSHA also encourages all employers to share their Stand-Down experience. Employers who are participating in the campaign will also receive a Certificate of Participation.

CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT PREVENTION EVENTS ORGANIZED BY THE NYC DOB

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Positive Train Control can prevent accidentsIf Positive Train Control (PTC) was functioning, the recent fatal train accident between a New York –  Miami Amtrack and CSX freight train in South Carolina wouldn’t have occurred. PTC uses satellite technology and track sensors to determine the location of a train and to find out if there is a speed restriction or an obstruction ahead.

Unfortunately  wayside signals had been turned off for maintenance and were inoperative in the area of the accident . If they had been working PTC would have automatically slowed down the train and the accident may have been prevented.

PTC would have also prevented the derailment of the Amtrack train in Dupont, Washington last December. In the December accident, the train enginer failed to slow down before a curve causing the train to derail. This type of accident would not happen anymore if PTC was installed and functioning on all national railroads.

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Fall Protection SystemThe Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) looked over 33 years of data from the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program and found out that falls were responsible for 42% of hard hat deaths. The CPWR searchers also found that  54% of the workers who died after falling did not have access to a personal fall arrest system and 23% had access to it but did not use it.  The study also found that roofers, siding and sheet metal contractors were those who most often were not provided with a personal fall arrest system. These numbers  clearly show the importance  of  holding contractors accountable for the safety of their employees when they work at high elevation.

NY STATE SCAFFOLD LAW MUST BE KEPT

In New York, the Scaffold Safety Law (Section 240(1) of the NYS Labor Law)  holds an owner and general contractor responsible for the death or the injuries of a worker if the worker wasn’t provided with the necessary safety equipment when working at height. Big construction companies and insurance companies have been trying to kill this law for years. However the Scaffold Law remains the most effective manner to make sure construction workers are protected from falls. This is particularly important in New York City where a lot of hard hats are participating in the construction of high rises buildings.

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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