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Levine and Slavit, PLLC - Blog

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

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

Direct to Consumer Advertising of Cypher Stent Draws Heavy Criticism and Points to Need for Legislation

Posted On May 28, 2008 @ 07:40 AM by SEO Admin

For several years the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been reviewing a set of guidelines proposed in 2004 for advertising medical devices. Now, a television advertisement for a heart stent, metal mesh devices that are used to prop open arteries after they have been cleared of blockages, has been scrutinized and attacked in an op-ed article for failing to adequately warn consumers about the potential dangers of receiving a stent, including a ruptured coronary artery. The ad does warn of heart attack and stroke. The ad for the Cypher stent, made by the Cordis subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, was the first to market a stent directly to consumers on television and uses the tag line life wide open. Similar ad campaigns have promoted hip and knee implants, including one featuring the golfer Jack Nicklaus, who underwent a hip replacement in 1999 using a device made by Stryker. According to the article by cardiologists Dr. William E. Boden and Dr. George A. Di

The Dangers of ACL Tears to Young Female Athletes

Posted On May 26, 2008 @ 12:24 AM by SEO Admin

There are an increasing number of girls playing sports, such as soccer and basketball, but with this growing statistic comes an increase in the number of girls and young women sustaining sports related injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee tears. Studies conclude that in sports such as soccer, basketball and gymnastics, girl athletes rupture their ACL at a rate of five times that ofmale athletes. This orthopedic injury is very debilitating and can disrupt one's every day life in the short-term and has serious long term consequences as well. The ACL is a small, rubber-band-like fiber, that attaches to the femur in the upper leg and the tibia in the lower leg and stabilizes the knee. After the ACL tears from the femur, it turns into a viscous liquid. The ligament cannot be repaired; the ligament has to be replaced with a graft, which is normally created by the surgeon by using part of the patellar tendon below the kneecap. Normally two surgical procedu

Governor Paterson Busy Protecting Citizens from Harmful Doctors, Drugs, Toys and Sexual Predators - Part 2

Posted On May 22, 2008 @ 11:43 AM by SEO Admin

Part 2 of this topic discusses new legislation regarding dangerous drugs, defective toys and sexual predators using the internet to prowl and prey. The information herein is set forth in press releases issued by the governor's office. Proposed legislation designed to protect patients from medical malpractice was discussed in Part 1 of this blog. Governor David A. Paterson has proposed legislation to limit the influence of pharmaceutical manufacturers over prescription decisions by banning gifts and payments from drug companies to physicians and other prescribers in excess of $50 per year. The bill would also require practitioners who m

Governor Paterson Busy Protecting Citizens from Harmful Doctors, Drugs, Toys and Sexual Predators - Part 1

Posted On May 20, 2008 @ 09:03 PM by SEO Admin

Last week was a busy week for New York's Governor David A. Paterson on issues often written about in this blog - medical malpractice, dangerous drugs, defective toys and sexual predators using the internet. Some bills were signed, others introduced. The most ambitious of these was on the medical malpractice front, Governor Paterson proposed legislation that offers more transparency for patients and tougher discipline for physicians; enhanced infection control requirements will facilitate the prevention of and response to infectious disease transmissions. Part 1 will discuss this legislation, Part 2 the others. The information herein is set forth in press releases issued by the governo

Encouraging News? Congress Prepares to Undo Anticipated Supreme Court Decision Precluding Lawsuits Over Dangerous Drugs

Posted On May 16, 2008 @ 09:14 AM by SEO Admin

In the event that the Supreme Court applies the federal doctrine of preemption to permit the pharmaceutical industry to avoid accountability for the harm dangerous drugs cause, the only remedy would be for Congress to pass a law expressly stating that preemption does not preclude state court lawsuits for compensation. And that, hopefully, is the goal of the process engaged in by Chairman Rep. Henry A. Waxman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the U.S. House of Representatives this past Wednesday, May 14, 2008. Similarly, Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Waxman (D-Calif.) have drafted legislation, the Medical Device Safety Act of 2008, to ensure federal law does not preempt state law when people harmed by medical devices sue. The new law would amend the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) by adding the subsection No Effect on

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

Propaganda in Health News: An Epidemic of Fake Health Stories

Posted On May 8, 2008 @ 10:43 AM by SEO Admin

A feature article in the March/April 2007 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review discusses and labels as an epidemic the pervasive role hospitals play in producing "feel good" stories that are essentially advertisements for themselves and feeding the stories to television stations that run the stories as purported health news on their local TV news programs. The stories chosen tend to promote expensive specialties and procedures like bariatric surgery for obesity and gamma knife surgery for brain cancer at the expense of stories about less profitable diagnoses, like AIDS or pneumonia, care for the uninsured, or critical stories such as hospital infection rates, medical mistakes or poor care. Perhaps the most egregious example cited in the feature involves the partnership between the CBS station in Philadelphia with Temple University Hospital, which produces stores called Temple LifeLin

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