NYC Department of Buildings to Share Information About Tower Cranes With Other Cities to Prevent Crane Accidents

Last year, there were two fatal tower crane crashes in New York City, as well as dozens of others throughout the country, including Houston, Las Vegas and Miami. In an effort to track equipment failures, manufacturers recalls, accidents and industry trends, the New York City Buildings Department recently announced an unprecedented partnership with the cities of Chicago and Philadelphia to share critical data on tower cranes erected within their borders.

At present, there are more than 50 active tower cranes in New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia. Under the information-sharing agreement, building officials will share information about the design … Read the rest

FDA Advises Consumers to Stop Using Zicam; Active Ingredient Can Cause Loss of Smell

In a press release dated June 16, 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised consumers to stop use of three over-the-counter Zicam Cold Remedy products: nasal gel, nasal swabs and the discontinued “kids size” swabs. The FDA’s advisory stated that the products are associated with the loss of sense of smell, called anosmia.

Anosmia may be long-lasting or permanent. In addition to a loss of the sense of smell, patients have also complained of a loss of the sense of taste. The FDA has received more than 130 reports of loss of sense of smell associated with the … Read the rest

New York City Council to Consider Licensing Procedure for Pedicabs

Anyone walking the streets of Manhattan is aware of the prevalence of pedicabs, pedal-powered tourist-friendly tricycles. Pedicab owners estimate that there were about 1,000 pedicabs in the city. But what if someone suffers personal injuries while a passenger in one or is involved in an accident with one? Who will pay for the injuries and damage caused?

New York State has financial responsibility requirements for motor vehicles and motorcycles. Not so for pedicabs. In an effort to change that, the city will move forward with its long-stalled regulation of pedicabs by establishing a licensing procedure. Licenses would be issued to … Read the rest

Schoolchildren Face Traffic Dangers When School Lets Out

A recent article by Jennifer Steinhauer of The New York Times discusses the dangers middle school students face when they become pedestrians when the school bell rings. The number of serious traffic incidents involving schoolchildren across the 900 Los Angeles public schools has significantly increased, particularly around middle schools. From January to November 2008, there were 153 traffic-related injuries around schools, which Los Angeles public school officials said was much higher than five years ago. Last year, two eighth-grade girls in Wilmington, near the Port of Los Angeles, were hit by vehicles near school, and one girl was left partly … Read the rest

Bill Creating the Offense Careless Driving Introduced in New York to Protect Pedestrians, Bicyclists and Other Vulnerable Road Users

Known as The Hayley Ng and Diego Martinez Law, bills have been introduced in the Assembly (A.7917) and the Senate (S.5292) establishing the offense of careless driving under a new section 1146-b to the Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL), and imposing penalties when a violation results in the serious injury or death of a vulnerable user of a public way.

The law defines careless driving as driving without due care or in a manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property. A vulnerable user is defined as a pedestrian, highway worker, person riding an animal, … Read the rest

New LIRR Public Awareness Campaign Aimed At Golf Fans Headed to U.S. Open

The U.S. Open golf tournament is scheduled to be played on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park on June 15-21, 2009. The LIRR is posting ads at stations and in newspapers, making extra announcements and distributing fliers telling riders to watch the gap between train doors and the station platform. Although New Yorkers can hear the announcements to watch the gap in their sleep, the LIRR is concerned that the many out-of-towners who come to attend the golf tournament will not be aware of the problem.

Newsday has reported that an investigation by the newspaper found that there were … Read the rest

Pedestrians Killed in Accidents to be Memorialized by Hells Kitchen Neighborhood Organizations This Saturday

Year ago our office represented the estate of Randolph Walker, who was run over and killed by a New York City Apple Tours bus in an accident that received much coverage in the press at the time. The circumstances were abhorrent and the company was effectively put out of business by the city after this accident. Just yesterday we were contacted by a community organization called CHEKPEDS (Clinton Hell’s Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety) and advised that a Pedestrian Memorial March will be held this Saturday, June 13, 2009, in memory of 6 pedestrians killed by careless drivers on … Read the rest

Bill Seeks to Improve Safety By Requiring Safety Device on New York City Housing Authority Elevators

Identical bills have been introduced in the New York State Senate (S04603) and Assembly (A8154) that would require the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to place door or zone restrictors on its nearly 3,340 elevators. The devices prevent people trapped inside stalled housing elevators from opening the cab doors by locking the cab door when an elevator is not aligned with a floor landing. The devices operate even when an elevator loses power because they do not rely on electricity.

The bills come on the heels of a class action lawsuit filed in the United States Court for the … Read the rest

Can One Appellate Department Be Right and Three Be Wrong? Yes, Says the Court of Appeals When It Comes to Power-Operated Heavy Equipment or Machinery and the Labor Law

An employee who claims to have suffered proximate injuries caused by a previously identified and unremedied structural defect or unsafe condition affecting an item of power-operated heavy equipment or machinery has stated a cause of action under Labor Law 241(6) based on an alleged violation of 12 NYCRR 23-9.2(a), held the Court of Appeals in Misicki v. Caradonna, — N.E.2d —-, 2009 WL 1286012 (N.Y.), 2009 N.Y. Slip Op. 03764 (May 12, 2009). The Appellate Division, Fourth Department, had been the only one of the four Appellate Divisions to rule that a violation of the rule and regulation promulgated by … Read the rest

It Doesnt Take Much of a Gift to Influence Doctors Prescription Choices

A principal underlying assumption regarding limits on and ethics guidelines addressing pharmaceutical promotion is that smaller gifts are unlikely to exert influence on prescribing decisions. Nonetheless, a substantial body of marketing and psychology literature suggests that even trivial doctor gifts can exert influence irrespective of economic value.

Adding a small gift such as personalized mailing labels, a pen or a coffee mug to a solicitation for donations has been shown to significantly increase donations. These types of gifts can also influence prescribing behavior, according to a study that appears in The Archives of Internal Medicine. (Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(9):887-893).

The … Read the rest