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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.

Articles Tagged with wrongful death NYC

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2 construction workers died  and 79 were injured on the job in New York City during the first two months of 2021. One fatality occurred in  Staten Island and the other one in Manhattan. In both cases the worker fell. Last year, only one worker died in NYC construction accidents over the first 2 months of the year and the year before, no fatalities were recorded during the same period. Since 2015, the number of construction worker fatalities during the first two months of the year varied between 0 and 2. Among the 79 workers injured, 41 of them were injured in fall accidents. (click on graphs for full size)

construction accident deaths by borough February 2021
Falls remain the most common cause of fatalities for construction workers in New York City. The two fatal accidents that occurred in February were falls. Both accidents could have been prevented if adequate safety measures had been in place. The first accident took place on a construction site located at 730 5th Avenue in Manhattan. The worker who died was cleaning an area where a permanent building trash chute was being installed. He stepped on a hole cover that snapped and gave way. The worker fell to the floor below. He was transported to the hospital where he died from his injuries. The second fatal accident occurred at 144 Dunham Street in Staten Island. A roofer fell from the roof and did not survive the injuries he sustained during the fall. The inspectors found that the working permit for the construction site had expired. Multiple safety infractions were found at the site and the DOB issued a full stop work order for failure to safeguard persons and property. Roofers have the highest rate of fatalities among all categories of construction workers.

Factors in NYC fatal construction accidents February 21
79 construction workers were injured in New York City during the first two months of the year. This is the lowest number of workers injured during the first two months of the year since 2017. 48 of these accidents took place in Manhattan, 14 in Brooklyn, 11 in Queens, 4 in the Bronx and 1 in Staten Island.

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Pedestrian and cyclist injuries and fatalities were lower than usual last February and so were motorcyclist, bus and truck accidents.

Traffic Accident injuries reached a record low in New York City in January and February. While February car accident injuries always reach a yearly low, the number of NYC car accident injuries was at its lowest since Vision Zero started. 2,503 people were injured in traffic accidents in New York City compared to 3,028 a month earlier and 4,006 in February 2020. The number of traffic accident injuries mostly dropped over the last 12 months because of the Covid19 crisis that affected the City and slow down activities. (click on graphs for full sizes)

Traffic Accident Injuries NYC February 2021
Motor vehicle accident injuries in NYC in February 2021 by category
After reaching annual record highs over the summer of 2020, the number of New York auto accident deaths also declined and stabilized to numbers somewhat similar to previous years despite the slowdown. 10 people died in traffic accidents last February compared to 13 in January and 17 in February 2020.  Since Vision Zero was launched in 2014, the number of traffic accident fatalities in February has been oscillating between 17 and 10 with 10 last month being the lowest. Fatalities were mostly pedestrian fatalities.

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It is very disappointing to see how some motorists in NYC have so little concern about pedestrian safety. In the video below, a man driving a pick up truck makes a right turn without yielding to an elderly pedestrian in Brooklyn, knocking him down to the ground and just continuing on his way as if nothing happened.  The police are now looking for him.

location of the Boulevard of Death accidentAnother pedestrian recently died from the injuries he sustained in a similar accident.  Last Friday afternoon , 55 year old Jaipaul Persaud was crossing Queens Boulevard, also nicknamed “Boulevard of Death”, when a motorist making a left turn off 84th Drive onto Queens Boulevard fatally struck him (see location of the accident on Google map picture to the left). The pedestrian was in the crosswalk with the light in his favor. The 33 year old woman who struck him also travelled at the green light but was supposed to yield to pedestrians while making her left turn. The impact was so intense that Persaud who was hit by the front bumper of the car, flew onto the windshield and then crashed down on the street. Persaud was rushed to the emergency room but he died from his injuries on Sunday. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and so far has not been charged (read more in the Daily News and in the LIC Post )

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location of the blakhoe accidentA New York City pedestrian crossing the street was killed by a backhoe on Friday afternoon. 61 year old Estelle Davis was walking in a crosswalk near New Lots and Van Sinderen Avenues. She was looking down at her phone when a backhoe that was doing work nearby struck her.  The backhoe belongs to Vail Industry, an independent contractor that was hired by Con Ed to perform some work in the area. Estelle Davis was on her way to work. She was a nurse working two jobs and also serves as pastor on Sunday.

The police thought initially that the woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver but a video surveillance captured images of the accident. Investigation is still ongoing but it is not clear yet why heavy construction equipment was backing up in a pedestrian area with no protection or warning. A flag worker was present at the scene but he was positioned on the other side of the machine. (Read more in the NY Daily News )

Extensive regulations have been developed by OSHA to prevent pedestrians being run over by heavy construction equipment

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In 2020, New York saw a record high in motorist (driver) deaths and bicycle injuries and deaths, a record low in pedestrian deaths and a much lower number of truck and bus accidents than usual. The Covid 19 crisis that lasted during most of 2020 had a significant impact on New Yorkers commuting habits around the city. Emptier streets have lead to reckless driving and as a result more deaths related to speed. A surge in bicycle accident injuries was also recorded as many New Yorkers are now using bicycles instead of riding the subway.

Surge in traffic accident deaths in NYC

Despite a slowdown in activity in the city , 239 people died in traffic accidents in New York City, compared to 214 in 2019, 199 in 2018, 209 in 2017, 223 in 2016, 235 in 2015, 250 in 2014 and 286 in 2013. The number of car accident deaths was almost back to the level it was when the Vision Zero program started. If it was not for a significant decrease in pedestrian deaths, the number of fatalities would have been over this level with all other categories of road users reaching record high number of fatalities.

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location of the school bus accidentA 6 year old pedestrian was fatally struck by a school bus in New York City. The accident took place on Wednesday morning near the intersection of South Fifth Street and Hooper Street in Williamsburg. 6 year old Shimon Fried was on his way to school with his older brother.  They were about to get on the school bus when the worst happened. A video from inside the bus shows that they both crossed in front of the  bus with the 9 year-old brother in front, followed a few seconds later by the youngest. The 9 year old got on board and the bus driver closed the doors and took off, running over young Shimon and continuing on its way. The video in the bus shows that the bus appears to rise up as it runs over the child. The driver did not stop and continued  to drive.

A MTA Bus driver found the victim lying on the street

The victim was discovered by  Francisca Biascbrea, a MTA Bus driver. She first thought the victim lying on the road was a doll. She stopped the bus and got out.  She immediately called 911 after she realized it was a young boy.

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workers on suspended scaffoldRepairing facades can be dangerous. Many construction workers died or were injured while repairing facades in New York  without counting the multiple close calls where workers find themselves dangling out of suspended scaffolds  like the worker in the below video who was lucky he could get back on. Sometimes workers are left dangling in the air until FDNY comes to the rescue.

The NYC DOT recorded 4 deaths and 61 injuries related to accidents during facade work since 2015 and recently released a worker alert to raise awareness about the danger of using a suspended scaffold to repair facades.

Here are a few steps that workers should follow to reduce the risk of accident when doing facade repair

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location of the elevator accidentA young mechanic was killed in an elevator accident in New York City last Thursday. 25 year old Joseph Rosa, a mechanic apprentice was helping repair an elevator in a building located at 133 E. Clark Place in the Bronx. The elevator cabin fell down the shaft and crushed the young man at the bottom. According to tenants in the building, the elevator was out for months. Jospeh Rosa was there with a team to perform modernization work when the dramatic accident occured. Another worker was also injured.

Joseph Rosa had just married his wife Karina Stepanova in a Russian Orthodox Church. A month before the wedding he converted to his wife’s religion and got baptized. “He was starting to get closer to religion, closer to God,” the bride-turned-widow said. “It’s like he knew this was coming.” (read more in the NY Daily News)

Installing and repairing elevators is a dangerous job and multiple fatalities and serious injuries are reported nationwide every year. In New York,  too many workers have died while repairing elevators because they were lacking the proper training or because the elevators were defective or unsafe.

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accident sceneA reckless unlicensed 18 year old driver, behind the wheel of a stolen car, blew a stop sign and crashed into another car, killing the passenger and seriously injuring the driver last week in Staten Island. He then fled on foot. The police found him later on. He was arrested and hit with multiple charges.

Last Tuesday night, around 6:15 pm, Shahzad and Krauzer Akund were driving their Mercedes-Benz East on Lambert Lane in Bulls Head, Staten Island, when they got T-Boned by a reckless driver who blew a stop sign. The driver who was driving a Honda completely destroyed the front of his vehicle and ran away on foot, leaving behind him the couple dying in the street.

When EMS arrived they found the couple in critical condition

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BABY-GRETAImagine a scenario almost too terrible to speak about.  But by not speaking about it, justice will never be done, and others might be injured.  On May 17, 2015, a caring, loving grandmother took her 2-year-old grandchild for a walk in New York City.  They paused for a moment and were in front of a building when the unimaginable and unthinkable happened –– a portion of the cement façade of the building fell 8 stories and crushed that beautiful grandchild to death in front of her grandmother’s eyes.

In New York State there is a doctrine of law known as “zone of danger” damages, in which an “immediate” family member can receive compensation for the emotional harm suffered in witnessing the death of a family member.  But there was one caveat: before today, a grandmother was not considered to be an “immediate” family member.  Unfortunately, the grandmother’s claim for zone-of-danger damages was dismissed by the Appellate Division.  That injustice was something that had to be rectified.  The NYC personal injury lawyers of Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman and Mackauf  have never given up in the face of injustice.  “When the law is wrong, it’s time to change the law,” said Ben Rubinowitz.  “That is why we took this case and fought all the way to the highest Court in the State.”

Today, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision reversing the Appellate Division.  Through our hard work and fortitude justice will now be done.  The grandmother’s claim has been reinstated and a jury will now decide what the damages should be awarded for such a horrific injury.