Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Honda recalling vehicles due to faulty transmissions

Honda motor company is recalling 536,950 vehicles, with V-6 engines and 5-speed automatic transmissions. Honda’s recall includes 2003- and 2004-model Accords, 2000- through early 2004-model Acura TL sedans, and 2001- through 2003-model Acura CL's according to Bloomberg news.

New York City Bus and SUV involved in an accident

The New York Daily News reports that 21 people were injured when a New York City Transit Authority bus and a SUV came into contact with each other at Gates and Nostrand Aves. in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The article states that the driver of the SUV was probably at fault because it ran a red light.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Brooklyn accident news: Two serious crashes on Eastern Parkway

The New York Daily News reports that there were two serious accidents on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn yesterday. In one accident, the driver, Michael Williams, claims that he was hit by a speeding SUV. Seven of his children were seriously injured.

Later, another SUV came into contact with a seven year old girl on Eastern Parkway.

Monday, June 28, 2004

What do New York City's neighborhood's have on their minds?

To determine which neighborhoods have the most crime, ask the Police Department. But to learn what is on a neighborhood's mind, visit its bookstores. more...>

Con Ed worker dies as manhole cover explodes

Newsday reports that a Con Ed worker died yesterday when a manhole cover exploded. The accident occurred in Yonkers. The cause the accident is under investigation.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Home Safety Council report released regarding home injury costs

The Home Safety Council released a report today stating that employers are spending $38 billion a year for employee's injuries suffered at home. The State of Home Safety in America report found that falls to be the most common fatal home injury, followed by poisonings, fires/burns, choking and suffocation and drowning.

It is of note that one third of the Board of Directors of this group is comprised of employee's of Lowe's.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Reaction to Tort Reform Myths

Peter D. Assail, a medical malpractice attorney wrote the following letter to the New York Times in reaction to a recent editorial by Bob Herbert regarding medical malpactice reform: "Impartial and unimpassioned appellate judges routinely review and reduce excessive jury awards to fair and reasonable amounts. Many indefensible malpractice actions are bitterly fought to the end by doctors and their insurance company-paid lawyers, thereby unnecessarily driving up the costs of litigation.

Dismissive attitudes toward patients and the secretiveness of doctors remain the primary instigating causes of medical malpractice lawsuits. The medical profession may feel in extremis, but true healing always begins from within." More reaction regarding Bob Herbert's piece may be found here.

NYC accident deaths drop dramatically

In the past year, traffic deaths in New York City have declined by 23%. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly attributed this year's drop to increased police enforcement of seatbelt laws. According to the Associated Press, who quoted unnamed "officials," widened sidewalks, longer pedestrian walk signals and the construction of new speed bumps have also helped prevent fatalities.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Another pedestrian injured in Brooklyn on Bay Parkway

Watch your step if you are crossing Bay Parkway. The New York Daily News reports that a 74 year old women was injured on 63rd and Bay Parkway. The paper notes that from 1995 to 2001, there were 202 pedestrian injuries reported on a 1.8-mile stretch of Bay Parkway.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Tort Reform Myths

Tort filings are declining, only 2 percent of injured people sue for compensation, punitive damages are rarely awarded, liability insurance costs for businesses are minuscule, medical malpractice insurance and claims are both less than 1 percent of all health care costs in America, and premium-gouging underwriting practices of the insurance industry have been widely exposed. Does this sound like a call for tort reform? more ...>

Friday, June 18, 2004

Unlicensed driver injures a Queens child

New York Daily News reports that Lavonne Cooke, a 45 women driving a Ford Expedition, critically injured a 14 year old boy when she was attempting to make a left turn. It was later revealed that Ms. Cooke had her license suspended.

Ms. Cooke will likely be sued by the boy and the family for personal injuries. (Obviously, tell the family to contact my law office). Normally, Ms. Cooke's insurance company would defend her in any action brought against her due to the car accident. If Ms. Cooke had automobile insurance at the time of the accident, do you think that the insurance company will provide coverage even though her license was suspended?

More time off between service for jurors

New York Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippmann, who, incidentally, is a huge New York Yankee fan, announced that in New York, the downtime between doing jury duty will be raised from four years to six years. Naively, this reform was launched in the hope New Yorkers might someday actually want to serve on juries.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Ford lawyer apologized to jurors regarding SUV rollover

On June 4, a California jury awarded $369 million dollars to a women who was paralyzed when her Ford Explorer SUV rolled over after she swerved in attempt to avoid a metal object. Obviously, Ford is appealing the verdict. See my June 3 post regarding this case. Contact my law office if you have been involved in a similar accident.

UPI reports today that Ford's attorney in the matter, Anthony Sonnett, basically apologized to the jury stating: "It's impossible not to be angry at Ford Motor Co. for what decisions that in marketing and selling this Ford Explorer it knowingly put a defective product out on the market and caused the family tragedy that you see before you now." I agree with University of Detroit Mercy law professor Gary Maveal in his assessment that this comment may be used as an admission in future lawsuits brought against the automaker.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Weight loss Guru Atkins estate sued over diet, is this a free speech or a junk food issue?

Millions of Americans claim their slim figure was product of the Atkins diet. The estate and company of Dr. Atkins was sued by Jody Gorran,a 53 year old man who claims that the diet raised his cholesterol so much that his arteries became clogged and required a medical procedure to open them (see my May 27 post). While at first glance the Atkins lawsuit looks like a knock-off of the lawsuits against McDonalds, does it really have more to do with free speech than junk food? ... more>>

Monday, June 14, 2004

Latinos account for a disproportionate share of construction accident deaths

Recent construction accidents in Queens and Brooklyn have brought renewed attention to workplace fatalities. The New York Trial Lawyers have published an article entitled "The Scaffold Law: An Essential Protection for Immigrant Construction Workers." The article reports that Latinos account for a disproportionate share of construction accident deaths. In New York City, Latinos account for an amazing 62 percent of workplace deaths.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Is the New York Post biased against Mr. Softee?

Like Greek-motif coffee cups, the Mr. Softee ice cream truck is a part of gotham culture. Lately, these trucks have come under attack as part of Mayor Bloomberg's "new plan to reduce the cacophony in the big, brawling, brash city."

The New York Post today reports on $50 million dollar personal injury suit brought against Mr. Softee. The papers fails to note that the suit was brought over a year and a half ago and nothing newsworthy is presently occurring on the case. What does the New York Post have against Mr. Softee?

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Chowdrow to Rocco, You're Fired!

Today's New York Daily News reports that Jeffrey Chowdrow, owner of Rocco's on 22nd, has banned uber-cher Rocco DiSpirito from the restaurant. The feud between the two has received much press and was subject to the NBC reality show "The Restaurant."

Justice Ira Gammerman, who is presiding over a civil lawsuit between the two, has required Mr. DiSpirito to have prior consent from the court before entering the eatery.

Follow the paperwork and check for future court appearances regarding the litigation on e-law or the New York State Unified Court System website. The matter is pending in New York Supreme Court, index number 600336/2004.

For more on the dispute, see my April 6th and April 20th posts.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Construction accident in Queens crushes worker

A six foot foundation at a construction site located in Elmhurst, Queens killed one worker and injured two others. The New York Times reports that the developer of the site, Yong Fa Cai, and his company, USA Heng Tai Inc., were accused of failing to provide protection for their workers. The contractor on the site was Rotondo Contracting.

The man who was killed at the construction site was an immigrant from Shanghai. The man's immigrant status does not preclude his family from bringing a wrongful death lawsuit.

If you or anyone you know has been injured in a construction office, please contact the Law Office of Frederic R. Abramson.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Cell phone maker held not responsible for negligence in auto crashes

Imagine, driving your car, minding your business, when another driver, using his cell phone, comes into contact with your vehicle. In New York State, operators of motor vehicles are prohibited from using their cell phones when driving. Is the cell phone maker responsible for the accident?

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Cingular Wireless, a cell phone maker, is not responsible for the negligence of a driver who was using a cell phone at the time of an accident. To my knowledge, New York State has not ruled on this issue.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Scores sued again over $130,000 bill

The high end Strip club Scores, a favorite of Howard Stern, has been sued for taking advantage of its customers. Last week an insurance executive sued the club. Today, Newsday reports that the husband of a diplomat from Bangladesh claims that the club "took advantage of his intoxicated state" and billed him for $130,000. It appears that the New York Times is behind the proverbial eight ball again, as it failed to report on this matter.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Jury verdict of $123 million against Ford in SUV rollover

A California jury has awarded $123 million to a women paralyzed two years ago when the Ford Explorer she was driving rolled over. The jury returned the verdict against Ford, finding it liable for a design defect that caused the Ford Explorer to malfunction.

This is the first jury verdict that Ford has lost regarding the rollover issue. For more on SUV litigation, see my May 31, 2004 post.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

New York State Legislature to consider new Labor Law bill

In New York, Labor Law Section 240 governs injuries at a worksite. Under the New York labor law, an owner or contractor can be held responsible for a workers injuries only when the failure to provide proper safety equipment was a cause of the injury and not when the sole proximate cause was the worker's own action. A new bill, under consideration by the New York State Legislature, would place a comparative negligence standard regarding Labor Law section 240.

Read the New York Trial Lawyers view of Labor Law Sec. 240 here. If you have been injured at a contruction site, contact my office.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Bronx church mourns deaths in bus crash

The New York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News and Newsday all report on a church bus crash in Canada that killed three people and injured forty others. The victims were members of the Gospel Assembly Church located at 3821 Bronxwood Avenue in Williamsbridge. Please contact the church at (718) 405-2420 to donate any money.

The New York Daily News reports that the accident was caused by a coffee cup being lodged under the brake pedal. Based on preliminary reports, the owner of the van appears to be the responsible party for this accident.