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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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Andrew_Gounardes wrote the speed camera billsIn an effort to reduce an increase in fatal car accidents in New York City, legislators in Albany have signed a deal to renew the existing cameras program and to have them running 24/7 instead of the current schedule of 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Safety advocates were pleased that the deal was signed and the new amended bill was on its way to be delivered to Governor Hochul and signed.  The signature of the bill allows the speed cameras program to be extended for 3 years. However the deal is a watered down version of the bill proposed by Senator Andrew Gournades (picture) who originally included several other propositions such as:

  • Requiring the DMV to notify car insurance companies about any car accumulating five or more speed camera tickets
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The intersection where Lin was fatally struckAnother pedestrian died in a crash in New York City on Saturday after the driver of a van failed to yield to her

62 year old Tian-Rong Lin was crossing Seward Avenue in the Bronx when a van making a left turn from Olmstead Avenue struck her. The accident occurred on Saturday morning around 11:00 am. The driver, 54 year old Ramon Cedeno-Ortiz, stayed at the scene of the accident. He was charged with failure to exercise due care and failure to yield to a pedestrian.

Drivers rarely charged when they kill a pedestrian

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Location of the deadly MTA Bus AccidentA pedestrian was fatally struck by a MTA Bus in Staten Island, NYC, last Friday early morning and the bus driver never stopped.

69 year old Patrick Varriale, a New Springville resident and the the electronic media services division director for the American Federation of Musicians of US and Canada, an instrumental musicians union, was crossing the intersection of Forrest Hill Road and Platinum Avenue in Staten Island around 4:40 AM on Friday when he was struck by a MTA bus driver who never stopped and left the victim dying in the street.

The intersection is a block away from the MTA Yukon Bus Depot and after investigation, the police found out that the bus driver who hit the victim was a 52 year old man who was travelling eastbound on Forest Hill Road. He hit the victim as he was making a left turn onto Platinum Avenue. The man was driving the SIM 10 route bus.

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Speed cameras prevent crashes59% of all deadly crashes in New York City occur during hours when speed cameras are turned off and speeding is the number one factor of car accident fatalities in New York City with 4 out of 5 fatal crashes caused by speed according to a new report recently published by Transportation Alternatives.

Speed cameras in New York City have proven to be among the most effective tools to address speeding and reduce car accidents.  The speed camera program that was implemented in 2014 in New York City is not regulated by  New York City but by New York State in Albany.  Albany not only limits the number of speed cameras but also their location (only in school zones and at few intersections) and their hours of operation (Monday to Friday from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm).   Mayor Adams wants the city to have control over the speed camera program and two days ago, the NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner, Ydanis Rodriguez reiterated Adams’ call on lawmakers in Albany to hand over control of the city’s speed camera program (see article in the Gothamist).

Both the NYC DOT and street safety activists are asking for speed camera to be active 24/7.  Previous studies effectuated by the DOT show that as soon as the cameras are turned off, speeding comes back and that 31% of all crash fatalities take place in a school zone area at a time when cameras are turned off.

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2 hard hats died during the first quarter of 2022 and 110 of them were injured while working on construction sites in New York City. Both fatalities were fall accidents, both occurred in Brooklyn and both were preventable.

The first fatality occurred on February 11. Angel Pilataxi, a father of 3 children and 3 step children fell to his death at a construction site located at 124 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn. According to the DOB investigation,  the worker was taking measurements on the edge of the roof on the eighth floor when the accident happened. He was not using a safety harness and fell over the parapet. He was found unconscious lying on the second floor terrace. He did not survive. Investigators found that the worker and a co-worker who was working with him at the time of the accident not only did not have a site safety training card but also did not receive any site-specific safety training and did not participate in a pre-shit meeting in the morning. At the time of the accident a full stop order was issued and the DOB issued a violation failure to safeguard persons and property affected by the construction operations.

The second fatal accident occurred on a construction site located at 295 St John’s Place on March 21st. A rigging foreman who was installing a suspended scaffolding go caught between the fire stairs and the scaffold, lost his balance and fell fifteen feet onto a metal fence. He died from his injuries. A full stop work was issued and the DOB also issued a violation for failure to safeguard person and property affected by construction.

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NYC Construction Safety WeekFalls are the main cause of  injuries and deaths for construction workers in New York City and most of them can be prevented.

A large safety awareness campaign is going on this week in New York City to reduce accidents on construction sites, with a focus on fall accidents.

Construction Safety Week is a yearly safety campaign organized by the NYC Department of Buildings to remind workers and their employers and families that safety best practices on construction sites prevent accident injuries and deaths.

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29 pedestrians, 17 passengers and 12 motor vehicle operators died in crashes in New York City during the first 3 months of the year for a total of 58 fatalities. There were no cyclist fatalities. Since Vision Zero started in 2014, the highest number of auto accident deaths reached 51 in 2014. The only positive news during the first quarter was that no cyclist deaths were reported during this period which never occurred before.

car accident fatalities NYC Q1 2022
NYC Car accident injuries were higher during Q1 22 than during the same period of 2010 and almost reached the same level than in 2020. Among the injured were 4,632 drivers, 3,120 passengers, 649 bicyclists and 2,100 pedestrians. Compared to the same period a year before, all categories of road users sustained a higher number of injuries with the exceptions of the cyclists which might indicate that all the new measures to make cycling safer in  the city have a positive impact.

auto accident injuries New York City Q1 22
12 motor vehicle operators died in crashes during Q1 compared to respectively, 10, 10, 9, 13, 8, 13, 8, 15 and 15 during the same period 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. While the trend line of motorist deaths is still declining, the numbers of this last quarter are significantly above this trend line.

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scene of the fatal chain crashA pedestrian was fatally struck between two parked cars in Brooklyn, NYC on Saturday morning around 9:35 am.

The accident occurred as 48 year old Everton Stewart was cleaning his car parked in front of his parents’ house located in Canarsie on E. 89th Street near Avenue L. He was standing between the back of his car and the front of his father’s car which was parked right behind him when another car that was coming down the street slammed into his father’s car and pinned him between the two vehicles. The man was rushed to the hospital but he did not survive.

The driver who caused the chain accident, a 46 year old woman with a child in the car, swerved to avoid a car and then according to the police “accelerated for no reason” and crashed into the father’s car.  She was arrested by the police and charges are still pending.

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construction workers working at height in NYCAs spring is here and construction activities are booming in the city, the recent release of the NYC Department of Buildings Construction Safety report is a bleak reminder of the multiple fatalities that occurred on New York construction sites during the same season last year. After two workers fell to their death in February,  two other hard hats died in April, one from electrocution and the other from a fall. Then in May, two workers were crushed by a falling elevator cabin and one of them died while the other one was critically injured. The same month two other workers fell to their death in Long Island City and Flatbush.

After this horrible spring, the DOT organized a giant sweet of almost all construction sites in NYC, sending to the field an army of investigators and shutting down any construction site where major safety violations were discovered.  As a result  fewer fatalities were reported during the remaining months of the year with two other worker falling to their death, one in Manhattan in September and one in Gowanus in November.

The reports also confirms that after a drop of activity related to the Covid19 lockdown, construction activity in NYC increased again in 2021. A total of 168,423 construction permits were issued in 2021 compared to 147,760 in 2020. Manhattan was the borough with the highest number of permits issued (63,320)  however Queens came number one for new buildings filed with 573 applications, followed by Staten Island with 521 application.  Brooklyn had the highest number of certificates of occupancy issued (2,053) followed by Queens (1,613).

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10 pedestrians, 8 passengers and 6 drivers died in crashes in New York City in February. No cyclists fatalities were reported to the NYPD during this month. 266 bus accidents, 577 truck accidents and 56 motorcycle accidents were reported among the total 7,261 motor vehicle collisions recorded in February.

Traffic accident fatalities in New York City reached a record high for the month of February with 24 people dying in traffic accidents compared to respectively 10, 17, 12, 16, 13, 18, 15, 12 and 20 in February 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Traffic accident fatalities in the city last February were even higher than what they were in February 2013 before Vision Zero started.  The  trendline which had been steadily declining during Vision Zero is now almost flat. Since last February ,monthly car accident fatalities have been at the level of the trendline or above which is quite unusual and quite worrisome.

Car accident fatalities February 22
The high number of car accident fatalities in New York City last February is mostly due to a record high number of car passengers fatalities (see category in red in the graph below, click on it for full size). 8 motor vehicle passengers died in crashes last February compared to 5 in January 2020 and 2 in February 2021. Since Vision Zero started and even a year before, the highest total monthly passengers fatalities were 6 in April 2014 and 6 in July 2015.