Firm Operations Continue Uninterrupted During the Coronavirus. Click for More Information ›
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

Published on:

construction workers moving equipment are at risk of struck by accidentsCarlos’Law, a bill named after Carlos Moncayo, an undocumented and nonunion construction worker who was 22 year old when he was fatally crushed by a collapsing wall  on a Manhattan construction site, is on the desk of NY Governor Hochul. The bill that passed the State legislature earlier in June proposes to significantly raise fines for contractors and their agents who have been criminally charged after a serious in jury or death occurred at their construction site. Fines for misdemeanor would be raised to $300,000 and fines for a felony in criminal cases related to the death of a construction worker would be raised to $500,000 instead of the actual $10,000.

The actual NY state-imposed limit on corporate penalties of $10,000 is “Monopoly money”

Construction companies are rarely criminally charged in New York. Since The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was signed by President Nixon, out of 400,000 hard hat fatalities, 80 of them were prosecuted and around 12 only resulted in criminal charges.  Harco Construction, the general contractor for the site where Carlos Moncayo died was one of them (see previous posts). The contractor was sentenced to pay $10,000 (the maximum fine on corporate penalties in NY State) after being found guilty of reckless endangerment, criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter. At the time Cyrus R. Vance Jr who was the District Attorney called the fine “Monopoly money”.

Published on:

Graphics_Heat_Hydration_InstagramTwo years ago, on July 7 2020 in Geneseo, NY, Tim Barber, a 35 year old construction worker died from heat stress on his second day at work. The young man had just been hired as a construction laborer on the Genesee River bridge project in Geneseo, NY. Tim was living with his parents and came back home on the first day not feeling well. On the second day before he headed back to work, his father told him to eat his lunch, take breaks and drink water. Several hours later, in mid-afternoon, their son died from hyperthermia.

According to the investigation, Tim was working alone in a summer heat that was around 95 degrees. He was sorting bolts which is considered a light duty, however his body was not accustomed to the heat.  The accident could have been prevented and the employer, Pavilion Drainage Supply, Inc. was cited by OSHA for not training and protecting their employees against extreme heat. His parents are now advocating for better  workers education and protection for extreme heat.

Tim’s parents are not the only one campaigning for better workers protection against heat illness and fatality. New York Attorney General Laetitia James is at the head of a coalition of six States that are asking OSHA to implement a national standard to protect not only construction workers but all workers, outdoor and indoor, that are exposed to extreme heat during their work.

Published on:

car accident scene in ManhattanThere are multiple ways to reduce car accident deaths in New York City.  One of the most successful ones has been the implementation of speed cameras and red light cameras in the city and the lowering of the speed limit to 25mph. The camera program as well as the speed limit control are in the hands of the state legislature and governor in Albany and as a result, not only the city of New York has to seek re-authorization for its automated enforcement program every 4 years as Albany still considers them “demonstrations” but also the city has to beg Albany any time it wants to make a change to this program.

As car accident fatalities in New York City are reaching highs never seen since the beginning of Vision Zero,  street safety advocate organization Transportation Alternatives is recommending Albany to:

  • Immediately authorizing home rule for the City of New York to have control over life-saving automated enforcement programs and speed limits.
Published on:

Sadly Thanksgiving Holidays are not only associated with good family time but also with a rise in car accident fatalities and injuries. National statistics show that car crashes increase by 17% during the day and the night before Thanksgiving as families travel across the United States to get together. Consumption of alcohol is also a contributor in many accidents that occur during the Holidays.

overpass where the deadly crash occurred NY19 year old loses control of vehicle packed with 5 passengers killing two of them and seriously injuring two others

In the New York area, two young people died in a car accident in Long Island on Thursday night. According to the police, the driver of a Honda Pilot who was carrying 5 other passengers sideswiped a Toyota Corolla on the Southern State Parkway near Hempstead and lost control of the vehicle. The car then crashed into an overpass located near exit 21.  The driver, identified as 19 year old Herson Gonzalez survived while two 23 year old passengers, Patricia Rakissoon from Bay Shore and Elliott Bryant from Brooklyn, died. Two other passengers were transported to the hospital with serious injuries while the driver and another occupant were also transported to the hospital to be examined. The occupants of the Toyota were not injured. The exact causes of the accident are still being investigated.  (read more in the Nassau Daily Voices) (Picture of the location of the deadly crash: courtesy of Google Map).

Published on:

the house that went on fire in Long Island5 people died in an apartment fire in Long Island NY last Tuesday night. The fire erupted around 10:40 pm in a century-old house located on East Second Street in Riverhead. The house had 3 apartments with the landlord living in one of them on the ground floor and two other families living on the second and third floor. A total of 10 people lived in the house. 5 of them who were living on the top floor died in the fire. It was a mother with her son and daughter as well as her two nephews.

According to preliminary investigations, the fire might have been started by a cigarette. The fire was discovered by a resident of the second floor who had stepped out to walk his dog. As he was returning home he smelled the smoke and then heard the neighbors screaming “Fire”.

The investigators are still trying to figure out if there were smoke alarms installed in the apartment and if there were, why they didn’t work.

Published on:

car accident in NYC38,680 people died in auto accidents in the US in 2020 compared to 36,096 a year earlier according to preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 7.2 % increase in crashes occurred as the total number of miles travelled by motor vehicles decreased by 13.2%, an indication that roads were much more dangerous during the pandemic. The rate of fatalities by 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) raised from 1.1 VMT in 2019 to 1.37 VMT in 2021. This is the highest rate of crash fatalities recorded in the US since 2007.

The region that includes NY, NJ, CT, and PA had  the highest increase of fatal auto accidents

When looking at the increase of fatal motor vehicle accidents by regions between 2019 and 2020, region 2 that includes NY, PA NJ and CT was the worst with a 10% increase in traffic accident deaths.

Published on:

accident sceneTwo teenagers recently died in two separate DWI car crashes in Rockland County NY (see previous blog). In an effort to prevent more drunk driving accidents among students, officials organized a simulation of what a deadly DWI or DUI car crash looks like in reality.

Community emotionally hurt by two previous teen drunk driving deaths

The demonstration took place in the town of Clarkson where 16 year old Vlad Mosyuk died at the beginning of the month after getting in a car with his friend, 18 year old Alan Mendoza and another 17 year old girl. Alan was drunk behind the wheel and got involved in a three-car crash. Vlad died, the girl was seriously injured and the young drunk driver was charged with vehicular homicide, reckless driving and driving while intoxicated. The accident took place less than two weeks after another teen, Jacqueline Zangrilli died in a similar DWI accident in the nearby town of Montebello.

Published on:

The road where the deadly NY crash occurred3 High School Students were injured and one died in a car accident in Rockland County, NY. All teenagers were students from Clarkstown North High School. 18 year old Allan Mendoza was driving a Mitsubishi Lancer with 3 other students from his high school on board last Thursday night around 11:00 pm when they got involved in a 3 vehicle crashes.

The accident occurred near 256 Congers Road in New City.  Among those who suffered the most serious injuries were a 16 year old boy and a 17 year old girl. The 16 year old boy died from his injuries on Friday. He was identified as Vladzslav Hvalyk.

The 18 year old driver was drunk behind the wheel and was charged with reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, second degree manslaughter aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault. He was arraigned and sent to Rockland County Jail pending a future Court date.

Published on:

Two men died in a NY box truck accident early Monday last week.  One of the victims was the driver of the truck and the other victim was the passenger. The two men were aboard a Boar’s Head box truck belonging to Top Shelf Provision, an independent authorized purveyor. They were driving on the Long Island Expressway in North Hills near exit 36 when the truck struck the overpass for Shelter Rock Road and rolled over. Both men died at the scene of the accident. Read more in theislandnow.com

High risk of rollover accidents

box-truck-scaledBecause there are so many box trucks in New York, accidents are quite common. Box trucks are used for deliveries of merchandise to restaurants, stores and business . Box trucks are heavy and because they have a very boxy shape in order to carry a maximum of merchandise, their center of gravity is high, making them prone to rollover accidents like the one in which these two men were killed last Monday. When loading the truck, it is important that goods on board are proprely secured as unsecured merchandise also increases the risk of a rollover.

Published on:

distracted driver can cause crashesA NY State Trooper who sustained catastrophic injuries after being struck by a distracted driver in Long Island, NY  recently died. The accident occurred 3 years ago. Joseh Gallager who was 38 year old at the time, was helping a disabled motorist on the Long Island Expressway when he was struck by Jesse Cohen. Investigation found that at the time of the accident, Cohen was text messaging with 3 different people and had 3 social media apps open in the 20 minutes prior to the accident. Gallager suffered traumatic brain injury and lost the ability to talk, walk or eat without help. He passed away on March 26th, leaving behind his wife and two chidden as well as his parents, sisters and brothers. His funeral took place last week (see obituaries in NewsDay).

Gallager is one of many victims of distracted driving. According to CBS News, in the last 3 weeks, 3 other car accidents in Nassau County were caused by distracted driving.  In 2019, distracted driving killed 3,142 people in the US, 10% more than in 2018 according to the most recent statistics from the NHTSA.

The death  of State Trooper Joe Gallager, occurred just before the beginning of  “Distracted Driving Awareness Month” and as a reminder, the police in Nassau County have been launching a major campaign enforcing distracted driving laws on their roads.