Articles Posted in Law Firm News

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The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is a New York state public-benefit corporation, whose mission is to increase housing opportunities for low-and moderate-income New Yorkers, by providing more affordable housing options. More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 328 housing developments located throughout New York City’s five boroughs. NYCHA, while often considered a success in comparison to other large public housing authorities throughout the country, are still rife with issues relating to the habitability of their buildings.

Each year NYCHA receives thousands of complaints about problems with their buildings. These complaints often include broken elevators, insufficient heat, mold, infestations, and broken locks. Many of these conditions go unchecked and cause injuries and harm to the tenants that live in these housing developments. As a result of these problematic living conditions NYCHA has faced mounting pressure both in and outside of the courtroom.

In February 2018, a lawsuit on behalf of the 400,000 plus NYCHA tenants was brought in state court. This lawsuit alleged that NYCHA had left their housing in a state of neglect, leading to tenants living in squalid conditions, including, but not limited to, toxic lead, broken and dangerous elevators, and broken and missing locks. The lawsuit demanded that the court appoint an independent monitor to oversee NYCHA because of the Authority’s multiple failings.

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Leav & Steinberg, LLP is committed to excellence and client satisfaction. One may ask how this is accomplished? Where does Leav & Steinberg win their cases? The answer is simple. We win our cases at intake. From the second our clients walk through our doors; our firm is dedicated to achieving the most favorable outcome.

A young man was injured on his motorcycle when the defendant was making an illegal U-turn and struck him causing him to be thrown off his motorcycle. He then retained Leav & Steinberg, LLP where one of our associates met him at the hospital at his request. Our client sustained serious personal injuries and required approximately five surgeries after breaking his left leg in two places.

The defendant contested liability in that he denied that his vehicle ever came into contact with our client.

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On the Afternoon of March 20, 2015, a young man in his early 20’s was returning home from his job in Manhattan to his home in the Bronx.  Unfortunately, due to a tragic automobile accident he never made it home.  While legally walking on the sidewalk of the Grand Concourse, a green cab which was speeding lost control and jumped the sidewalk killing this young man.  Also killed in this tragic accident was a very young girl who was with her mother.  A third individual was also struck and was rendered brain damaged and remains in a nursing home to this date.

Soon after this tragic accident the family of the young man tragically killed retained Leav & Steinberg, LLP to represent them.  As we always do, a senior attorney from our firm went to meet the family at their home and was retained by the family.  The other injured parties also retained attorneys.  Leav & Steinberg, LLP immediately commenced a compete investigation.  Though our investigation we were able to determine that the City of New York may also bear some responsibility for the happening of this accident for failure to manage the ongoing roadwork which was occurring at the time of the accident.  We were also able to identify the base where the green cab was operating from and put them on notice of this tragic accident.

Leav & Steinberg, LLP commenced a lawsuit naming the Green Cab driver/owner, The Green Cab’s base, The TLC and The City of New York.  It is important to note that the other injured parties only named the Green Cab Driver in their lawsuit.

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When you send your children off to camp, the hope is that they will be in a safe environment cared for by individuals who will treat them as their own children.  Leav & Steinberg was retained by the family of a 14 year old boy who was at sleep away camp in the summer of 2015.  He was a camper but also being given the opportunity to be a Counselor-in-Training (CIT).  That role usually includes working in the cafeteria or with other campers.  This camp allowed our client to work in the kitchen.  They allowed him to fry eggs, boil corn and handle other hot items.  He was not old enough under the law to have “working papers” and was given no instruction.

One day he was told to boil corn and take it off the stove onto a rolling cart.  He did this as told without any supervision. The water spilled onto his leg and into his sneaker. He immediately ran outside and took his sneaker off.  A nurse on duty came over and told him it was nothing too serious, really just a first degree burn. She assured him things would be okay and put a band aid on it and some ointment.   She called his parents and told them the same.  A hospital was only 15 minutes away by car.  She never took him.

As days passed, she continued to change the dressing and assured him it was okay.  Sadly, it was not.  Approximately 5 days later a doctor for the camp showed up, saw the boy’s foot and immediately told him to call his parents and have them come and get him.    His father picked him up and what he saw shocked him.   He rushed him back home and right to the burn unit at a local hospital. He remained there for several days undergoing a debridement procedure where the damaged skin is removed in hope of healthy skin growing back.  He was restricted from school sports activities for the following semester of school.

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In 2013, a New York Police Officer was responding to a motor vehicle accident in the Bronx.  While standing by her patrol car gathering documents to complete, an uninvolved van stopped uphill just ahead of the accident began rolling backwards.  Plaintiff, a single mother, working for the Police Department for over 10 years tried to move out of the way but was pinned between the patrol car as she was struck by the van’s sideview mirror.

She was taken to the scene by ambulance and treated for a right (dominant hand) wrist injury.  X-rays were initially negative, but within a week, the swelling had subsided and a radius fracture was diagnosed along with a nerve injury to her hand.

Leav & Steinberg, LLP had represented several members of her family before and been successful for them.  However, she was also aware that our firm’s reputation for successfully litigating cases against The New York Police Department for negligence. Wanting a firm that would fight for justice for anyone seriously injured,  she contacted partner Edward Steinberg, who came to her home and spent time understanding the details of the case, and limits the injury was going to cause on her career.

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Over 18 years ago, Leav & Steinberg was founded by two partners.  Dan and Eddy had met at a prior plaintiffs firm and decided to create their own firm.  That was 1999.  They started off renting space within a small firm in lower Manhattan.  We rented just two small offices and had no staff.  We did have tons of energy and desire to be successful.  With about 29 clients we represented at our former job, the firm was founded.  After 18 years the firm has grown into one of the premier NYC personal injury firms. We now have three partners, six associates and a staff totaling 25.  Just last month Edward Steinberg was elected as the Treasurer or the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.  He continues to be a board member as well as an Officer.

The firm has represented and successfully concluded by trial, settlement, or arbitration well over $200 million dollars in cases.  We have been referred matters by firms that don’t handle plaintiff cases.  But most telling the firm has grown mostly by referrals from old happy clients.  At present, the firm represents over 900 clients.

Given the extraordinary growth, the firm had outgrown our previous Manhattan space at 14o Broadway.  As of July 1, 2017, the firm has signed a new lease for nearly 10,000 square feet at 75 Broad Street.  The firm designed the new space from scratch and has built an office that is both modern as well as exceptionally functional and built for the continued success we hope to have.

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Every once in a while, we are asked by counsel already assisting an injured client, to come in and provide further legal assistance and support.  Such was the case this past week when the firm resolved a case for a man who was 64 years old working at a building inspector the  NYC Housing Preservation Department.  On January 16th, 2014 he was inspecting apartments in a Brooklyn walk up.  He spent time going over the apartment conditions with a particular tenant.  As he left the apartment and began to descend the staircase he caught his foot at the top landing on a defective edge of the step landing as well as missing landing tile.

He fell down the flight of stairs and was immediately helped by the same tenant who called 911.  Sadly he suffered from a very serious shoulder surgery which resulted in him undergoing a reverse hemiarthroplasty which is a procedure where the normal ball and socket replacement is reversed and the ball is screwed into the humerus  and the socket is drilled into the shoulder joint.  This leaves extensive limited range of motion.

The client and his wife retained a lawyer in their neighborhood who practiced in several area.  She did an excellent job working on the case in the beginning few months.  The lawyer and the client then realized this matter would require more legal expertise in the field as well as a firm ready willing and able to take this matter to trial if needed.

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Though our country has gone through a turbulent time with the recent election, we understand that many have become frustrated and upset with even discussing the topic of government and politics.  However, it has come to our attention that certain elected government officials have put forth a bill which would severely curtail the rights of all citizens and reduce our access to the Court system as well as the right to receive fair and adequate damages for serious injuries.

This week, the House will vote on a number of bills that will make it difficult for accident victims to seek justice in our nation’s courts. If these bills pass, it will make it nearly impossible for Americans, who are injured in accidents, and their families to pursue legal action. The so-called “Protection Access to Care Act of 2017” [H.R. 1215] will rig the system against us by allowing insurance companies and big corporations to prevail.

You can view the details of the bill by clicking on   HR 1215 Bill.   As you will note, the bill, sponsored by big business and the insurance lobby, sets a cap of $250,000 for all claims of pain and suffering for any person bringing a Health Care Lawsuit.  Such a lawsuit will include all claims of medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and any other claim involving any other health care provider.  If we stop for just one moment and think about this.  An elderly woman who is caused to sustain serious and permanent bed sores while in a Nursing home and suffers for 2 years in awful pain, undergoing debridement (scraping of the necrotic skin) procedures will be limited to $250,000.00 in damages.  A child who suffers a loss of oxygen due to delay and error by the doctor and nurses while being delivered and is rendered handicapped and special needs for the rest of their life; will be limited to $250,000 for their pain and suffering.

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In the Medical Malpractice arena, Plaintiffs routinely face an uphill battle.  From inception, the defendants always seek to limit our claims, and create defenses in hope of proving that the conduct of the doctor/hospital/staff was within the accepted Standard of Care.  When all discovery is complete, we find that defendants and their counsel are making Summary Judgment motions.  A motion for Summary Judgment is a motion before a trial that is made before the assigned Judge.  The defendant submits legal papers and expert affidavits stating that based upon all the evidence the Court should dismiss the case as Plaintiff can not prove that the case has meritorious arguments and should go before the jury.

The Plaintiff’s bar face these motions more and more frequently.   We vigorously oppose these motions with our own experts and affidavits.

This past month, the Medical Malpractice Unit at Leav & Steinberg, LLP was successful in defeating two motions for Summary Judgment on significant cases.

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New York City’s ban on e-cigarettes have was upheld by the Appellate Division.  New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (CLASH) filed a lawsuit arguing that New York City’s 2013 ban on vaping in public places (Local Rule 152) violated the New York State Constitution by impermissibly lumping smoking traditional cigarettes and smoking electronic cigarettes into the same law. The Appellate Division disagreed with CLASH and upheld the law banning vaping in public places. 

The Court provided, in pertinent part:

“Before enacting this law, the City Council held a series of hearings, at which it heard testimony from, among others, public health advocates, representatives of electronic cigarette manufacturers, and members of the public, including plaintiff Wishtart and the founder of plaintiff NYC CLASH.  The Committee report issued following the hearings explained that electronic cigarettes are devices that contain a liquid containing nicotine, as well as varying compositions of flavorings, propylene glycol, glycerin, and other ingredients, that is heated into a vapor that the user inhales.  Although they have been marketed as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes since they were introduced in the U.S. in 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control have expressed concern about e- cigarettes’ safety for the user and non-user, samples having tested positive for carcinogens, as well as the concern that they may lead to the use of other nicotine products by young people (see https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/stateandcommunity/pdfs/cdc-osh-information-on-e-cigarettes-november-2015.pdf; https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm506676.htm#safer [last accessed 12/12/16]).”