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May 2015 Archives

Were you injured at a bar or concert?

Every day of the week, New York City residents are fortunate to have a plethora of dining and entertainment options at their doorsteps. In addition to the numerous bars and nightclubs that permanently call the city home, residents and tourists alike readily flock to special sporting events and concert venues.

The READ Act Aims to Reduce Asbestos Exposure

1.3 million workers are exposed to asbestos daily as a result of being subjected to exposure in buildings where they work. As a result, two senators have proposed the READ Act, legislation that would amend the 1988 Asbestos Information Act and require companies to update the database of locations where asbestos can be found. The bill, aimed at reducing asbestos exposure, would also require any company handling materials containing asbestos to update the database annually. The previous act only required an initial one time reporting.

Summer Camp Injuries: Can You Sue?

Many parents send their children to camp during the summer months to afford them an opportunity to socialize and spend their time productively. Most camps have outdoor programs that the campers participate in, such as swimming, boating, hiking, and athletic activities. With such activities comes the risk of injuries. Most camps will have you sign a waiver of liability which protects them from injuries arising from such scenarios. However, such waivers may not be enforceable due to circumstances arising from negligence.

How safe are New York's high rise buildings?

While just 305 square miles, according to the U.S. Census Department, New York City is home to nearly 8.5 million people. Given the geography of the city, rather than build out, city planners have been forced to build up and the city's landscape is dominated by skyscrapers and high rise buildings. With so many people living in such a small area and literally on top of one another, it's critical that the city's infrastructure and buildings be properly constructed and maintained.

Trek Issues Safety Recall for Bicycles

Many people enjoy spending time outdoors in the spring and summer months bicycling. Recently, the bicycle company Trek recalled certain models of their bicycles due to a malfunction of a quick release lever on the front wheel hub, causing the wheel to separate from the bicycle. The malfunction could cause the rider to lose control of the bicycle resulting in serious injuries. Nearly one million bicycles in the US and Canada were affected by the recall. Three bicycle owners were seriously injured due to the malfunction, causing one to become a quadriplegic; another to suffer severe facial injuries; and the third, a fractured wrist. Trek is one of the nation's largest bicycle sellers. The bicycles, manufactured in China and Taiwan, sold for between $450 and $1650 between 2000 and 2015. The company has urged that consumers cease using the bicycles and has provided Trek retailers with new quick releases that they will install on the recalled bicycles for no cost. The company is also providing a $20 gift certificate for use of Bontrager items. While it is very important to practice safety precautions when bicycling, a rider cannot protect themselves against a defective product that they do not know about. In the case of the Trek bicycles, the lever could open if an object hit it or if the skewer was not tightened enough. A rider would not be able to protect themselves from such discrete design defects. As in the unfortunate cases resulting from the quick release issue on Trek bicycles, bike accidents can be very serious, or even deadly. It is estimated that 700 cyclists die per year due to accidents. Another 67,000 more visit emergency rooms as a result of a bicycle related accident. If you have been involved in an accident due to a design defect of a product you purchased, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you of your rights and legal remedies. Call the attorneys at Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP at (212) 571-7171.

Amtrak Derailment Kills 8, Leaves Many More Injured

A recent derailment of an Amtrak train headed to New York City from Washington tragically left eight people dead and some 200 more with injuries. The event took place near Philadelphia, where the nation's most fatal train accident occurred in 1943, killing 79 people. This is considered the busiest stretch of railroad in the US. Currently, trains on that route are permitted to drive 100 miles per hour with a reduction in speed while going through an urban or residential area. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have engaged in an investigation to determine the cause of the fatal derailment which is expected to last twelve months. Since the investigation ensued, no equipment failure has been found, but the possibility of engineer negligence is still being considered. Since the accident, new speed controls have been installed at the curve where the incident took place.

Woman Sues Tattoo Shop for Infection

Tattoos are growing in popularity. 1 in 5 adults in the United States has at least one tattoo. Many are drawn to the idea of having meaningful artwork or words tattooed on them. While the health hazards of getting inked have decreased over the years due to safety measures artists are required to follow, there are still inherent risks.

The Liability Questions of Self Driving Cars

In the modern age, many new questions about liability arise as new innovations are introduced into society. For example, while publicity is spreading about Google's self driving cars, it leaves many wondering: who is liable in the event of an accident? These test cars have been in 11 accidents in the last 6 years while Google has been testing the project, over the course of 1.7 million miles. Google has asserted that none of the accidents were the fault of the self driving car, but were due to human error. The Department of Motor Vehicles in California, where the cars are being tested, has refused to release any details about the accidents, due to confidentiality laws in the state. According to Google, the accidents resulted in only minor scratches to the vehicles involved and no injuries.

Owning a property should be about safety rather than money

Most people who have become landlords did so because they wanted a job they could be successful at. With apartments abound here in New York City, becoming a landlord is sometimes considered an easy way to make money while providing a service to fellow residents.

Construction Accidents on the Rise in NYC

There have been eight fatalities at construction sites in NYC since the beginning of 2015. The most recent tragedy occurred when a man was killed at a construction site in Manhattan due to the malfunction of a delivery truck boom. Unlike larger cranes, the city does not regulate the small booms that are attached to delivery trucks. Another recent accident occurred when a 22 year old construction worker was buried in dirt up to his neck at a work site in Manhattan. The following day, four workers were killed at another site when a bannister collapsed during an interior demolition.

More regulation of app-based ridesharing services is needed

There's no question that New Yorkers now have more ways than ever before to get around the city. The latest additions to NYC's transportation options are app-based ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. This new ridesharing model is popular with passengers because it is usually cheaper than a regular taxi. And drivers like being able to make some extra money putting their personal vehicles to work.

Addressing pedestrian safety in New York City

New York City is a city dominated by pedestrians. On any given day, an individual walking around one of the city’s five boroughs is likely to encounter thousands of other pedestrians, walking with purpose and fortitude towards their desired destinations. In some cases, these individuals fail to reach that destination as they are hit and injured while attempting to cross one of the thousands of dangerous intersections in the city.

Proposed Right of Way Law Exemption for Bus Drivers

There has been much buzz about Mayor De Blasio's Vision Zero plan to improve road safety in the city. The Right of Way law was enacted as part of the Vision Zero initiative and is aimed at serving as a deterrent for those who fail to yield by imposing criminal sanctions on drivers who strike pedestrians or cyclists.

Was your trip, slip or fall the result of negligence?

New York Residents are accustomed to living in close quarters and relying on landlords, neighbors, business owners and city agencies to maintain and repair buildings and properties. In cases where a property owner or responsible party fails to repair a broken elevator, provide adequate security or maintain a slippery sidewalk; painful and debilitating injuries may result.

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