If you want to know, go to the website of the New York City Buildings Department, you can find a list of ten of the top offenders who will be pursued under the Department’s Elevator Enforcement Program. The list is compiled using complaint data, violations, maintenance filings, and field inspection records. The list was last updated July 31, 2012.
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Personal Injury Attorneys - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and the Bronx
Famous Long Island and Brooklyn steakhouse Peter Luger lost a bid to have a slip-and-fall case against it dismissed when Nassau County Supreme Court Justice F. Dana Winslow found that circumstantial evidence supported plaintiff’s proposition that the brown oily substance she slipped on was steak juices one of its waiters spilled. Chang v. Peter Luger of Long Island Inc., decided August 9, 2012. The plaintiff slipped on a step leading to one of the restaurant’s dining rooms. Based upon the decision, it seems that all the plaintiff knew about what she slipped on was that it was a dark-brownish oily substance. But the restaurant's manager testified that its waiters typically carried steak to customers on shallow platters that contain steak juice and butter, and that in serving the many steaks in the dining room that evening waiters must carry the food down the same step on which the plaintiff slipped and fell.
Homicide Conviction and Jail Time for Texting While Driving Motor Vehicle Accident Sounds Shocking But Probably Won't Deter It
A Massachusetts teen was convicted Wednesday on charges of vehicular homicide, texting while driving and negligent operation of a motor vehicle as a result of texting while driving. He was the first driver to be charged and convicted of motor vehicle homicide by texting under Massachusetts law. The accident occurred when his vehicle crossed over a center line and fatally injured the driver of the oncoming vehicle and seriously injured a passenger in that vehicle. He was sentenced to two and a half years on the vehicular homicide charge and two years on the texting and causing injury charge. He will serve one year concurrently on both charges and the balance of both charges is suspended for five years. His license will be suspended for 15 years. Prosecutors say he sent 193 text messages the day of the crash, including some just a minute or so before impact and dozens more after it.
Fatal Bronx Bus Accident Continues to Lead to Tough Actions by FMCSA Including Shut-Down of 26 Bus Companies and Release of SaferBus Mobile App
This past Thursday the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA") shut down 26 discount bus companies declaring them imminent hazards to public safety. The shutdowns affected dozens of routes out of New York City’s Chinatown. In addition, FMCSA ordered 10 individual bus company owners, managers and employees to cease all passenger transportation operations, which includes selling bus tickets to passengers. The carriers had multiple safety violations, including using drivers without valid commercial driver's licenses (CDLs), failing to have alcohol and drug testing programs, and operating vehicles that had not been regularly inspected and repaired. Drivers also had serious hours-of-service and driver qualification violations. Earlier this year, FMCSA released the SaferBus mobile app to give travelers a quick way to view a bus company's safety record before buying an interstate ticket or booking group travel.
In USAA Casualty Insurance Co., as Subrogee v. Permanent Mission Of The Republic Of Namibia, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Namibia to the United Nations was sued for the $397,730 worth of damage to an adjoining property caused by its alleged failure to comply with Section 3309.8 of the New York City Building Code. The Mission claimed that it was immune from suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The Second Circuit for the U.S. Court of Appeals not only rejected the claim of immunity for damages caused by the Mission’s negligence, but also held that the Mission had a nondelegable duty to the adjoining landowner, meaning that it was liable even if the damage was caused by work of the contractor or the subcontractor. The decision comes during the New York City Buildings Department’s 8th annual No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program.
In Del Terzo v. The Hospital For Special Surgery the court rebuffed a defendant’s demand for a medical malpractice victim’s HIV-related information, alcohol/drug treatment information and mental health information. The plaintiff successfully argued that Public Health Law § 2785(2) (HIV-related records) and Mental Hygiene Law § 22.05 and § 33.13 (records of chemical dependency) protected her from having to give defendant's attorneys authorizations to obtain those sensitive records. Hopefully the courts will pay heed to this decision, and not limit it to HIV-related information and chemical dependence situations (or just to medical malpractice cases as opposed to motor vehicle or slip-and-fall- cases).
Subpoena for Hospital Records for Investigation of Death of Prison Inmate Held Enforceable Notwithstanding Privacy Laws
In The Matter Of New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation vs. New York State Commission Of Correction (May 8, 2012), the Court of Appeals enforced a subpoena issued by the Medical Review Board ("Board") of the New York State Commission (“Commission”) to Elmhurst Hospital of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (“HHC”) for records of a prison inmate who died subsequent to transfers from the New York City facility where he was incarcerated to Elmhurst Hospital and then to Bellevue Hospital. HHC refused to turn over the records on the grounds that Mr. Frazier had been treated at Elmhurst in a non-prison unit, and that his records were shielded from disclosure by the physician-patient privilege. The Court of Appeals held that the Board's authority to “investigate and review the cause and circumstances surrounding the death of any inmate of a correctional facility” trumped HIPPA medical privacy laws.
Your first reaction may be, “You mean right now they’re not?!” After three accidents, two of them fatal, in six months, the City Council is considering licensing elevator mechanics for the first time. The council is also considering a bill to require safety devices in some residential buildings to prevent elevators from skyrocketing to the ceiling. New York is among just 14 states that do not require that elevator technicians be licensed. Three-dozen other states already license elevator mechanics. According to the International Union of Elevator Constructors, 25 percent fewer elevator accidents occur in states where licensing and mandatory inspections are required. There are about 60,000 elevators in the city, and about four elevator fatalities a year. In 2011 in the city there were 43 elevator accidents, compared with 105 in 2007.
Recent Court Decision Highlights Need to Reform No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Law to Include â€œSurgeryâ€ Within the Definition of â€œSerious Injuryâ€
In 1975 New York enacted a “no-fault” insurance plan that in theory was designed to keep small cases involving motor vehicle accidents out of court in exchange for relatively immediate payment of expenses for hospital and medical bills and reimbursement of lost earnings without the injured party having to prove that the other party was at fault for the accident. One would think that needing to undergo surgery to repair injuries sustained in an accident would not be considered too small of a case to be allowed to proceed, particularly where the surgeon states that the injuries he observed during the surgery would result in a permanent limitation of motion and other problems. Wrong. In Ramkumar v. Grand Style Transportation Enterprises Inc., 2012 WL 1164882 (April 10, 2012), the Appellate Division, Second Department in Brooklyn dismissed just such a case.
The 2011 Annual Report, released last month, touts New York City as the nation’s safest big city in 2011. 2011 marked a near-historic low number of fire fatalities, a 10th consecutive year of fewer than 600 murders, a record-breaking low number of traffic deaths — and an 18% decrease in construction-related accidents, which follows an almost 28% reduction in 2010 from 2009. Construction-related injury rates also continue to improve. There were approximately 8% fewer injuries in 2011 over 2010, following a nearly 32% decline in 2010 from 2009. Construction-related fatalities remained low, with five caused by falls or shoddy construction. The Buildings Department issued 23% fewer Stop Work orders.