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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

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floodFlooding and cleaning up damages after a flood can be dangerous and cause accidents that can result in severe injury and sometimes death. Here is a summary of  the most common dangers and how to avoid them.

Driving a vehicle during a storm and after a storm can be dangerous especially crossing flooded roads. It is estimated that half of the fatalities caused by flooding are people in a vehicle. Crossing an area flooded by water in a vehicle can be deadly. 12 inches of water can carry off a small vehicle and 18 to 24 inches are enough to move a larger vehicle.   It is much safer to turn around rather than risk your life driving your car through a flooded road. If the water raises around your car, you should be ready to abandon it.

Down and damaged power lines create electrical hazards and only qualified workers should perform repair work after proprely evaluating the dangers and de-energizing lines if possible. Even for qualified workers, repairing power lines damaged by a storm can be dangerous. Most common accidents related to damaged or down power lines are electrocution by contact or burn caused by electrified lines, workers falling from heights during repairs or people being struck by a falling pole or other objects falling with the pole such as tree limbs.

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Ventricular_assist_device (1)Medtronic stopped the sale of the defective HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device, or HVAD last June after more than 3,000 patients died and 20,000 were injured.

Since 2011, multiple problems with the device have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration but the agency never took any decisive action to make sure the manufacturer  fixed the problems. The FDA and its Center for Devices and Radiological Health are in charge of making sure that medical devices are safe and effective for patients however as we highlighted in a previous blog, the agency policy is too accommodating with manufacturers. It has the power to seize products or to issue fines but rarely uses it.

In the case of the HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device, the FDA knew about issues with the product as early as 2011 when the product was developed by the parent company HeartWare and was seeking FDA approval. An inspector mentioned in its report that engineers were not reviewing documents fully before approving them and that the employee assigned to quality control did not have sufficient training. The company told the FDA they would take corrective actions.

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FDA-logoMany defective medical devices might still be used by medical professionals because deaths that occurred when using these devices are being mislabeled as injuries in the FDA Medical Database according to a study published last week in JAMA Network. The study looked at 290,141 reports of defective medical devices that resulted in serious injuries or deaths that were processed by an algorithm. They found that 52% were classified as deaths and 47.9% were classified by the algorithm as malfunction, injury, other or missing. Among these 47.9% that were not classified as death, 23% of these reports were indeed death reports that were not classified proprely by the algorithm. As a result many deadly devices might still be used on patients.  The FDA must review all reports classified as death but does not routinely review all reports that are classified as other or misfunction.

The most dangerous of all medical devices were the ventricular assist bypass devices. These devices represented 13% of all adverse event reports. Coming in second position was the dialysate concentrate for hemodialysis in liquid or in powder with 8.7% of all adverse event reports. The third most reported defective devices were the transcervical contraceptive tubal occlusion devices with 5% of all adverse reports.

The authors of the study also mention that 95% of the adverse event reports were made by manufacturers and not by healthcare facilities or physicians which might constitute a conflict of interest. The authors note that delays in reporting serious injuries or deaths were common. An example of this issue was the Essure permanent birth control device. 32,000 women reported issues with this device between 2002 and 2013 while the FDA only received 1,023 reports.

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Professor Daniel PollackIn a recent commentary in the New York Law Journal, Daniel Pollack, MSW, Esq., a professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work in New York City wrote: “If at some point a lawsuit is brought against the department of human services/CPS in connection with that death, compassionate, yet experienced plaintiff and defense attorneys, familiar with the inner workings of CPS, will definitely be needed.”

The commentary can be found here 

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job-made-boxes-can-lead-to-serious-injury-and-deathIn a recent bulletin, OSHA warns construction workers and other workers using forklifts about potential injuries and deaths caused by “job-made boxes”

What are “job-made boxes”?

Job made boxes are any makeshift attachments created by construction workers or workers in other industries such as boxes, baskets or platforms. They are often made of wood as well as metal and plastic. They look like a little balcony: a platform with 3 walls around it. Workers attach these boxes to forklifts to lift equipment, workers or material to various heights. Workers also use them to step on them when working at elevated levels.

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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.

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construction workers moving equipment are at risk of struck by accidentsStruck by injuries are the most common non-fatal injuries sustained by construction workers.

Among the 79.7 k construction workers who were injured in 2019, 16.6K suffered struck by injuries and 4 K suffered struck against injuries. Struck by accidents are also among the top causes of construction workers fatalities. In 2019, out of a total of 1,102 workers fatalities, 80 construction workers died after being struck by a vehicle and 70 of them died after being struck by an object or equipment.

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) recently analyzed data related to these types of injuries and published the result of the study in a recent data-bulletin. Researchers at CPWR found that there was a big difference on how fatal and non-fatal struck by injuries occur. Fatal struck by injuries mostly occur when a construction worker is struck by a vehicle while non fatal struck by injuries are mostly caused by handheld objects or equipment.

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Gair-Gair_Tony-Gair_02Our partner Anthony Gair has carved out a reputation as one of the best product liability lawyers in NYC.  Yesterday he talked to CNBC journalist Lauren Thomas about the refusal by Peloton to comply with the Consumer Product Safety Commission and recall its high-end treadmill Tread+. 

Multiple children  and a pet have been injured and recently a child died in a Peloton Tread+ treadmill accidents but Peloton has been very reluctant to cooperate with the federal safety agency. The company is fighting a request to recall the dangerous product and refuses to provide the name of the child who recently died after getting stuck under the high end Peloton treadmill.

“The CPSC must have reason to believe that the treadmill wasn’t designed appropriately” said Anthony Gair.  According to him, Peloton might not have done a hazard analysis before launching the product or if they did, he questions if they knew about the danger and ignored it.

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child in carCar accidents are one of the leading causes of  injuries and deaths for children. In the US, 636 children under 12 year old died and 97,000 were injured in car crashes in 2018.

From researching child restraint performance to analyzing teenager behavior behind the wheel and testing safety of future autonomous vehicles, the Center for Child Injury Prevention Study  has been constantly researching and advocating for better ways to protect children on the road.

Among their most recent studies,  researchers at CChIPS  have been looking at the validity of  recommendations for rear-facing Child Restraint System (CRS) using newly available real car accident injury data.

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treadmill can be dangerousThe company Peloton just announced that a child died in an accident that involves one of their “Tread+” treadmills and issued a safety warning asking Peloton users to keep children under 16 year old and pets away from their equipment.  Peloton and other at home gym equipment companies have seen their sales rocketing over the last year with more and more consumers preferring working out at home instead of at the gym during the covid19 crisis.

While the Peloton CEO did not release the circumstances of the accident citing family privacy,  earlier this year, in February, another child sustained serious brain injury after he was trapped under a Peloton Tread+ Machine. According to an incident report filed with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, a 3 year old boy was found by his dad  under the Treadmill, not breathing and pulseless. The boy had tread marks on his back matching the machine as well as neck and face injuries. He was resuscitated but sustained serious brain injuries.  In the below video (at 0.51 seconds) a mom  shows how easily a medicine ball gets stuck under the treadmill as she is working out. The USCPSC has now started an investigation related to the accident that lead to the death of a child.

Treadmills can be dangerous