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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Bed sleeper12 children died in the US after parents used a bed sleeper. Bed sleepers seem to be a convenient solution for parents who want to be close to their babies at night and especially for mothers during nighttime breastfeeding. However a recent article from Consumer Reports indicates that because there are no federal safety standards regulations for this category of products, they might not be safe. Some of them do feature dangerous features for young babies such as padding and soft surfaces that can lead to suffocation if the baby’s face comes in contact with them. The 12 deaths recorded between 2012 and 2018 were related to the following models:

  • The Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Infant Sleeper is responsible for the deaths of 3 children.
  • 2 children died while they were sleeping in the The SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper
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Riding-mower-WikipediaAn alarming number of very young children have been seriously injured and some of them even died after someone, often a parent or a family member backed over them while riding a mower.  Most common injuries reported are amputations of hands, fingers, legs feet toes and limbs as well as mangled and ripped internal organs. In a recent article, Fair Warning, found 133 cases in court records since 2004 until now. Among them 8 of the victims died from their injuries. Another study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that there was an average of 65 children injured every year in the US by riding mowers back-overs.

In the 1980ies after an epidemic of injuries related to walk-behind power mowers, The Consumer Product Safety Commission implemented mandatory safety standards for mowers but riding mowers were excluded from them. Some manufacturers propose riding mowers that can mow in reverse. These type of mowers are the most dangerous to young children. In 2003 after a rise of accidents a voluntary standard was adopted by lawn mower manufacturers. The standard requires that the blade immediately stops to spin when the mower riders back up. However the standard also allowed manufacturers to install a button that allows the driver to override the feature. Manufacturers are claiming that they installed the button at the request of their consumers who want more flexibility but safety advocates reply that the button is a good excuse for manufacturers to protect themselves from lawsuits.  However this excuse didn’t always work for the manufacturer Deere & Co. In a recent lawsuit involving a 2 year old girl whose leg was amputated after her dad backed over her while riding a Deere mower, the jury found that the mower was defective and awarded the victim $12.25 million. The jury found that Deere was responsible for 78% of the damages and put the rest of the blame on the father.

Read more in Fair Warning

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93,800 people were injured in an ATV accident and treated in a hospital in 2017 compared to 150,900 in 2007. 295 died in 2017 in an ATV accident compared to 832 in 2007. While still being dangerous and accounting for a significant number of injuries and deaths to adults and to children, a recent report from the CPSC indicates that ATVs have been getting safer over the years.

ATVs are not only popular with teenagers but also with children.  Among the 93,800 people who check into emergency rooms for ATV injury, 24,800 or 26% of them were younger than 16 and among these 24,800 47% of them or 11,700 were younger than 12.  In 2007 among the 150,900 people injured in ATV accidents 27% of them were younger than 16-year-old and half of them were younger than 12-year-old.

Among the various age categories the most significant decline of injuries over 10 years was recorded among the 16 to 24- year-old category.

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New-York-Slip-and-Fall1Every day 223 older adults visit the emergency room after being injured in a fall in NY State, 140 are hospitalized and 2 die. Fall is the leading cause of unintentional injuries and deaths among older New Yorkers and among older people in the US as well. In the US every 19 minutes an older person dies from injuries related to a fall.

For people over 65 year old, falls often have serious consequences that can affect their global well being, their mobility, their independence and their mental health. 60% of the older New Yorkers who are hospitalized after a fall end up in a nursing home or a rehabilitation center. 11% of them suffer traumatic brain injury and 27% of them suffer from hip fractures.  In most cases falls occur at home. 60% of older adults hospitalized for a fall in New York fell in their own home.

Obviously as people get older, they loose some of their strength,  they sometimes have physical disabilities, their vision is decreasing and they take more medication which can lead to drowsiness. All these factors increase the risk of fall.

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Defective Boeing 737 Max groundedThe second fatal crash of a Boeing 737  MAX last Sunday in Ethiopia has led to a worldwide decision by aviation authorities to ground all Boeing 737 MAX. The US was the last of 42 other countries to make this decision.  157 people lost their lives in Sunday’s crash and 189 died in October in Indonesia in a very similar airplane crash.

According to recent investigations both crashes occurred  in a very similar manner. A new flight control system for which pilots weren’t proprely trained may have caused both accidents according to preliminary investigations. According to an article in the New York Times, after the first accidents, the pilots union complained that Boeing didn’t inform pilots that in some cases  the new flight control system could automatically push the nose of the plane down. Experts believe this change may have played a role in both accidents.

PILOTS LOOSING THE BATTLE AGAINST THE NEW FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM

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boy injuredA third of children injuries occur at home. While suffocation is the number one cause of death for toddlers, older children also are at risk of suffering unintentional injuries that can be deadly.  Because children are spending most of their time at home, it is important for parents to understand how to proprely childproof their home. The most common and dangerous accidents leading to children injuries  in the house are drownings, burns, poisonings and falls. Therefore while childproofing their home, parents should identify the high-risk zones:

Any water area such as bathtub, jacuzzi, pools but also toilets, sinks and other receptacles that can contain water such as buckets should be protected. While infants are the most at risk to sink in their bath, young children have the highest risk of drowning in pools. Drowning often leads to death. Children who survive a drowning often suffer brain injuries. Parents should be aware that children drowning can happen quickly, silently and without splashing even in very small amounts of water. Adult supervision should be constant when children are taking a bath or playing with water. Potentially dangerous areas need to be protected as young children are attracted by water but are not conscious of the inherent risk.  Additionally parents should be aware that diapers can also be a cause of danger near water as they can quickly fill up with water, increasing the risk of drowning.

Areas with heat or flame such as kitchen, fireplace or BBQ can result in dangerous burn injuries if children are left alone near them. Children should not only never be left unattended in a room when heating items are in use but parents should also make sure to block access to the stove, the fireplace, the radiators or the space heaters. Hot spills can also lead to burns. Parents should never handle hot liquid while holding a child or near a child. While cooking, the handles of the pots should be turned toward the rear of the stove and its preferable to use back-burners whenever possible. Any hot device should be kept out of reach of children and so should electrical cords. Electrical outlets should be covered. The use of a cold mist humidifier is also a wiser choice to protect children from burns. Other common sources of children burns are  bath water and  food.  Parents or care givers should always put their own hand in the bath to make sure the temperature is ok and test food first before giving it to your child.

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prescription-drugFor the first time in US history, accidental injuries have become the third leading cause of death in America after cancer and heart disease.
According to the most recent statistics, 161,374 people died from unintentional injuries in 2016 in the US. 190,8038 died from cancer and 635,260 died from heart disease in the US in 2016. Accidental injuries rose by 10% in 2016. This represents 14,803 more people dying in 2016 than in 2015. The largest yearly increases in accidental injuries since 1936. Every second an American suffers an accidental injury and every 3 minutes one of them dies from one.

The most common accidental injury  leading to death is poisoning in the adult population

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JohnsonTo defend  against the nearly 15,0000 product liability lawsuits over its talc products, Imerys Talc America, a main supplier of talc for Johnson & Johnson, recently  announced that it filed for bankruptcy.  Most of the lawsuits against the company alleged that the company continued to supply its products while knowing that they could cause ovarian cancer or  asbestos-related mesothelioma.

The company, a subsidiary of the French company Imerys SA, is denying all accusations that the company knew that the talc powder that it supplied mainly to Johnson & Johnson could cause cancer.

However while filing for bankruptcy the company also mentioned a multibilllion-dollar verdict against Johnson $ Johnson that attracted a lot of attention from  the media.  Last July, 22 women obtained a $4.69 billion verdict against Johnson and Johnson on allegations that the talc powder they used was tainted with asbestos and caused ovarian cancer.

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Elevator Accident Deaths in ConstructionIn 2017 24,890 people who suffered personal injury in an escalator or elevator accident were treated in American hospitals, compared to 25,951 in 2016 and 19,005 in 2007. The number of elevator accident injuries has been on the rise over the last 10 years in the US.

Fatalities related to elevator and escalator accidents are less common and occur mostly on construction sites. According to the Quarterly Report recently published by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) 28 workers died in elevator accidents on construction sites in 2016 compared to 14 in 2003. The number of workers dying in elevator accidents has been on a rising trend since 2003 with a peak at 37 in 2015.

The workers who are the most at risk of dying in an elevator accidents are those who are constructing, assembling or dismantling elevators. They represent 40% of the elevator accidents fatalities in construction. Workers who are operating heavy equipment and workers in charge of the repair and the maintenance are also at risk of dying in elevator accidents. They both represent 20% of the elevator accident fatalities suffered by construction workers.

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US deaths from Methylene ChlorideMethylene Chloride is a dangerous product that has previously caused the death of many people. Short term exposure to methylene chloryde can cause mental confusion, nausea, vomiting , headache and death in the worst cases. In the long term, workers exposed to it can develop cancer, nervous system problems, toxicity in their kidney, liver and reproductive system.Major retailers such as Lowes and Home Depot have removed it from their shelves even before the EPA finalized a ban proposal that was published one day before President Obama left office.  In Europe the deadly chemical was pulled from general use in 2011.

Last May, Scott Pruit confirmed that the EPA was committed to finalize the proposed methylene chloride ban however last month the EPA drafted two new final rules that would ban the use of methylene chloryde to regular consumers but not to commercial operators.  Two new final rules drafted by the EPA allow the usage of the dangerous product for commercial use as long as the workers using it have been trained.  These rules that have not been made public yet but that have been sent by the EPA to the Office of Management and Budget have sparked the furor of public health advocates and and of congressional Democrats. This is a major step back compared to the proposed rule announced by the EPA during the Obama era.

Workers specialized in refinishing bathtubs are the most at risk of dying from Methylene Chloride exposure