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Have you been injured in a labor accident? It is imperative that you know your rights and understand that you may have a third-party claim in addition to your workers compensation claim. The team at Leav & Steinberg is equipped with seasoned and zealous advocates prepared to fight for your rights and ensure the most favorable disposition.

There are two prevailing Labor Law sections which impose strict liability upon contractors and owners if protection for workers are insufficient. The legislative intent behind the enactment of these crucial statutes is to emphasize the importance of safety work practices and enforce accountability for negligence in the workplace by holding these owners and contractors responsible.

The partner managing the Labor Law Department at the firm is Daniela Henriques.  She has successfully argued before the appellate division on the issue of the Labor Law and its practical application to many cases here at Leav & Steinberg.  Her cases have continued to be cited by other lawyers and firms in New York City.

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Plaintiff was walking outside of a parking garage on the way to pick up her young daughter from day care when she tripped and fell over a broken sidewalk. Pursuant to New York City Administrative Code Section 7-210 the owner of real property is liable for the maintenance of their sidewalk.  An exception is made for 1, 2 and 3 family owner occupied homes wherein the City of New York is liable. The plaintiff fell on her left knee, but continued on her way in pain to get her daughter.  When she arrived at the daycare facility she advised the teacher.

Following this accident our client tried to manage her pain and discomfort by applying Tiger Balm and Ice Packs to both knees and using over the counter pain medication.  She also tried some exercises, which was of no help.  Due to the fact that her medical condition was not improving, and she began experiencing increased persistent pain to both of her knees, it became clear that she needed medical attention.

She went to the hospital and told the emergency room doctor about her fall on the sidewalk 3 months earlier.  X-Rays were taken and she was found to have no broken bones.  She was released and told to follow up with a private doctor.  The plaintiff came under the care of an orthopedic surgeon.  She had an MRI of the left knee and was told she would need arthroscopic surgery.  Approximately 18 months after the accident she underwent left knee arthroscopic surgery

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On July 10th, 2018, Trial Attorney, Ricardo J. Martinez, obtained a $287,000 verdict on behalf of one of our clients who sustained minor injuries to his lower back as a result of an arrest gone wrong.  On June 25th, 2014, one of our clients was arrested for jumping a subway turnstile in Manhattan.  Undercover NYPD officers witnessed the infraction and arrested our client. They placed him in the back of a police van and violated a very basic safety rule, they failed to place a seat belt on our client.  During transport, the van come to a sudden stop causing our client to be thrown into a metal partition.  He was taking to a hospital where he complained of shoulder pain.  Several weeks later, his back started to hurt and he sought medical treatment.  He was diagnosed with a lower back disc bulge. He had minimal treatment before discontinuing physical therapy because he had to go back to work.  Several years later, he had 2 epidural injections in his lower back.

Prior to trial, the defendants, The City of New York, offered $35,000 to settle the case. We advised our client to reject the offer, which he did.  During trial, the defendants’ attorneys argued that our client was in fact seat belted and that even if he wasn’t, his injuries were minor and had resolved by the time the trial was held.  Mr. Martinez successfully convinced the jury that our client was not seat belted and that his injuries were indeed significant and he would live with them the rest of his life.  The jury compensated our client $287,000 for his pain and suffering, which was a direct result of the defendants’ negligence.

This case highlights the importance of hiring the right attorneys that aren’t scared to go to trial if the defendants’ are not willing to make a fair offer.

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One of the most important of many areas of discovery in a medical malpractice case is the examination before trial of the defendant doctor. As part of that discovery process is to make sure you obtain a complete certified copy of the doctor’s office records, if any, well before the deposition takes place. In addition you want to make sure that the defendant brings with them their original office chart, not just a certified copy. You want to have the opportunity to examine that original chart for a number of very important reasons. First a review may help support any claims that the doctor may have added  or changed his original records to help support his version of facts concerning treatment, conversations, etc. By having an opportunity to review the original chart you can determine, if it contains handwritten notations, whether the doctor used different color pens to generate the same contemporaneous note, especially if the suspected addition which supports his version of events is in a different color ink.

Phil Papa of our office, once had a case against a defendant podiatrist who was being sued for failing, at an office visit, to recommend emergency hospitalization to my client, a diabetic, for treatment of an infected diabetic foot ulcer. His office notes stated that he advised the patient to immediately proceed to the nearest emergency room for treatment. My client testified that he was never told to seek hospitalization. He ended up with a partial amputation of his foot. I requested a discovery and inspection of the original chart because the doctor had not produced it at his deposition. During a careful examination of the office notes which were handwritten on note paper. I picked up that the watermark on the note paper he generated the note in question established that the piece of paper was printed a year after the date of the visit in question. He obviously had decided to rewrite that note with changes but didn’t realize that the paper he used was manufactured after the fact! Needless to say the case immediately settled.

While many firms suggest that they specialize in handling medical malpractice cases, it is imperative that a client or the family of a loved one, consult and retain an firm that has the background and experience in handling the nuances that come with medical malpractice.  At Leav & Steinberg, LLP your case will be reviewed and if handled, no aspect of the case will be ignored.

 

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Dogs, some say they are man’s best friend. In New York City, this is more than just an expression. People here love to have their trusty companions by their side at all times. Dogs are brought along to Saturday brunches, trips to the book store, and even on the subway.

According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, there are approximately 85,085 dogs with active licenses living in New York City. The Department also reports that only about 20% of dogs are actually registered with the department.  

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LEAV & STEINBERG, L.L.P. is proud to announce that LIANA COTTO has joined the firm as an Associate.  Liana’s’s bio is as follows:

Liana Cotto joined Leave & Steinberg LLP in June of 2018, bringing with her over 10 years of personal injury experience. She graduated from Baruch College in 2006, and obtained her law degree from New York Law School in 2016.  While in Law School, Liana worked at the law offices of Jay H. Tannenbaum in New York City.

Liana has successfully represented clients in a wide array of injury cases including slip and fall, motor-vehicle accidents, police brutality, and lawsuits against the City of New York.   She is admitted to practice in the State of New York.  Her passion for helping others has allowed Liana to develop her skills to vehemently advocate on behalf of her clients.

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LEAV & STEINBERG, L.L.P. is proud to announce that ANTIGONE CURIS has joined the firm as an Associate.  Antigone’s bio is as follows.

Antigone Curis was born in Brooklyn, New York. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Management from Wagner College in 2011. Ms. Curis then received her J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law in 2014. As a law student at Quinnipiac University School of Law, she served as the President of the Criminal Law Society in her 3L year.

Prior to joining Leav & Steinberg, Ms. Curis served as an Assistant District Attorney at the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office from 2015 to 2018, prosecuting violent crimes. During her time at the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office, she conducted multiple trials both in Criminal and Supreme Court. Her passionate advocacy and litigation experience has allowed her to develop the skills necessary to represent client’s fiercely.

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When a Crane collapsed at a construction site in New York in 2008, many were quick to blame anyone and everyone involved in the project.  One such company was a Concrete Company who had leased a crane and was building the superstructure.  During the construction phase the crane malfunctioned and collapsed; killing two workers and injuring others.   The owner, the general contractor, the crane owner and the company using the crane, as well as others, were sued and brought suit against each other for various contractual breaches as well as for the personal injuries and wrongful death.  The Concrete Company, who was operating the crane, was forced to pay over $6 million dollars in delay damages early on, despite not being found responsible for the collapse or the damage up to that point.   The contract called for them to cover all damages regardless of fault.

After a lengthy trial, the jury exonerated the Concrete Company and found that the Crane owner and its principal had in fact been the sole proximate cause of the crane collapse.

The Concrete Company, having spent over a million dollars in legal fees defending itself for several years, sought out the firm of Leav & Steinberg, LLP.  They met with us and were advised that we would be willing to take on all efforts to recover what money they lost from the responsible Crane Owner.   Unfortunately, the Crane Owner then declared bankruptcy.

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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.