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A tragic accident occurred last week in Queens when a Charter Bus plowed through a stop light at a high rate of speed and collided with an MTA Q20 bus. The collision killed the driver of the Charter bus, as well as a pedestrian and a passenger on the MTA bus, and injured 16 others. Mayor Bill de Blasio said of the accident scene “It’s just shocking to see the scene over there. Hard to compare it to anything I’ve ever seen — the sheer destruction from the impact of the collision.”

In the days since the accident, it has been discovered that the driver of the Charter Bus had been fired from his job as an MTA bus driver in 2015 after he fled the scene of an auto accident and was later convicted of evading arrest and driving under the influence. It was also discovered that not only did the driver of the Charter Bus have a record of unsafe conduct, but the bus owners, Dahlia Charters did as well. Last year a Charter Bus owned by Dahlia overturned on the highway injuring 30 people. Dahlia has also been cited several times for speeding, mechanical, and administrative violations. When compared with other Charter Bus companies, this puts Dahlia in the bottom 20% when ranked on unsafe driving.

Sadly, these types of incidents are far too common. Charter Bus companies regularly put profitability over safety, and the results can be devastating. Our firm has seen firsthand the effects of similar bus accidents on victims and their families, so it is heart breaking to see another one of these senseless tragedies happen, especially when we know they are preventable.

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Summer Camp

Having personally grown up in Brooklyn, spending a summer home had a few very distinct memories.  One was summer camp.  Summer camp comes with all the excitement of warm weather, playing outside and field trips.  Second was the fun of hanging out in your neighborhood and walking a few blocks here and there. On that topic, my mom always made clear that if you went a little too far left or right the neighborhood changes drastically and you have to be careful.  I always remembered that.  In some neighborhoods these “dividing lines” are clear.  One that comes to mind is Crown Heights in Brooklyn.  I will add that over the last two decades the communities that make up Crown Heights have worked very hard and had some success on bringing people together.

Camp trips are often run by the camp and the means of transportation are hired vans or buses.  More often than not the camp trip leaves from the camp and returns all campers to the camp for pick up by their parents or their return home.

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In heartbreaking news coming out of Brooklyn today; a 21 year-old mother unintentionally pushed her 6 week-old infant in a stroller down an elevator shaft. The family was on the 23rd floor of their Sea Gate apartment building when the accident occurred. The elevator doors opened to an exposed shaft; the baby fell to a stalled elevator car on the 18th floor.

The baby was pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital. The building has been issued numerous previous violations for faulty elevators. The investigation is ongoing.

Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/elevator-nightmare-in-nyc-for-mom-and-baby/

 

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At approximately 8:45 a.m., a New Jersey Transit Train making its way into the Hoboken terminal failed to slow down and come to a stop and crashed into the Hoboken station platform. Reports have shown severe structural damage at the terminal, including the partial collapse of the roof. More than 50,000 people use the Hoboken terminal daily.

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Over 100 injuries and 3 fatalities have been reported as a result of the accident. An urban search-and-rescue team has been deployed to help remove trapped individuals from the train. More than 20 ambulances arrived at the terminal to take injured passengers to area hospitals. New Jersey transit spokeswoman Jennifer Nelson stated that the train carried approximately 250 passengers.

Leav & Steinberg has successfully represented an individual who was a passenger in an MTA bus that crashed into another MTA bus, both while driving in the Holland tunnel several years ago. An action was maintained against the City of New York for the negligence of the operators of the buses in causing the accident.

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TI Rap concert
As we reported previously here on May 30th, 2016 Leav & Steinberg, LLP was retained by several individuals who sustained serious and significant injuries at the T.I. Rap Concert.

For many excited concerts goers and fans, the night of May 25, 2016, was supposed to be filled with fun and music at rap artist, T.I.’s, New York concert held at Irving Plaza. Unfortunately, due to inadequate security measure and substandard emergency protocol, violence and gun fire erupted during the show inside New York’s famous music venue tragically leaving one person dead and others seriously injured.

Two of our clients at Leav and Steinberg, LLP were at the T.I concert at Irving Plaza to have fun and enjoy the show at the time of the shooting. They could have never expected that moments later they would be fleeing for their lives. At some point during the show, gun fire inside Irving Plaza sparked mayhem and chaos which quickly combined with overcrowded conditions that spread throughout the venue causing patrons inside the venue to flee to the nearest exits.

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A group of kayakers being led on a guided tour on the Hudson River were struck by a ferry boat yesterday evening. Five kayakers were injured, one nearly had their arm severed, when a ferry operated by NY Waterway was leaving Pier 79 on its way toward Wall Street.

Ten kayakers in nine boats were on a routine tour when the ferry pilot failed to see them as he left the pier. Police are determining whether the pilot was blinded by glare before knocking the kayakers into the water.

NY Waterway operates ferry service for New York and New Jersey residents. The owner of the kayak company stated that the guided tour has been done hundreds of times.

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In 2013, a 41-year-old mother from Brooklyn named Lavern Wilkinson passed away from a form of lung cancer which was thought to be curable. Had Lavern Wilkinson been told that she had a cancerous mass which was shown in a chest x-ray taken in 2010, she may have been alive today. Lavern Wilkinson did not discover that she had cancer, or that the doctors committed malpractice three years earlier, until it was too late. 

To add insult to injury, the Wilkinson family is barred by the statute of limitations in bringing a lawsuit against the doctors at Kings County Hospital who neglected to see the cancerous mass on the x-ray film, thereby denying Lavern Wilkinson an opportunity to get needed medical treatment. 

Under the current law, in order to bring a lawsuit against a public hospital, a plaintiff must commence their lawsuit within one year and ninety days from the act of malpractice. Patients at private hospitals have two-and-a-half years in order to bring their claim. The current law in New York does not allow for a statute of limitations to be tolled for the discovery of a doctor’s malpractice. 

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With the growth of our law practice over the last 17 years, providing exceptional customer service has becoming our overriding focus.  With trained attorney’s and unlimited resources we have been able to provide client’s with exceptional lawyering.  However, many law firms forget that its the client who hires us and if we don’t give customer service that is on par with our reputation, we will fail miserably.

Former CEO of Intel, Andy Grove passed away last month on March 21st. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/22/technology/andrew-grove-intel-obituary.html?_r=0

He has always been known as an awesome business leader and a great mind.  I read that many executives read one of his books called “High Output Management” and said it changed their business strategy forever.  I took it upon myself to buy the book (hardcover, not getting this one for the Ipad) and have been reading it slowly and taking notes.  My initial take is that we must look for the inefficiencies in our business and find ways to cut them out.

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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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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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