Deadly 64-Vehicle Pile Up Under Investigation

On February 13, a massive pileup on I-78 in Pennsylvania that involved 64 vehicles and sent 73 people to hospitals is currently under investigation. Among the three fatalities was a 50-year Long Island resident who died at the scene.

The crash occurred shortly before 9:30 a.m. in a whiteout snowstorm with low visibility, high winds and a lot of drifting snow. Of the 64 vehicles in the pileup 12 of them were commercial. Ambulances and four medical helicopters took the 73 injured to 11 hospitals.

The investigation into the cause of the accident will take weeks and possibly even up … Read the rest

Claims Against New York City Department of Correction Rose in 2015

Recently, New York Daily News reported that in 2015, there were more than 2,800 personal injury claims filed by inmates in city jails against the New York City Department of Correction. This is a 27 percent increase from 2014, costing 66 percent more in settlements and judgments. The majority of the claims come out of Rikers Island, which comprises 9 out of the 12 New York City inmate facilities.

Rikers Island has a reputation for violence, resulting in the federal government’s monitoring of the facilities. In 2015, it was reported that the number of stabbings and slashings increased 49 percent. … Read the rest

Dental Anesthesia Mishaps Lead to Children’s Deaths

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. A mother brings her toddler in for a routine dental procedure and her child passes away. That is the reality for Betty Squire, a young Texas mother whose 14-month-old daughter, Daisy Lynn Torres, died after being administered anesthesia for a cavity filling in March 2016. This recent tragedy brings to light the dangers of using anesthesia on children during minor dental procedures.

When Ms. Squire brought Daisy into the dentist’s office at Austin Children’s Hospital to have two cavities filled, the dental staff informed her that they were going to put her under anesthesia and … Read the rest

Large Trucks Continue to Cause Big Problems on the Road

Trucking accidents can cause serious injuries and death.  If this year is any indication, accidents involving large trucks have the potential to claim more lives than all domestic commercial airline fatalities during the past 45 years.  Some believe that Congress should reform current laws to be stricter on the trucking industry.

Recently, Congress’ actions seemed to sidestep safety improvements that were ordered by federal regulators.  Instead of the current 70 hours of driving time over an eight-day period, Congress is advocating to increase it to 82 hours over a seven-day period.  Additionally, Congress has suspended the mandatory two consecutive early-morning … Read the rest

Investigation into Workers Death Leads to Indictment of Subcontractor

The April 6, 2015 death of a construction worker at a Ninth Avenue New York City construction site has initiated an investigation into the owner of Sky Materials Corporation, an excavating subcontracting company.  After an extensive investigation, owner Michael Cholowsky was indicted for concealing payroll information and submitting false documents regarding the number of employees he hired.  The charges are first degree workers’ compensation fraud, and filing false statements, along with other criminal charges stemming from the construction accident.

During the April 2013 to April 2014 time period, Mr. Cholowsky allegedly falsely reported to the New York State Insurance Fund … Read the rest

New York Department of Health Fails to Enforce Nursing Home Fines

New York has approximately 631 nursing homes, where the majority of residents are senior citizens.  The New York Department of Health (DOH), under Governor Cuomo’s Administration, oversees the state’s nursing homes to make sure regulations are followed, and is the enforcement agency when it comes to violations.

Recently, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the results of the state audit. The DOH has not been consistently enforcing fines for nursing home violations, in some cases delaying for up to six years from the citation date to when the fine is imposed.  Although DOH properly conducted surveys under … Read the rest

City Raises Fines for Safety Violations at Construction Sites

In the wake of a recent accident in which a crane fell, killing a passerby, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler announced new rules to ensure the safety of those working at or walking by a construction site.  This includes an increase in monetary fines.  Mayor de Blasio said these measures are necessary because “no building is worth a person’s life.”

With numerous safety provisions already in place, the spotlight is now on stricter enforcement.  As part of the new plan, there will be a greater number of inspections, especially … Read the rest

Motor Carrier Safety Programs Help Save Lives

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), completes an annual review of commercial vehicle inspection and traffic enforcement programs.  The program’s focus on large commercial trucks and buses on public roadways.  Certain commercial vehicles are subject to roadside inspections.  These inspections, combined with traffic stops, are thought to enforce federal and state safety regulations, and prevent future crashes.

Annually, the FMCSA analyzes their Roadside Intervention Effectiveness Model (RIEM).  Recently, the FMCSA announced that according to its analysis, these programs saved as many as 472 lives in 2012, which is the most recent information available, and more … Read the rest

New York City Starts to Break on Traffic Deaths

Recently, New York City traffic death rates have subsided dramatically and last year marked the lowest it has been historically. Despite promising figures, Mayor Bill de Blasio called for additional measures to improve dangerous traffic spots in the city and protection of vulnerable pedestrian groups such as senior citizens.

Throughout New York, a total of 231 people were killed in crashes last year— 26 fewer than 2014.  Motorcyclist deaths fell from 37 in 2014 to 22 in 2015. The city also saw improvement with five fewer pedestrian deaths and six fewer cycling deaths.

In recent years both the number of … Read the rest

Motorcyclists Face Dangerous Roads

Motorcycle accidents can easily lead to serious injury or death, often times with riders and passengers sustaining injuries to their head, neck, arms, and legs. According to New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, during 2014, there were a total of 1,330 motorcycle crashes in New York City.

One reason why motorcyclists must be attentive is because it may be more difficult to see a motorcycle than a vehicle.  At times motorcycles can be missed on the roadways because of another vehicle’s blind spot.  Another cause for the serious nature of motorcycle injuries is that a motorcycle offers no protection … Read the rest