“Key in the Ignition Statute” Will Hold Vehicle Owner Liable for Deaths of Pedestrians Struck by Drunk Driver Who Had Stolen the Vehicle

When Joe Guerrero left his keys in the ignition of his car with the engine running while he went into a deli last weekend, a drunken man stole his vehicle and then ran down 2 pedestrians. Even though Mr. Guerrero was not driving or occupying the vehicle and had not given the drunk driver, a stranger to him, permission to drive his vehicle, he will be liable to the families of the 2 pedestrians for causing their deaths. This is true because of Vehicle and Traffic Law 1210(a), sometimes called the “key in the ignition statute.” This statute makes the … Read the rest

Nassau County Police Release Recommendations to Avoid Repeating Wal-Mart Black Friday Stampede

On the Friday following Thanksgiving last year a pre-dawn mob of approximately 2,000 shoppers broke down the doors to a Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, New York, and rushed past and trampled to death Jdimytai Damour, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound Wal-Mart worker who was stationed near the entrance to assist with crowd control. At least four other people were hurt. This past Wednesday, Nassau County police released recommendations for better crowd control in such circumstances, two weeks after meeting with 75 Long Island retailers about how to stage major sales events safely.

Among the report’s recommendations:
* Begin planning months before … Read the rest

What to Do About Suffolk County’s New York Route 347

The tortuous history of New York Route 347 in Suffolk County and its troubles with the traffic impacts of low density strip mall development has again come to the public fore due to some recent motor vehicle accidents.

On July 30, 2008, a Lake Grove woman, Effatolsadat Ghozati, 66, was struck by car and killed while crossing westbound Route 347 near Hallock Road in Stony Brook, New York, on foot at around 10:25 P.M. On August 1, 2008, the front of a 2003 Ford van, going west on State Route 347, smashed into the side of a passenger bus … Read the rest

The Dangers of ACL Tears to Young Female Athletes

There are an increasing number of girls playing sports, such as soccer and basketball, but with this growing statistic comes an increase in the number of girls and young women sustaining sports related injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee tears. Studies conclude that in sports such as soccer, basketball and gymnastics, female athletes experience ACL tears at a rate of five times that of male athletes.

This orthopedic injury is very debilitating and can disrupt one’s every day life in the short-term and has serious long term consequences as well. The ACL is a small, rubber-band-like fiber, that … Read the rest

Concerns Over Danger to Children and Others From Synthetic Turf Fields Escalate

This year’s LandTek FieldTurf convention, held last month at a hotel in Huntington, Long Island, New York, was dedicated to addressing recent worries that the filling material, composed of ground up tires, could eventually expose athletes to life-threatening illness.

The concerns have to do with the fact that the artificial fields are constructed using up to ten tons of ground-up used tires, or crumb rubber, as in-fill. The danger is that since tires typically contain toxic substances which prohibit their disposal in landfills and oceans, it seems reasonable to question whether this material is safe for use on fields where … Read the rest

Construction Workers Fatal 42 Story Fall Latest Problem for Bovis Lend Lease

A construction worker who was pouring concrete at Trump SoHo, a condominium hotel in SoHo, fell 42 floors to his death on the afternoon of January 14, 2008, when a wooden mold used to set the concrete collapsed.

Another worker was thrown from the 42nd floor, but was caught in a safety net that extends outward from the 40th floor, fire officials said. He was brought to safety in a construction bucket and hospitalized for injuries that the authorities said were not life threatening. Two other workers were treated for minor injuries.

The cause of the collapse was unclear. Officials … Read the rest

4,500 Patients of NYC Anesthesiologist to be Alerted to Get Tested for Hepatitis C: Not All of Dr. Harvey Finkelstein’s Patients Were Notified to Get Tested

Health officials in New York City earlier this year linked three cases of hepatitis C to an anesthesiologist who administered intravenous pain medication. Although they are still investigating the exact cause, officials are notifying 4,500 patients who received treatment from the doctor from December 2003 to May 2007 that they should get tested for the disease, according to a report in The New York Times (11/17/07). The officials would not name the doctor.

This report comes on the heels of last week’s disclosure that the New York Department of Health (DOH) has known for three years that Dr. Harvey Finkelstein Read the rest

It’s Lunchtime, It’s Sunny, and It’s Raining Glass

As an attorney representing people injured in accidents, I have been told by adversaries who regularly represent building owners, general contractors and subcontractors that when they are walking on a sidewalk and are approaching a sidewalk bridge (commonly referred to as scaffolding), they always cross to the other side of the street in order to avoid walking under the sidewalk bridge. They are too familiar with what can and do go wrong.

This past Wednesday afternoon, October 17, 2007, provided a vivid example of why these attorneys feel the way they do. That afternoon, a bathtub-size steel bucket toppled from … Read the rest

Wrongful Denials of HMO Treatment in New York are Common and are Often Successfully Appealed

Many patients of health maintenance organizations (“HMO”) are unaware of their legal right to appeal a decision denying their requested treatment. The desired treatment is normally denied deemed as”medically unnecessary” or “experimental.” The law also only provides for a mere 45 day deadline in which one can file this appeal.

The ignorance of various patients of their ability to appeal is particularly problematic in light of the fact that, according to the New York State Insurance Department, approximately 42.6 and 49.4 percent of the cases that are appealed are in fact reversed.

Therefore, it is important that patients are made … Read the rest

New York City Council Committee on Consumer Affairs Holds Hearing Into Cause of Con Ed Steam Pipe Explosion on July 18, 2007

A hearing was held before the Committee on Consumer Affairs of the New York City Council August 7th, 2007, into what caused the Consolidated Edison steam pipe explosion in Midtown Manhattan on July 18th. Council members were exasperated by the failure of Con Eds chairman and chief executive, Kevin M. Burke, to appear at the hearing, particularly in light of Mr. Burkes handling of the nine-day outage that crippled the Astoria section of Queens in July of 2006.

Council members were also decidedly unhappy with the inability of the person Con Ed did send, William Longhi, its senior vice … Read the rest