Should New York City Require Elevator Inspectors to Be Licensed?

Your first reaction may be, “You mean right now they’re not?!” Yet it’s true. But after three elevator accidents, two of them fatal, in six months, the City Council is considering licensing elevator mechanics for the first time. Council officials say most people do not realize the mechanics that fix the elevators are not licensed. The city’s building commissioner supports the licensing measure. The council is also considering a bill to require safety devices in some residential buildings to prevent elevators from skyrocketing to the ceiling.

New York is among just 14 states that do not require that elevator technicians … Read the rest

Recent Court Decision Highlights Need to Reform No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Law to Include “Surgery” Within the Definition of “Serious Injury”

In 1975 New York enacted a “no-fault” insurance plan that in theory was designed to keep small cases involving motor vehicle accidents out of court in exchange for relatively immediate payment of expenses for hospital and medical bills and reimbursement of lost earnings without the injured party having to prove that the other party was at fault for the accident. One would think that needing to undergo surgery to repair injuries sustained in an accident would not be considered too small of a case to be allowed to proceed, particularly where the surgeon states that the injuries he observed during … Read the rest

New York City Buildings Department Releases 2011 Annual Report

The 2011 Annual Report, released last month, touts New York City as the nation’s safest big city in 2011. 2011 marked a near-historic low number of fire fatalities, a 10th consecutive year of fewer than 600 murders, a record-breaking low number of traffic deaths — and an 18% decrease in construction-related accidents, which follows an almost 28% reduction in 2010 from 2009. Construction-related injury rates also continue to improve. There were approximately 8% fewer injuries in 2011 over 2010, following a nearly 32% decline in 2010 from 2009. Construction-related fatalities remained low, with five caused by falls or shoddy construction. … Read the rest