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 NY

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harness safety equipment on scaffoldOn April 28th, Workers Memorial Day commemorated those who have suffered and died on the job. The NY construction industry accounts for a large share of the deaths and injuries suffered by workers. While fatal construction accidents have declined by 23% in New York City over the last 5 years they increased by 39% in New York State. The main reason behind this discrepancy is the difference in regulations. While stronger regulations and an increase of enforcement and control could help reduce the construction safety crisis in New York State, businesses are heavily lobbying against them.

In New York City things are not perfect either ( 3 construction workers died over a one week period last month) but long term statistics indicate that new and old policies are helping in making construction sites safer for workers. In 2019 the funding for the New York City Department of Buildings increased to 189 million compared to 107 million in 2015. The Department was able to hire 700 more employees and increase the number of work-site inspections.  The recent implementation of Local Law 196 that requires all construction workers to have a minimum amount of safety training before being able to work on a construction site in New York City will also be helpful in preventing dangerous injury and deaths.

Scaffold Safety Law

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LIRR train Accident NY3 people died and 7 were injured after a vehicle collided with two trains travelling in opposite directionsa in Long Island, NY.

The train accident occurred Tuesday night during rush hour at a railroad crossing near the Long Island Rail Road Westbury Station in Nassau County, NY. As the gates were down and the lights were flashing, the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident was witnessed driving around the gates to cross the railroad tracks. As he was in the middle of the railroad crossing, the vehicle was struck by a train that had just left the Westbury station and was heading East. The vehicle was then hit a second time by another train arriving at full speed in the opposite direction. The impact caused the two first cars of the westbound train to derail while the last car of the eastbound train struck a platform and partially destroyed it. The 3 occupants of the vehicle all died in the accident. So far the vehicle was so mangled that it was difficult to identify who were the victims and what type of vehicle it was. After further investigation the police found that the victims were 3 workers of a grocery store located a block away from the crossing: dairy manager Jesus Hernandez, and meat department workers Saul Martinez and Miguel Luna. According to a witness the men travelling in a maroon SUV might have been involved in a fender bender moments earlier and were trying to  flee the scene of the accident.

7 other people who were travelling on the westbound train were also injured. They were transported to the hospital to be treated for non fatal injuries. Around 1000 people had to be evacuated from both trains and heavy delays were expected as crews had to work on two train derailments and assess damages to the tracks and to the platform.

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Location of the deadly limo accident3 months after 20 people were killed in a limousine accident in Schoaries, NY (see previous blog), the National Transportation Safety Board has still not been able to inspect the vehicle. The NTSB has not been able to get closer than 15 feet from the vehicle because the local district attorney is blocking them from doing so. The accident was the deadliest of all traffic accidents in the US since 2009.  The vehicle was a modified 2001 Ford excursion that had failed a state inspection and was driven by a driver that didn’t have the credentials to drive such vehicle.

In certain area such as aviation or train transportation, the NTSB has the legal authority to control the investigation but in highway crashes, local authorities are in charge and in this case the local district attorney has been keeping the federal agency from completing their investigation.

Loss of critical evidence

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hit and run location
3 pedestrians died in car accidents in New York this week-end.

Staten Island Pedestrian killed in Brooklyn

65 year old Losif Morgenshteyn was fatally struck by a hit and run driver as he was changing a flat tire on the driver side of his car. The accident occurred on Saturday night around 6:30 pm. on Shore Parkway near East 28th Street in Sheepshead Bay. According to CBS News, the man was hit by a white Toyota minivan with Pennsylvania plates. 3 people came out of the van and checked on the condition of the pedestrian before speeding away. The van was found empty about a mile away and the police are still looking for the driver. When the EMS arrived they gave the man CPR and then rushed him to the hospital. Unfortunately he couldn’t be saved and he was pronounced dead upon his arrival.

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Location of the deadly limo accident
After 20 people died in a limousine accident in Schoharies, NY, the first result of the investigation indicate that the limousine wasn’t supposed to be on the road because it had failed inspection and that the driver who blew the stop sign didn’t have the proper license to drive a stretch limo. Additionally he was also recently busted twice on drug charges.  The limousine belonged to Prestige Limousine, a shoddy company operating  out of a low budget hotel that has a history of failed inspections. Its shady owner, Shaheb Hussain,  became a federal informant after he was caught in a scheme to illegally obtain driver’s licenses in the Albany area. Yesterday, officials suspended Prestige Limousine operations and seized 3 vehicles.

Worried limo occupants sent texts of concern to relatives before the accident

The limousine was transporting 17 friends –  four sisters, two brothers and several young couples – on their way to a birthday party. They were supposed to be picked up by a party bus to go to a brewery in Cooperstown  but they were informed that the  bus broke down on its way to pick them up. Instead they were picked up by the shoddy stretch limousine.  Some of the people on  board texted relatives that they were worried about the vehicle conditions.

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Marty Martinez plane crash picturesA woman died in a plane accident. 43 year old Jennifer Riordan, a mother of two and a Wells Fargo bank executive was sitting in a plane that just took off from Laguardia airport when one of the engines exploded.

Shrapnel blew out the window where she was sitting nearly sucking her out of the plane. Passengers struggled to pull her back while others tried to stuff clothes to fill the holes.  As the plane was quickly loosing altitude, pilots prepared for an emergency landing in Philadelphia. Terrorized passengers had to use their oxygen masks to be able to breath. The whole scene was completely chaotic with passengers screaming and flight attendants breaking into tears.  A nurse who was on the plane gave CPR to the injured passenger. She was rushed to the hospital after the plain landed. Unfortunately she couldn’t be saved and later on died from her injuries.

Operated by Southwest Airline, the aircraft that was originally heading to Dallas reported the accident as it was 32,000 feet in the air.  Southwest is operating 3500 flights every year. It is the first time that a passenger was killed in a flight accident since the airline started  51 years ago.  The plane was visually inspected on Sunday and no problems were detected.

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accident sceneAn 83-year-old man died after being hit by a pick-up truck in Manhattan. The pedestrian identified as Gilbert DiBernardo was killed in front of his apartment building in KipsBay.  The collision occurred Friday afternoon around 4:00 pm.  The man was in the crosswalk located on Second Avenue and was almost across the street when according to the NY Daily News the light turned green for the cars. He was struck by a Chevrolet Silverado driven by a 53 year old driver. The driver told the police that he braked but wasn’t able to stop his truck in time. The pedestrian was transported to the hospital with a massive head injury. He died the following day.

Another man died in a truck accident on Tuesday morning. 48 year old John P. Riofrio was driving his truck on I 287 near White Plains when he collided with another vehicle. He lost control of his truck and skidded off the road. The truck flipped over the guardrail and landed in a small stream. The driver died at the scene of the accident. Two passengers suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene of the accident. Read more in the Lohud

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Last June a Rochester professor was killed in a NY truck accident on Interstate 90. Just before the accident the driver was allegedly shopping online while driving at 70 mph in a construction area. The driver identified as 27 year old Kristofer Gregorek pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter. He is facing up to 15 years in prison. He will be sentenced at the end of June.

The victim, 45 year old Ellen Volpe was driving to work when she was rear ended by the truck. Volpe was an assistant professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo’s School of Nursing.  She died at the scene of the accident. A third car was involved in the accident. The driver was injured but survived.

Volpe left behind her a husband and two young sons.

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New York Train Accident Lawyer Richard SteigmanOur partner Richard Steigman recently told the Lohud that he was disappointed by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conclusions on the train accident that occurred more than two years ago in Valhalla, NY. 6 people were killed and many more were injured after a Metro-North Train crashed into a SUV that was stuck on the tracks. The NTSB blamed Ellen Brody, the driver of the SUV, for the accident. Steigman who represents several victims of the crash, was attending a recent conference related to discovery in Westchester County Court. During the short conference, plaintiffs argued that Metro-North was withholding relevant information.

Steigman told the Lohud “he was disappointed in the NTSB for not taking into account the actions of train engineer Stephen Smalls. Smalls, who has his own lawsuit, could have stopped or slowed the train down when he saw Brody’s car on the tracks.” “There’s another narrative here,” he said. “At the end of the day, it will go before a trier of fact, for a jury to determine (who was at fault).”

NY train accident attorney Richard Steigman represents:

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motorcyle accident2 men died in motorcycle accidents in NY on Monday.

A Queens motorcyclist died after colliding with a car around 7:30 pm. 26 year old Jamie Pusey was riding his motorcycle on Merrick Boulevard when he collided with a car near 130th Street in St. Albans. The motorcyclist flew of  his bike and fatally fell on the asphalt. The 20 year old driver stayed at the scene of the accident. He wasn’t charged. Investigation is ongoing.

The accident occurred just an hour after another biker was killed in Long Island.