Articles Posted in Schools

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It was just over 20 years ago that Daniel Leav & Edward Steinberg decided to venture out on their own and start a firm.  For several years it was just them and a small support staff; employee #1 hired in October 1999 and still with the firm today.   The firm has grown into a staff totaling 25 employees including 9 attorney’s.  We proudly celebrate our 20th anniversary in 2019.  As a measure of our success, the firm continues to get most of its clients from old happy clients as well as from other attorney’s who wish to have Leav & Steinberg, LLP handle their personal injury matters.

We are also proud to advise that we started off this year with record number of resolved matters including several million dollar cases.  Some of interest are:

$2.3 million for a  NJ resident, in his mid 20’s who was struck by a Canadian truck while driving on the NYS Thruway.  We were able to bring this action in the Southern District of New York and the matter proceeded to trial before being settled at private mediation.  The client had sustained a shoulder injury and also underwent a lumbar surgery.  The matter was referred to us by a NJ Law Firm that realized that while they could handle the matter in Federal Court, they wanted the expertise and experience of Leav & Steinberg to maximize the recovery for the client.

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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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Although we don’t like to think about it, school bus accidents may be more common than one might imagine. According to the National Coalition for School Bus Safety, over 22 million children ride school buses every day in America, and a surprising number of transportation accidents occur. Just last month, a school bus crashed into a Subaru in Bushwick, according to a report from CBS New York. It left 14 people injured, including 11 children. This story has been a hot topic in New York news because the school bus driver involved in the accident was actually part of a non-union company brought in to run the buses while the union drivers were on strike.

The Recent Crash in Bushwick

In the accident that resulted in the hospitalization of 11 schoolchildren, critics argued that the use of non-union drivers led to the crash. The Local 1181 Amalgamated Transit Union shop steward gave a statement for a press release and argued, “Union drivers are safe. Non-union drivers are not safe.”

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A toxic chemical, TCE (trichloroethylene), was found at excessive levels in the air inside and the soil around The Bronx New School (X051-also known as P.S. 51X). Testing for the chemical was performed in July 2011 and the following letter, dated August 29, 2011, was sent to former families and staff who may have been present at this school at 3200 Jerome Avenue, Bronx, New York: Continue reading

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If you took the bar exam, you probably took a course to prepare for it such as BAR/BRI, Kaplan, Pieper, or Ameribar. These courses provide sample test materials and live or digital legal education and practical advice for passing the test in each state. Over the years, BAR/BRI has been accused of entering into agreements to eliminate the competition to saturate and dominate the field. A few class action lawsuits were commenced, which are the only ones in history to contain a class of attorneys.

The latest BAR/BRI antitrust class action is not over yet. A California federal judge recently refused to sign off on a proposed settlement that would require West Publishing Corp., owner of BAR/BRI, to pay out $5.29 million in cash and Kaplan to supply coupons worth $150 each toward the future purchase of course materials to authorized claimants. If you took BAR/BRI, chances are you are now or will soon be an attorney and are not planning to go back to school ever again or anytime soon. If that is the case, coupons for Kaplan course materials are probably useless.

BAR/BRI has been through the rigmarole of antitrust class actions at least twice before, but the latest action is the first one where coupons have been integrated into the proposed settlement. In Ryan Rodriguez v. West Publishing Corp., the District Court approved a partial distribution of $30 million to authorized claimants, the balance of which will be distributed when appeals are resolved and the matter is final. The class members are those who purchased a full service course in the U.S. between August 1997 through July 31, 2006.

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The New York City Board of Education is supposed to provide a safe environment for our children to learn. Unfortunately, some schools fail in this respect, and students are being attacked while attending school. Parents have the right to send their children to school and expect them to come home unharmed.

As recently reported in the New York Times by Karen Zraick, a student was stabbed in the neck on his way to school in the Bronx. The victim is currently in critical condition at Jacobi Medical Center.

We at Leav & Steinberg, LLP. have represented many families whose children were attacked while in school. In one recent case, a settlement was reached with the City of New York and the Board of Education on behalf of the parents of a high school student who died for the sum of $550,000.00. A settlement was reached on behalf of another family, whose son survived the same stabbing but was seriously injured and traumatized, for the sum of $350,000.00.

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