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Levine and Slavit, PLLC - Blog

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

Multiple Pedestrians Injured in East Village Accident Demonstrates Merit of Propsed Legislation Regarding Disclosure of Underinsurance Coverage

Posted On Jun 22, 2013 @ 07:19 PM by Ira Slavit

Just two days after eight people in New York City’s East Village on Wednesday morning were injured when a motor vehicle allegedly being driven by a drunk driver mounted a sidewalk and struck them, the New York State Senate failed to pass a bill that would have required disclosure to purchaser's of insurance of the availability of coverage that could have provided additional insurance to the victims. Called Supplementary Uninsured Motorist's ("SUM") coverage, this coverage can potentially provide compensation where the wrongdoer either has no insurance or has less insurance than the victim.  In the recent accident it appears that the vehicle had insurance, but it is unclear how much.  Whatever the amount, it will have to be shared by all of the injured, which may not leave enough money to adequately compensate all (or any) of them for their injuries, including their pain and suffering.

“Serious Injury” Threshold of No-Fault Law Held Not to Apply to Passenger Negligently Left Overnight Seat-Belted in School Bus

Posted On Jun 19, 2013 @ 09:00 AM by Ira Slavit

In Rivera v. Outstanding Transp., Inc., a handicapped person was, instead of being transported by bus to his home was, left in the bus as it was taken to a depot in Brooklyn where he remained overnight, unattended and unsupervised, in frigid temperatures. The driver subsequently pled guilty to Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person.  Motions for summary judgment dismissing the complaint on the ground that the plaintiff did not sustain a “serious injury” as defined in the Motor Vehicle No-Fault Insurance Law were denied by Justice David I. Schmidt of Supreme Court, Kings County.  The court reasoned that the bus was not the instrumentality that produced the injuries but instead the injuries were the result of the defendants' abandonment of the handicapped person and his exposure to cold temperatures for an extensive period. These injuries would have occurred if the passenger was left outside the vehicle.

NYC Comptroller's Office 2013 Claims Report Makes Recommendations to Reduce Motor Vehicle Accident Claims; Cites Increase in Claims Against Police

Posted On Jun 7, 2013 @ 11:00 AM by Ira Slavit

Earlier this week, the New York City Comptroller’s Office, which is responsible for settling and adjusting claims for and against the City, released its fiscal report for the year 2012.  In FY 2012, the City paid out $485.9 million in personal injury and property damage tort settlements and judgments, 12 percent less than in FY 2011. In FY 2012, the costliest personal injury claims category was medical malpractice. The second costliest category was motor vehicle claims. Civil rights claim settlements and judgments were the third costliest. The fourth costliest category was police action claims. In FY 2012, medical malpractice settlements/judgments accounted for 34 of the 79 tort cases that settled for $1 million or more.The Comptroller's report also cited as cause for concern the growing number of tort claims filed against the NYPD, which reached an historical high of 9,570 claims filed, and cost the City 464.4 million, in 2012.

Cancer-Causing Chromium a Hot Topic with OSHA

Posted On Jun 2, 2013 @ 08:14 PM by Ira Slavit

Go onto the U.S. Department of Labor’s website and you will find much to read about what OSHA is attempting to do to reduce the exposure of workers to chromium, and more particularly hexavalent chromium. It is estimated that 558,000 workers are potentially exposed to hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] in the United States. Job tasks that may expose workers to Cr(VI) include spray painting, sanding, grinding and abrasive blasting. Hexavalent chromium targets the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin and eyes. It is known to cause lung cancer and nasal and sinus cancer.  Other health effects of exposure include eye, nose and throat irritation , nasal septum ulcerations and perforations, gastritis, gastrointestinal ulcers, contact dermatitis, irritation, ulcers, and sensitization from skin contact.

Worker Who Did Not Personally Handle Asbestos Products Can Nonetheless Pursue Mesothelioma Claim

Posted On May 29, 2013 @ 05:02 PM by Ira Slavit

A man who worked as a cashier at a diner housed in a trailer on property owned by The Long Island Rail Road can proceed with his claim against the LIRR that he got mesothelioma from being exposed to asbestos that railroad workers brought into the eatery on their clothes, even though he did not personally work with asbestos. The plaintiff worked at the Dashing Dan Diner on the grounds of the LIRR's now-defunct Morris Park maintenance facility in Queens from 1972 to 1979. Plaintiff testified that, while he worked at the diner, LIRR workers would come in covered in dust, which they would stomp off their boots and shake off their gloves and clothes. Frieder estimated that he served about 200 employees a day. By the end of the day, he said, there was "dust all over the place," requiring heavy sweeping. The evidence established that asbestos was routinely used at the Morris Park facility.

Tagged with: Mesothelioma Asbestos

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Posted On May 19, 2013 @ 07:12 AM by Ira Slavit

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is a national initiative designed to encourage drivers of all other kinds of vehicles and motorcyclists to “share the road” with each other.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)reminds motorists to safely "share the road" with motorcycles and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. The NHTSA also stresses the importance of riding sober.  Statistics show that the percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on our roads. Motorcycle crashes are one of the most prevalent causes of death and injury on roads.  Motorcyclists are about 30 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger vehicle occupants. Motorcycle fatalities accounted for 14 percent of total highway deaths for the year although motorcycle registrations represent only about 3 percent of all vehicles in the U.S.

Construction Industry Foiled in Its Attempt to Avoid Complying with New York City’s Regulations Governing Cranes, Derricks and Hoisting Equipment

Posted On May 14, 2013 @ 06:59 PM by Ira Slavit

In Steel Institute of New York v. City of New York, the City of New York's local statutes and regulations that govern the use of cranes, derricks, and other hoisting equipment in construction and demolition were challenged as being preempted by OSHA. The Steel Institute clearly sought to relieve the construction industry from having to comply with the City’s more stringent, and likely more costly, standards. If the City’s regulations were found to be directed towards workers’ safety, they would have been preempted and unenforceable. What saved the City’s regulations was the extraordinarily high density of people and property in the City such that in most cases construction worksites abut or spill over into adjoining lots and public streets.  The District Court stated: “Cranes therefore pose a unique risk to public safety in New York City ....”

Diagnostic Errors Appear To Be The Most Common, Most Costly ($38.8 Billion) And Most Dangerous Of Medical Mistakes

Posted On May 5, 2013 @ 06:39 PM by Ira Slavit

Every year 80,000 to 160,000 patients in the United States suffer misdiagnosis-related significant permanent injury or death that were possibly preventable, estimate the authors of an analysis published online in BMJ Quality and Safety.  Analyzed were 350,706 diagnosis-related claims of medical malpractice reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank over a period of 25 years (1986–2010).  The study found that diagnostic errors were the leading type and accounted for the highest proportion of total payments. The most frequent outcomes were death, significant permanent injury, major permanent injury and minor permanent injury. The inflation-adjusted, 25-year sum of diagnosis-related payments was $38.8 billion.

A Tribute to 60 Years of Loyal Service

Posted On Apr 30, 2013 @ 08:16 PM by Ira Slavit

This blog entry is a tribute to our long, and I mean long, time secretary, Alice, who passed away earlier this month.  Alice started working for our firm's founder, Louis H. Levine, before he even founded the firm in the 1950's, and she continued at the firm for about 60 years.  She was a remarkable person who gave more to our office on a professional and personal level than can be adequately expressed.  We are saddened that she is gone, and hope that she rests in peace.

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NYC Buildings Department Holds Hearing on Proposed Rules Implementing Stringent Requirements for Department-Approved Courses as Part of License Qualification

Posted On Apr 27, 2013 @ 03:39 PM by Ira Slavit

A public hearing was held yesterday, April 26, 2013, at The New York City Buildings Department regarding proposing new rules implementing tougher requirements for department-approved courses that individuals in the construction trades must take as part of trade license qualification, license renewal and worker training. The proposed requirements include course content requirements, course review, course instructors, course facilities, attendance records, course completion and course providers. The construction trades that must take department-approved courses include: Concrete Safety Manager, Hoist Machine Operator, Site Safety Manager, Site Safety Coordinator, Rigger ,Filing Representative, Construction Superintendent, Electrician, Master Plumber, Master Fire Suppression Piping Contractor, Supported Scaffold Worker, Suspended Scaffold Supervisor, Suspended Scaffold User, Mast-Climbing work platform.

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