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Levine and Slavit, PLLC - Blog

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

Latest Brain Scan Technology May Help Increase Recovery for Conscious Pain and Suffering of "Vegetative" People

Posted On Dec 1, 2007 @ 02:47 PM by Ira Slavit

Brain scans using the most recent technologies are challenging the decade-old doctors' assumption that patients who have been diagnosed as vegetative lack any capacity for conscious thought. Most of these patients are previously healthy people who suffered a traumatic brain injury such as in a car accident, or oxygen deprivation after a heart attack or stroke or perhaps even due to medical malpractice. Although most brain scans show what is wrong with someone's brain, sophisticated brain scans are showing what parts of the brain are working, with surprising results.What is lacking in these patients is not necessarily some level of awareness, but rather the ability to communicate their awareness of themselves or their environment. The courts in New York require that in order for a person in a vegetative state to recover an awar

4,500 Patients of NYC Anesthesiologist to be Alerted to Get Tested for Hepatitis C: Not All of Dr. Harvey Finkelstein's Patients Were Notified to Get Tested

Posted On Nov 19, 2007 @ 12:17 PM by Ira Slavit

Health officials in New York City earlier this year linked three cases of hepatitis C to an anesthesiologist who administered intravenous pain medication. Although they are still investigating the exact cause, officials are notifying 4,500 patients who received treatment from the doctor from December 2003 to May 2007 that they should get tested for the disease, according to a report in The New York Times (11/17/07). The officials would not name the doctor. This report comes on the heels of last week's disclosure that the New York Department of Health (DOH) has known for three years that Dr. Harvey Finkelstein had reused syringes in violation of proper infection control procedures, but just recently sent letters to 628 of his patients that they were at risk for transmittal of hepatitis B and C and HIV and should be tested. Free testing is available from the Nassau County Health Department. Health offi

Possible Statute of Limitations Bar to Over 600 People Who Doctor Might Have Exposed to Hepatitis B and C and HIV Illustrates Gross Unfairness of Lack of "Discovery Rule"

Posted On Nov 17, 2007 @ 01:46 AM by SEO Admin

Earlier this week, 628 people were sent letters by the New York State Health Department urging them to get tested for hepatitis B and C and HIV, all blood borne diseases, because they had received epidural injections from Dr. Harvey Finkelstein, whoused re-used syringes, from January 1, 2000 to January 15, 2005. Even though the victims would have had no way of knowing that they had been exposed to the diseases until now, it may be too late for them to sue the doctor. This is because under New York law, the time period to bring suit (2 1/2 years) begins to run from the date of the malpractice, not the date the malpractice was or should have been discovered by the victim. The lack of a "discovery rule" in New York for medical or dental malpractice often results in a victim of malpractice not learning that he has a perfectly valid case until it is too late for him or her to seek damages in court. A common scenario where such an unfair result occurs is where a woman's ma

Con Edison Hit With Largest Penalty in Its History for 2006 Blackouts

Posted On Nov 9, 2007 @ 03:19 PM by SEO Admin

State utilities regulators hit the Consolidated Edison of New York, Inc. with an $18 million penalty yesterday for its service disruptions last year, the largest the state Public Service Commission has imposed against Con Ed. The blackouts included a nine-day blackout in western Queens effecting Astoria and Long Island City that left about 174,000 people without power for as long as nine days in July 2006, and other power failures in Westchester County. The $18 million penalty is not intended to compensate customers for their losses during power failures. Instead, it will be spread to all customers in the system. It amounts to about $6 for each of Con Ed's 3.1 million customers, including big corporations, and just 1.5 percent of the $1.2 billion in rate increases the company is seeking. In early September, the commission's staff recommended that the rate increase, which would take effect in April, be limited to $618 million. The maximum penalty the commission

Tagged with: Personal Injury Events

Childrens' Toy Aqua Dots Recalled for Containing a Chemical That When Eaten Converts Into "Date Rape Drug"

Posted On Nov 9, 2007 @ 05:47 AM by SEO Admin

Aqua Dots, a/k/a Aqua Beads, a Chinese-made toy, was recalled Wednesday, November 7, 2007, by the Consumer Product Safety Commission after two children in the United States and three in Australia were hospitalized after swallowing the beads. Aqua Dots are packets of brightly colored beads that children arrange into mosaic designs. When sprinkled with water, the beads then stick together in as little as 10 minutes to form durable artworks.. The toy was pulled from shelves after scientists found they contain a chemical that converts into a dangerous, potentially fataldrug when eaten. The chemical coating on the beads, when ingested, metabolizes into the so-called date rape drug gamma hydroxy butyrate (GHB). The United States places GHB in he same category as heroin. When eaten, the compound - made from common and easily available ingredients - can induce unconsciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and death. Professors Paul Fischbeck and David Gerard, both of Carnegie Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh, conducted a preliminary study of seven years of federal traffic fatalities and calculated risk per mile walked for pedestrians. They found that per-mile risk jumps 186 percent from October to November, but then drops 21 percent in December. They said the drop-off in deaths by December indicates the risk is caused by the trouble both driver

File This Under "You Can't Fight City Hall"

Posted On Oct 29, 2007 @ 01:26 AM by SEO Admin

One of the banes of representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases against The City of New York is the seemingly endless ability of the City to delay the prosecution of these cases by simply ignoring with impunity court-ordered directives and deadlines to provide disclosure of records and to produce witnesses for depositions.Most of the time, when a conference is held and the City has not complied with an earlier court order, the City is just given more time to respond. Rarely is the City penalized for its noncompliance. (This is why our office, whenever possible, commences personal injury/medical malpractice actions against the City or its agencies in Federal Court). So when a Supreme Court Justice who does not tolerate the City's dilatory tactics is reassigned to non-city cases, suspicion abounds. Until the beginning of this October, Justice Paul A. Victor of the Supreme Court, Bronx County, had, for more than three years, been the sole Justice responsible for

Tagged with: Personal Injury

Consolidated Edison Files Notice of Claim against New York City Over July 18, 2007, Steam Pipe Explosion

Posted On Oct 20, 2007 @ 01:01 PM by Ira Slavit

Consolidated Edison has filed a Notice of Claim with the City of New York alleging that leaking cold water caused the steam pipe explosion that occurred on July 18, 2007, near the intersection of Lexington Avenue and East 41st Street in Manhattan. The filing of a notice of claim is a prerequisite to instituting a lawsuit.Con Ed's notice of claim was apparently filed just before the expiration of the 90-day statutory time limit. One wonders whether Con Ed has filed the notice of claim based upon the results of the investigation it has been conducting into the explosion, or whether Con Ed is, as it professes, merely filing as a precautionary measure. We'll know soon enough. Meanwhile, a lawsuit for the wrongful death of theone fatality from the explosion was instituted this week. In light of Con Ed's filing of a notice of claim, the City of New York is likely to be added to lawsuits that have alr

Tagged with: Personal Injury Events

It's Lunchtime, It's Sunny, and It's Raining Glass

Posted On Oct 19, 2007 @ 12:06 PM by SEO Admin

As an attorney representing people injured in accidents, I have been told by adversaries who regularly represent building owners, general contractors and subcontractors that when they are walking on a sidewalk and are approaching a sidewalk bridge (commonly referred to as scaffolding), they always cross to the other side of the street in order to avoid walking under the sidewalk bridge. They are too familiar with what can and do go wrong. This past Wednesday afternoon, October 17, 2007, provided a vivid example of why these attorneys feel the way they do. That afternoon, a bathtub-size steel bucket toppled from the roof of a skyscraper under construction in Midtown, banging along the side of the building, breaking windows, and trailing a shower of glass and metal as it crashed through the plywood roof of a sidewalk shed behind scaffolding 53 stories below. Eight people were injured. The accident was the fourth time since January 1, 2006, that debris has fallen from

Tagged with: Personal Injury Events

Medtronic Urges Doctors to Stop Using Defibrillator Leads After Linking Five Deaths to Breaks in Them

Posted On Oct 18, 2007 @ 03:25 AM by SEO Admin

The nation's largest maker of implanted heart devices, Medtronic, said yesterday that it was voluntarily urging doctors to stop using a family of leads known as the Sprint Fidelis, a crucial component in its most recent implantable defibrillator models, because the leads break too often. Medtronic told doctors to stop using the Sprint Fidelis wires after linking five deaths to breaks in them. The company said the Fidelis wires failed slightly more often than the thicker wires they were meant to replace. A lead is a wire that connects the heart to a defibrillator, a device implanted near the shoulder that shocks faltering hearts back into normal rhythm. An estimated 235,000 patients are thought to have Fidelis leads, and the company estimates that 4,000 to 5,000 patients - or about 2.3 percent - will experience fractures in the leads that can make the device misread heart-rhythm data. Such a malfunction can cause the device to either deliver an unnecessary elect

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