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Levine and Slavit, PLLC - Blog

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

Using Siri to Activate a Call Held Not to Be Same as Making a Phone Call on Cell Phone; Defendant Not Guilty

Posted On Apr 12, 2013 @ 03:02 PM by Ira Slavit

Section 1225-c(2a) of New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law prohibits operating a motor vehicle upon a public highway while using a mobile telephone to engage in a call while such vehicle is in motion without a hands-free device.  In The People v. Andrew Welch, the defendant was charged with violating VTL § 1225-c.  At trial, the police officer testified that he observed the defendant drove past him with a cell phone in his hand which he held close to his chin, and was talking into it.  The defendant testified and admitted that he had the cell phone in his hand and was talking into it, but asserted he was using the phone's Siri feature to activate a call. Justice Karen Morris of Brighton Town Court held that the defendant's testimony, if believed, rebuts the inference that he was engaged in a call and instead establishes that he was activating a call, an action that is not illegal.  She thus found the defendant not guilty.

Study of Factors Predictive Of Outcome of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Accident Victims Shows Danger Lurks Even in Supposedly Safe Places

Posted On Apr 8, 2013 @ 03:23 AM by Ira Slavit

In 2012 in New York City, there were 274 traffic deaths, the most in four years. In 2010, 11,000 pedestrians and 3,500 bicyclists were injured by motor vehicles in New York City. A study by doctors at NYU Langone Medical Center published in the current addition of the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery shows that even sidewalk and signal-obeying crosswalk users are at risk. Six percent of pedestrians were injured while on a sidewalk. More of those injured on the street were injured while using a crosswalk with the signal (44%) compared with 23% who crossed midblock and 9% who crossed against the signal. Factors lowering the severity of injury include above-average body mass, bicycling vs. being a pedestrian, being struck by a taxi, and being struck in the crosswalk by a turning vehicle. More severe injuries were associated with alcohol, being less than 18 years of age, hearing impairment, and struck by a truck or bus.

Recall of Potentially Contaminated SeriScaffold® Device, a Surgical Mesh Often Used in Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Posted On Mar 31, 2013 @ 04:31 PM by Ira Slavit

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced a voluntary recall of SeriScaffold Surgical Scaffold Product, a bio-resorbable surgical mesh for use in open or laparoscopic procedures manufactured by Allergan, Inc.  The reason for the recall is that the mesh may have been packaged in improperly sealed pouches with resultant contamination, and surgical sterility cannot be assured. More specifically, the outer of the two pouches may have become compromised.  There is an explicit warning from Allergannot to use SeriTM Surgical Scaffold if the sealed pouch is punctured, torn, or otherwise compromised. It is unclear how it was learned that the product packaging was defective, Our office knows of at least one person who suffered an infection believed to have resulted from contamination of SeriScaffold.

Another Compounding Company Endangers Consumers With Contaminated Products

Posted On Mar 23, 2013 @ 02:10 PM by Ira Slavit

On September 26, 2012, New England Compounding Center (NECC) recalled more than 17,000 steroids delivered to medical facilities in 23 states because of an outbreak of fungal meningitis suffered by patients injected with the contaminated product.  Now this past week Med Prep Consulting, Inc. “voluntarily” recalled all lots of its products after being notified by a Connecticut hospital that it observed visible particulate contaminants confirmed to be mold in 50 ml bags of Magnesium Sulfate 2 grams in Dextrose 5% for Injection products compounded at its facility. Administration of an intravenous product found to be contaminated with mold could result in a fatal infection in broad array of patients.

SimplyThick Manufacturer Changes Product Warnings in Light of Potential Catastrophic Infant Injury or Death

Posted On Mar 1, 2013 @ 05:05 AM by Ira Slavit

In February SimplyThick, LLC, the manufacturer of SimplyThick, announced online a major change to its product warnings. The new warning will state that SimplyThick is “NOT intended for use with preterm or infants under 12 months of age. Or children under the age of 12 years with a history of NEC.” This action follows two advisories by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (“FDA”) that infant’s fed SimplyThick may develop necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a condition in which tissue in the intestines becomes inflamed and dies, which can be fatal. In May 2011, the FDA advised against feeding SimplyThick to infants born before 37 weeks gestation because it could cause NEC. In September 2012, the FDA expanded its warning to all infants under the age of 12 months.

Hotels, Motels and Child Care Facilities Must Comply with New Safety Requirements for Cribs

Posted On Feb 12, 2013 @ 04:31 AM by Ira Slavit

New federal safety standards for cribs, play yards, bassinets and cradles show a laudable concern for infants and the danger well-meaning but unsuspecting parents place their children in. Beginning June 28, 2011, all cribs made and sold after that date must meet new standards which prohibit traditional drop-side cribs, strengthen crib slats and mattress supports, improve the quality of hardware, and require more rigorous testing from entering the marketplace. Beginning December 28, 2012, cribs provided by child care facilities, family child care homes, hotels, motels and other places of public accommodation must meet the requirements of the new standards.  Failure to do so could render the facility  negligent per se.

Burn Awareness Week Being Observed This Week With Focus on Children’s Scald Burn Injuries

Posted On Feb 6, 2013 @ 03:32 AM by Ira Slavit

Every day, 352 children ages 19 and under are injured as a result of a fire or burn-related cause.  Among children under 5 years of age, scalds or contact burns are responsible for 90 percent of burn injuries.  One of the focus areas of the American Burn Association’s Burn Awareness Week (February 3-9, 2013) is preventing scald burn injuries – a burn from hot liquid or steam. The maximum recommended residential water temperature is 120ËšF (48ËšC). Children have thinner skin than adults which can result in a more severe burn. The most common places children experience scalds are in the kitchen or dining rooms and in the bathrooms.

Tagged with: Childrens Safety Burns

Deadline to Contribute to OSHA Construction Standards and to Workplace Safety and Health Hazards Approaches

Posted On Jan 27, 2013 @ 03:10 PM by Ira Slavit

Last month the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a Request for Information to initiate the fourth phase of its Standards Improvement Project (SIP).  The purpose of SIP-IV is to improve and streamline existing OSHA construction standards by removing or revising requirements that are confusing or outdated, or that duplicate, or are inconsistent with, other standards. The submission deadline is February 4, 2013. Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Labor today announced the winners of its Worker Safety and Health App Challenge, which awards prizes totaling $30,000 to four entrants who submitted tools that best demonstrate the importance of recognizing and preventing workplace safety and health hazards, and help young people understand their rights in the workplace. The prizes awarded are the Safety in the Workplace Innovator Award,the Safety and Health Data Award, the Workers' Rights Award and the People's Choice Award.

Sephora Held Liable Under Labor Law For Providing Worker with Ladder That Was Too Short

Posted On Jan 22, 2013 @ 03:53 AM by Ira Slavit

In Cuentas v. Sephora USA, Inc., the defendants asserted that the plaintiff was negligent because he was on top of the ladder he was using. The plaintiff testified that the ladder he was using was both unsteady as he was ascending it and too short to enable him to reach the window he was cleaning.  The Appellate Division held that plaintiff’s testimony establishes prima facie that defendants failed to provide him with an adequate safety device under Labor Law § 240(1) and that their failure proximately caused his injuries. The key language in the court’s decision is: “the single decisive question is whether plaintiff's injuries were the direct consequence of a failure to provide adequate protection against a risk arising from a physically significant elevation differential”. Because plaintiff established that no adequate safety device was provided, the court holds that his own negligence, if any, is of no consequence. 

Both New York State and New York City Take Bold Steps to Try To Improve Health Care

Posted On Jan 13, 2013 @ 10:16 PM by Ira Slavit

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the state will work with hospitals this year to improve the quality and safety of care provided to patients at key stages of hospital admission, treatment, and discharge, and more particularly with respect to sepsis.  Sepsis is the number one cause of death in U.S. hospitals, striking at least 750,000 people in the country each year, and kills as many Americans annually as heart attacks, and more than AIDS, prostate cancer, and breast cancer combined.  Also, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation announced a new pay-for-performance agreement that will reward doctors with up to $59 million in incentive payments over the next three years for meeting the public hospitals system's goals to improve patient care, efficiency, patient satisfaction and align with the new demands of healthcare reform.

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