More Stringent Requirements for Carbon Monoxide Detectors In Effect in New York State

On July 30, 2002, legislation requiring the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in all new residential construction in New York was signed into law. The law required new construction to contain at least one carbon monoxide detector. But spurred by the tragic death of Amanda Hansen, a 16-year-old West Seneca, NY girl who died January 20, 2009, from carbon monoxide poisoning from a defective boiler while sleeping at a friends house, Amanda’s Law went into effect on February 22, 2010. It requires essentially all residences, both new and existing, to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed, and new construction to … Read the rest

Levine & Slavit on the Front Page of Today’s New York Law Journal

One of our negligent security cases, Benson v. Monte Carlo, LLC, (Nassau County, Supreme Court Index # 016489/2007) made the front page of today’s New York Law Journal.

We successfully opposed the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, and an article appears in the newspaper discussing the decision of Hon. Thomas Feinman, dated February 23, 2010, that denied the motion. Our client was assaulted (stabbed and sustaining a broken ankle requiring surgery) in the courtyard of the building where he resided while trying to protect his wife and son from a group of men who were trespassing and drinking … Read the rest

Pediatricians Urge The Extension of Choking Prevention Strategies from Toys to Food

When considering the risk of young children choking, thoughts tend to center more upon toys than upon food. But that can cause the risk of choking on food to be overlooked. Statistics currently on the website of the Centers for Disease Control state that in 2000, 160 children ages 14 years or younger died from an obstruction of the respiratory tract due to inhaled or ingested foreign bodies. Of these, 41% were caused by food items and 59% by nonfood objects.

For every choking-related death, there are more than 100 visits to U.S. emergency departments.The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), … Read the rest

Injured Child Cannot Recover from Foster Parent on Claim Based Upon Negligent Supervision

It is a long-standing rule in New York that a child does not have a legally cognizable claim for damages against his parent for negligent supervision. A major impact of this rule upon personal injury practice is that it precludes a defendant in a case brought on behalf of a minor from bringing a claim (by either a counterclaim or a third-party impleader) against the minor’s parent for contribution on the basis of negligent supervision.

It would not be difficult in almost any situation for a defendant to concoct a theory as to how a parent, whether present at the … Read the rest

NYC Department of Buildings Announces Construction Site Accident Statistics for 2009

New York City Buildings Commissioner announced an 84% decrease in fatal construction-related accidents in New York City in 2009 when compared to the previous year. However, the total number of construction-related accidents and injuries rose in 2009. The Department attributes the increase primarily to more accident reporting by industry members.

The total number of reported construction accidents rose from 151 in 2008 to 224 in 2009, and the total number of reported injuries rose from 178 in 2008 to 246 in 2009. The Department also headed-off a conclusion that the decrease in fatal construction-related accidents was due to reduced construction … Read the rest

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Reports Difficulties Enforcing Reduced Lead Level Limits in Children’s Toys

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008(CPSIA) directed the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to assess and report to the House and Senate enforcement efforts, difficulties encountered, as well as recommendations for improvement to the lower numerical level limits for lead content of childrens products the CPSIA established.

The CPSC issued its report on January 15, 2010, noting that it has continued to find excessive lead levels in childrens toys and products. Most of the lead content violations were identified by screening childrens products at ports using x-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology. In these cases, the violative products were … Read the rest

Does Anybody See Those On-Line NYC Buildings Department Advisories to Take Precautionary Steps at Construction Sites In Preparation for Gusts Of High Wind?

New York City didn’t get the snowstorm forecasted for this past weekend, but the City Department of Buildings issued whats become its customary and standard warning to contractors to secure construction sites when the forecast calls for severe weather and gusts of high winds.

A review of the Buildings Departments website reveals that it has been routinely issuing such advisories on-line for several years. Yet just 2 weeks ago a 15-block area near City Hall Park was closed to pedestrians and traffic after high winds scattered debris from a nearby construction site where a 77-story tower is being built on … Read the rest

Wiitis Is Not Just a Funny Name

Once in a while discussions about injuries resultant from playing Nintendos games are published. Ailments have humorously been labeled “Nintendinitis” and recently more specifically as “Wiiitis,” referring to Nintendos Wii video-game system. The Wii games console includes a wireless remote that detects movement in three dimensions for players participating in sports such as tennis, golf, boxing, baseball, and bowling. Wiitis may become a more prevalent problem because adults are more likely to use the Wii than Nintendo.

The current issue of The New England Journal of Medicine (Karen A. Eley, M.R.C.S.(Ed)) reports that a 14-year old in Oxford, England was … Read the rest

Attention Taxi Drivers in New York City: No Electronic Devices Allowed While Driving. Period. Or Else.

For more than ten years, Taxi and Limousine Commission rules have prohibited drivers from using cell phones while driving. In May, 1999, the Commission was the first regulator in the country to ban hands-free cell phone use while driving. Now the TLC has gone further. Effective January 29, 2010, the ban against licensees using a telephone while operating a vehicle has been expanded to include portable and hands-free electronic devices in the hopes of reducing distracted driving that often leads to auto accidents.

According to the TLC website, the rule makes four other changes to existing rules: Expands the definition … Read the rest