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Yesterday a Missouri jury awarded a woman $55 million dollars in damages for injuries and damages she sustained when she contracted ovarian cancer as a result of using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder  and shower to shower products.   The award represents $5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.  It was the second time Johnson & Johnson has been found responsible for similar damages.

The plaintiffs in these case have shown that for many years, J&J hid the link between the use of “talc” have accused J&J of failing for years to warn that talc was linked to an increased risk for ovarian cancer. J&J has said it acted properly in developing and marketing the products.

Presently 1400 lawsuits remain pending; mostly concentrated in Missouri and New Jersey.Johnson & Johnson

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As construction in New York City has continued to grow at a fever pitch; deaths among construction workers have steadily increased year over year.  Since 2000 many have gathered annually at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to honor those workers who have given their lives while working.  In fact, back in 2008 I personally attended the service when a Crane at East 51st Street collapsed killing 6 workers and one innocent bystander who was in the apartment of the townhouse that was crushed to death.  Leav & Steinberg, LLP was retained by the family for that woman, Odin Torres to pursue all legal claims available.  I am pleased to report that after 8 years of litigation all cases have resolved for a confidential figure; providing compensation for Odin’s parents who have lost their only child.

Sadly, I was reminded how the desire to put up the residential buildings as well as construction going on across our city has continued to leave workers and other exposed to hazards at the job; many of which are avoidable.  According to the NY Times last year, 88 million square feet of construction was underway, according to the city. That was more than double the amount of work done in 2013 or 2014, and it exceeds the 65 million square feet built in both 2007 and 2008.

The New York Times discussed in detail on May 2, 2016 how safety is still a major issue:  “Accidents were less frequent for a while after the crane collapse because of increased safety measures and a post-recession construction slowdown, but as real estate has boomed in recent years, the number of injuries and fatalities has risen sharply. For the workers, there is more work, but also more risk.”

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Despite the backlog of court cases and slowdown in the Court system, Leav & Steinberg LLP was successful in resolving a case for a man despite the fact that the defendant claimed that the accident was caused by our client and that his injuries were not related or serious.

Brooklyn, New York is among the largest most populated cities in America.  Car accident’s occur all the time.  Most of the time, the parties are able to work out their disputes amicably.  Here a nice older man claimed he was rear ended by a driver while travelling near Ocean Avenue and Avenue N.  The other drive claimed our client the cause of the accident as he alleged our client cut him off in traffic.  Despite the defendant taking this position we pushed ahead and took the deposition of the defendant driver.  Partner, Daniel Leav was successful in proving that the driver’s version attempting to blame our accident was not credible. After two years of denying liability, the defendant reached out to our office and we were able to obtain an excellent result for our client.

$175,000.00 recovery obtained for a 64 year old man who claims he was rear ended by a car.  The defendant car claimed our client turned suddenly into his path of travel.  The client sustained a shoulder injury among other injuries and underwent a shoulder arthroscopic surgery.  While a motion as to whether the injuries were serious and related was pending the matter was settled for a figure representing full value.

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Erin Andrews, a Fox News and ABC sports reporter, was emotionally damaged the day she discovered a nude video of herself on the internet. Her stalker, Michael Barrett, learned that Andrews was staying in a Marriott hotel in Nashville and arranged a stay for himself in the room next door to hers. Barrett drilled a few peepholes between the two rooms and began filming Andrews as she was undressing herself. To make things worse, Barrett published the video on the internet for everyone to see; an expert witness, at the trial between Andrews and Barrett, testified that the video was viewed an estimated 17 million times.

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This morning, a terrible tragedy occurred as a crane collapsed in TriBeCa around 8:30 A.M. Early reports indicate that at least one person has been fatally injured, and two others have sustained serious injuries.

The massive crane, operated by Bay Crane, now lays down the path of Worth Street stretching from West Broadway to Church Street.

It appears the crane was working on 60 Hudson Street, a longtime industrial building undergoing renovation to luxury apartments. The crane was parked on Worth Street.

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So, imagine this scenario. A father and his family, wife and three kids, head off for a wonderful weekend of skiing. All is well, and the weather is good. On the first morning, they ski for four hours. When they decide to go in for lunch, the dad realizes his watch has fallen off and is gone… He searches the area in which he is standing, checks his jacket and gloves hoping it fell off into his clothing; no luck.

Now, if it was a G-Shock or a Timex, maybe even an Apple watch, that would be one thing. In fact, surely some tracking system exists for an Apple watch to be found. Thank god for modern technology.

This lost watch, however, is a Bremont Terranova: a limited edition of 300 watches, made to memorialize the British Polar explorer Ben Saunders, who made the first completion of Scott’s expedition (1795 miles from the coast of Antarctica to the South pole and back) wearing a Bremont Terranova. The dad is devastated and of course reports the watch to lost and found. Days go by and still no luck. He is resigned to the fact that the watch is lost.

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LEAV & STEINBERG, L.L.P. is proud to announce that Vincent Provenzano will be starting as an associate at the firm on Monday, January 11, 2016. His bio is as follows.

Vincent F. Provenzano joined Leav and Steinberg in 2016. Vincent brings with him more than a decade of refined legal experience, writing and courtroom skills that he has honed in order to provide his clients with the best representation in each unique case. Vincent has dedicated his entire career to serving the needs of others by acting as a passionate advocate for the seriously injured and continues to strive to provide a strong voice for those individuals in need who cannot speak for themselves. Vincent’s legal practice focuses on a wide range of personal injury matter including premises liability, Labor Law accidents, medical malpractice, products liability and transportation litigation. He has successfully handled many personal injuries matters from the inception of a case through settlement and trial, and takes great pride in developing lost lasting relationships and bringing justice to each client he helps. Vincent remains focuses and determined to meet the individual needs of each one his clients through a critical analysis of the law, understanding the legal strategy of each case and needs of his clients, and through zealous representation in the courtroom.

Vincent resides in Staten Island, New York.

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LEAV & STEINBERG, L.L.P. is proud to announce that Vincent Provenzano and Edward Averbuch have joined the firm as Associates. Edward’s bio is as follows.

Edward joined Leav & Steinberg LLP in 2016, bringing with him years of experience in personal injury and other matters. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2004, and obtained his law degree from New York Law School in 2008. While in law school, Edward interned in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. After graduating law school, Edward practiced law in Miami, Florida, before returning to New York to practice personal injury law in New York City.

Edward has successfully represented clients in State and Federal Courts. His experience includes trials, alternative dispute resolution, motion practice, court appearances, drafting pleadings and handling discovery. He has successfully resolved cases by negotiating settlements and advocating on behalf of his clients. He has vast experience working with insurance companies to settle cases for his clients.

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On October 30, 2015, at approximately 10:38AM, the building under construction at 25 West 38th Street, New York, New York collapsed, resulting in the death of a laborer. There were about 19 workers inside the building that was in the process of being demolished in order to start construction on a luxury hotel at the site. The injured laborer and the body of the killed worked remained trapped underneath the partially collapsed building while emergency workers tried to reach them. The two top floors collapsed and the workers were trapped inside. Reports indicate the support wall collapsed falling directly onto the workers. Their efforts were hampered as the construction site was not stable and needed to be shored up.

Labor Law § 240(1), a New York State statute, imposes upon owners and general contractors a non-delegable duty to provide proper and adequate safety devices to afford protection to construction workers working on a building or structure subject to elevation-related hazards. No matter how stringent the safety standards are in New York regarding construction, all construction laborers are at risk every single day while on the job.

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As a trial attorney I am often contacted by client’s who request my opinion on whether their chid’s accident in a playground was due to negligence. They ask questions like, was there enough supervision? Did the children have enough instruction on how to use the equipment? Aren’t monkey bars dangerous generally?

Often the answer results in my firm not pursuing the case. Kids do get hurt. Sometime’s accidents happen. However, recently I was contacted by a wonderfully nice family and presented with an interesting case.

Their six year old son who was in first grade at the time, had fallen off a piece of equipment during school in the playground. He described the equipment as monkey bars. In fact, the school incident report also stated he fell from the monkey bars. He told me he was jumping off and landed hard on his elbow on the mat below. He had a fracture to his elbow that would require percutaneous pinning which is when a doctor places a pin through the skin to allow the bone to heal. The pin is removed a few weeks later when the bone has calcified.

At first I advised the family, that based on those facts it would seem very difficult if not impossible to bring a case against the school for negligence. Kids play, there are monkey bars and falling from them, absent a design or construction defect would likely not be a case. Especially in Staten Island, a very conservative county.

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