NYC Buildings Department No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program In Progress Until May 31

Retaining walls are designed to hold back soil that would move to a more natural slope or incline if the wall was not in place. Every homeowner is required by law to maintain their walls and their properties in a safe condition at all times. Under the No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program, homeowners may call 311 to request an inspection of their retaining wall without the penalty of violations.

Every once in a while you hear a story in the news about a retaining wall that collapsed on a worker engaged in a construction project on an adjoining property where … Read the rest

Sixth-Annual Construction Safety Week Starts This Monday

The New York City Buildings Departments Construction Safety Week has, since 2005, been a week-long series of events aimed at raising awareness about safe construction practices. Construction-related fatalities dropped 84% in 2009 when compared to 2008, and these events are a critical way to continue that trend. This year Construction Safety Week will run from April 26 to April 30, 2010.

Events during the week will include construction site visits to discuss safety issues with workers, information seminars to review construction trends and specific operations and community meetings in all five boroughs. This year’s seminars are Maintaining Safety at Stalled … Read the rest

Tobacco Companies Trying to Poison Children With Nicotine Candy

You’d be forgiven if you mistook a Camel Orb for a Tic Tac mint. They share a similar size and shape and have candy flavoring. But Camel Orbs are no breath mint. Instead, Orbs are made of finely ground tobacco packed with nicotine, a highly addictive drug. Or if you prefer, you can choose a thin strip similar to some breath mint products or a stick resembling a toothpick.

With their discreet form, candy-like appearance, and added flavorings that may be attractive to young children, smokeless tobacco products are of concern. From 2002 to 2006, there was an average increase … Read the rest

Little Progress on Eliminating Health Care-Associated Infections and Patient Safety

Health care-associated infections (HAIs) have been identified as a complication that can be avoided with proper care and procedures. To put pressure on hospitals to reduce if not eliminate HAIs, Medicare has included some infections on its list of never events, that is complications that could reasonably have been prevented.

As a never event, Medicare will not pay the extra costs of treatment when acquired in the hospital. Nonetheless, according to the 2009 National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR) issued April 13, 2010, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare … Read the rest

Red-Light Cameras Money But No Points

Unfortunately, I can write from personal experience about the 60 red-light cameras that have been installed in Nassau County since last summer. No, not from driving, but from the envelope received that contained a friendly Notice of Liability Red Light Camera Violation.

Although the vehicle was being driven by someone who shall remain nameless, the Notice stated that under the law the registered owner of the vehicle is liable to pay a fine. The Notice even came with 3 color photos and an internet link to a video of the infraction, which video completely destroyed the defense being offered by … Read the rest

Should You Have That Back Surgery?

Deciding whether to have back surgery after a motor vehicle accident or another type of accident is a decision our clients often have to make. It is usually not an easy decision. No doctor in his or her right mind will guarantee the results of a back surgery to the contrary, in making sure not to do so, many doctors scare their patients when rightfully advising them that they may feel worse after the surgery.

More than one client who had back surgery have lamented that they wish they never had the surgery, especially when spinal fusion has been performed. … Read the rest

Federal Appeals Court’s Affirmation That Most New York Rules on Attorney Advertising Are Unconstitutional Likely to Effect Other States

New York’s Appellate Division adopted new rules prohibiting certain types of attorney advertising and solicitation, which were to take effect February 1, 2007. The new rules barred testimonials from clients relating to pending matters, portrayals of judges or fictitious law firms, attention-getting techniques unrelated to attorney competence, and trade names or nicknames that imply an ability to get results. The amendments also established a thirty-day moratorium for targeted solicitation following a specific incident, including targeted ads on television or in other media.

A New York attorney, along with his law firm and a not-for-profit public interest organization, challenged these provisions … Read the rest

Do You Think a Plea Bargain Was Appropriate for Taking Bribes to Fake Crane Inspections?

Last week New York City’s former chief crane inspector, James Delayo, admitted that he took “more than $10,000” in bribes to fake inspections and overlook unqualified crane operators. Prosecutors have said Delayo’s individual payoffs ranged from $200 to $3,000. Delayos crimes are said to be unrelated to the two fatal crane collapses that occurred in 2008. Delayo’s plea deal shaved his prison time from seven years to just two to six years. A good deal for him, but what message does it send?

The money he took helped only him, but the phony inspections put the public in mortal danger. … Read the rest