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Levine and Slavit, PLLC - Blog

Personal Injury Attorneys - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and the Bronx

June Through August is the Deadliest Time of Year for 15-Passenger Van Occupants

Posted On Jun 17, 2008 @ 08:10 AM by SEO Admin

New research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found June through August to be the deadliest time of year for 15-passenger van occupants, due to rollover crashes. Statistics show that 31 percent of fatal rollovers involving 15-passenger vans occur during the busy summer travel months. The NHTSA also emphasizes that conventional 12 to15-passenger vans cannot be used as school buses because they are not certified to carry students on a regular basis, and thus cannot be sold or leased as new vehicles to carry students on a regular basis. NHTSA data shows a significant increase in rollover risk when the van is fully loaded with drivers and passengers. In 2006, 50 percent of occupant fatalities that occurred were in vans that were fully loaded. Fifty-nine percent of those killed were unbelted. Other factors that

From Cranes to Window Washers to Trenches, Construction Accidents Roil New York City

Posted On Jun 15, 2008 @ 02:07 AM by SEO Admin

It seems that troubling news regarding the construction industry and construction accidents in New York City are heard on a daily basis. 15 people in construction-related accidents have been killed in the city so far this year, compared with 12 in all of 2007. After the second of two recent crane collapses within 12 weeks of each other during which period the city held its 4th annual Construction Safety Week, a window into the world of New York City Buildings Department crane inspections and inspectors has been opened. Nine people, all but one of them construction workers, died in the two crane collapses. CRANE: On June 6, 2008, James Delayo, the Buildings Department chief inspector for hoist and rigging in charge of overseeing the i

Medtronic Recalls Selected Heparin-Coated Products

Posted On Jun 12, 2008 @ 01:35 PM by SEO Admin

Medtronic, Inc., in what is termed a precautionary measure, has voluntary recalled selected products featuring its Carmeda BioActive surface, a coating applied to some devices used in heart bypass surgery and dialysis, because the coating includes contaminated heparin, a blood thinner that has been linked to 81 deaths. Affected products include blood oxygenators, reservoirs, pumps, cannulae, and tubing packs. This action was taken subsequent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's April 8, 2008 recommendation to device manufacturers that heparin supplies be checked with newly-developed tests, and that affected products be evaluated for possible field corrective action. Limited lots of Carmeda-coated products were manufactured with heparin found to have been contaminated with oversulfated chondroitin sulfate (OSCS). The patient risk associated with the pr

Toughen the Federal Worker-Safety Law: Make It a Crime

Posted On Jun 2, 2008 @ 03:35 PM by SEO Admin

Although it is certainly too early to cast blame, if any, for this past Friday's fatal crane collapse on the East Side, with the Manhattan district attorneys office having opened a criminal investigation into the collapse, the death and injuries sustained in the accident is perhaps just the lastest example of why the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the primary federal worker-safety law in the United States, is in need of more powerful enforcement penalties. So cogently argues David M. Uhlmann, a law professor at the University of Michigan, in a recent New York Times op-ed article. About 6,000 workers are killed on the job each year, many in cases where the deaths could have been prevented if their employers followed the law. The Manhattan district attorneys criminal investigation is apparently focusing on whether a rotating apparatus, o

The Crane Brethren

Posted On May 31, 2008 @ 03:22 AM by SEO Admin

Yesterday our office received a call from a client involved in the March 15, 2008, collapse of a crane at a construction project on East 51st Street in Manhattan. The news that another crane had collapsed when the top of the crane on an East 91st Street construction site had snapped off, crashed into a building across the street and killed two construction workers had hit our client personally; he had received a telephone call from a crane operator that he knew from his work that identified the crane operator who died in the latest collapse as a friend of our client. Our client felt like he had lost a member of his family. The dead workers were identified at Donald Leo, 30, of Staten Island, and Ramadan Kurtaj, 27, of The Bronx. A third worker, Simeon Alexis, had his "chest slashed open" and remained hospitalized today. Investigators are focusi

Seemingly Never-Ending String of High School Lunch-Time Car Accidents Fuels Debate Over Open Campuses

Posted On May 14, 2008 @ 01:25 PM by SEO Admin

A fatal car accident involving students driving off of school grounds during lunch period has again focused attention on whether open campuses are a concept that should be ended. Following a crash on April 10, 2008 in which two West Hempstead High School students were killed and another seriously injured, New York State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) renewed his call to enact his bill that would ban all school districts in the state from permitting students to leave campus in vehicles during school hours. Assemblyman Gianaris introduced Assembly Bill A.9619 this past January. As a result of the accident, in which passengers Quinntin McDonald, 17, and Saul Hernandez Lopez, also 17, were killed and the driver, Herbert Martinez, 17, was seriously injured, the West Hempstead district on Long Island suspended

Toy Industry Announces Safety Coordination Initiative in Response to Unprecedented Recalls of Dangerous Products

Posted On May 11, 2008 @ 11:23 PM by Ira Slavit

In response to toy safety concerns raised during the summer of 2007 and the record number of unsafe toys recalled last year (and doubtlessly a number of product liability lawsuits), the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have formed the Toy Safety Coordination Initiative, a developing program that is designed to improve the safety of toys sold in American and to rebuild consumer confidence in the safety of toys in the American marketplace. The purpose of the initiative may be two-fold: to increase toys' safety and to head-off stricter federal and state laws. The program has three components: 1. Design Hazard Analysis - A requirement for a risk assessment or design hazard analysis to be conducted on all new toy designs. Industry analysts say

New York City Holds 4th Annual Construction Safety Week

Posted On May 5, 2008 @ 04:50 PM by SEO Admin

Last week, April 28 - May 2, 2008, was New York Citys 4th annual Construction Safety Week, the purpose of which is to "advance safe construction practices. Seminars were offered in topics such as Scaffold Safety: Keeping Workers Safe on the Job, (held by the NYC Department of Buildings in conjunction with the Latin American Workers Project), Performing Safe Excavations, Safety First: Urban Demolition, Crane Safety: New Regulations You Must Know and Safe Concrete Operations, Design, Methods and Regulations. The previous week saw Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster resign her position at the Department of Buildings. She admitted to the City Council that the plans for a 43 story tower in Turtle Bay, Manhattan, where a crane collapsed on March 15, 2008, did not me

Possible Medical Malpractice LASIK Cases? FDA Advisers Recommend Clearer Warnings of Risks and Contraindications For Would-Be Patients

Posted On May 1, 2008 @ 06:10 PM by SEO Admin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Ophthalmic Devices Panel convened last Friday to discuss post-LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) quality-of-life issues. Of the 7.6 million people who have undergone the procedure in the United States since the mid-1990s, 140 have written letters of complaint to the FDA. Approximately one in four people who seeks Lasik is not a good candidate. Perhaps 1 percent or fewer, suffer serious, life-changing side effects: worse vision, severe dry eye, glare, inability to drive at night. One young man committed suicide because of severe eye pain and fuzzy vision. Some patients have had to have corneal transplants when LASIK went wrong. The FDA says it is concerned that doctors are not adequately informing patients about the potential risks. The FDA advisers recommended that the agency make clearer the warnings it already provides for would-be Lasik patients: Add photographs that illustrate what people suffering certain side

Exposure of Vioxx "Ghostwriting" Another Example of How Litigation Can Benefit Society (and Why Big Business/Pharma Fears It)

Posted On Apr 21, 2008 @ 11:31 PM by SEO Admin

Product liability litigation involving rofecoxib (Vioxx) has led to the disclosure of materials that has provided direct evidence of something that has long been suspected but well-hidden by industry; the manipulation by for-profit manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices of study results, using authors, editors, and reviewers to misrepresent research data and manipulate clinical research articles and clinical reviews. Reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) based upon a review of materials disclosed by Merck & Co. in the course of the Vioxx litigation claim Merck & Co. frequently paid academic scientists to take credit for research articles prepared by company-hired medical writers, a practice called "ghostwriting". The reports also contend Merck tried to minimize deaths in two studies that showed that the now

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