Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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ct-truck-bus-speed-limit-20160826-300x191A collision between a personal vehicle and a big rig can be devastating. Those involved may experience injury or death, while their loved ones are tasked with caring for them (if they’re lucky), or making arrangements for a memorial service (if they’re not). Under such tragic circumstances, the victims and their families should be provided with fair and adequate compensation to aid with their expenses. However, many commercial trucks carry the absolute minimum amount of insurance coverage— and typically, that’s not nearly enough.

The federal minimum for liability insurance for truckers is $750,000. Although that may sound like a lot of money, the damage that tractor trailers inflict in a collision often dwarfs this minimal sum. Congress set the minimum at $750,000 back in 1985, and has not been changed it since. It has not even been adjusted for inflation. If it were, the minimum would now be $2.2 million. Needless to say, the victims of collisions caused by negligent truck drivers are increasingly finding themselves fighting for compensation that is woefully insufficient to cover their medical bills.

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construction-300x200When he turned 18, Fernando Vanegaz immigrated from his home country of Ecuador to the United States. His parents had made the move years earlier for work, so when Fernando arrived there was a home in Queens waiting for him. He was eager for financial independence, and quickly found a job with a Brooklyn-based construction company. 

The work was dangerous. Fernando would often frighten his mother with accounts of close calls on the job. One such incident occurred at a construction site at 656 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, when a retaining wall nearly toppled over. 

A little under a month later, there was another incident with the retaining wall. This time, it collapsed entirely. Fernando was working underneath the wall at the time. He was killed less than a year into his new life in the US.

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140523122801-gm-ignition-recall-repair-1024x576-300x169It seems as though every time we turn on the news, we’re met with another story about an auto recall. Some of the most infamous include GM’s faulty ignition devices, responsible for the deaths of at least 169 Americans, and the defective airbags manufactured by Takata, which killed 14 and injured over 180 Americans. In 2016 alone, 53.2 million cars were recalled.

It is illegal to sell new cars if they have not been repaired after a recall. However, there is no federal regulation that specifically prohibits used car dealers from selling recalled vehicles as “safe”— even if they have not been repaired.

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Bronx_Construction_Scaffolding-Accident-Lawyer-300x136Construction work is one of the most dangerous professions in New York City. As we detailed in our last blog, in New York City alone, 31 construction workers were killed on the job in the last two years. 29 of those deaths occurred on non-union work sites. This statistic bears out what we commonly see in our law practice: non-union workers risk their life and limb every time they step on a work site.

Though insurance carriers and contractors would like to refer to these injuries as “accidents,” most construction-related injuries are the direct result of a manager’s or company’s negligence. Safety violations were found at 90 percent of fatality sites inspected by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2015.
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construction-300x2252015 and 2016 were two of the most devastating years in history for the New York City construction industry. 31 men and women died on the job, meaning that on average, one worker did not come home from a construction site about every three weeks.

The last death of 2016 occurred on December 23rd, when a worker, whose safety belt was not attached to any cable, fell down an elevator shaft. Just weeks prior, another worker, also not wearing a connected safety belt, fell to his death in Brooklyn at the Old Domino Sugar Factory. These two fatalities, heartbreaking in themselves, portray a larger problem: 29 of the 31 deaths happened at non-union sites. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), almost all of the deaths were preventable.
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trend-gas-tank-fire-300x169Remington Walden, a 4-year-old boy from Georgia, was driving with his aunt on a spring day in 2012 when a pickup truck rammed into the back of their 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Though the pickup truck caused only minor exterior damage to the Jeep, it punctured the vehicle’s fuel tank. Within seconds, Remington Walden, who was fully conscious, was engulfed in flames. He died about a minute later.

Walden’s death was many things: a tragedy, a life taken too soon, and every parent’s worst nightmare. It was not, however, unavoidable. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which manages the Jeep brand, was officially warned on at least three separate occasions that 1993–2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees had a substantial design defect. The fuel tanks were mounted behind the rear axle, an anomaly in the car industry, making them extremely vulnerable in rear-end collisions. When hit even at low speeds, the tanks produced deadly fires.
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Emergency-Room-300x169All of us depend on doctors and hospital workers for treatment when we are sick or injured. Many times they are successful, saving our lives or the lives of our loved ones. But hospitals are far from infallible. 195,000 people die each year in American hospitals due to potentially preventable medical errors. The following guide will give you the information you need to avoid being one of those statistics.

Before you Get to the Hospital:
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2AEE385400000578-3178432-Dame_Sally_has_called_before_for_the_development_of_new_antibiot-a-20_1438165403058-300x231If you only read Sharley McMullen’s death certificate, you would think she passed away as the result of respiratory failure and septic shock. The truth is much more alarming.

McMullen, a healthy 72-year old woman from California, was finishing up treatment for a benign stomach ulcer when she contracted an infectious bacterial disease in the hospital where she was being treated. Five weeks later, she was dead. In a morbid twist of fate, the hospital that was supposed to heal her caused her death.
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IMG_7344Best-1024x678-300x199The New York City Department of Transportation enjoyed a small victory last week with the announcement that the city has surpassed its goal of constructing 15 miles of fully protected bike lanes in 2016. By the end of this year, 18 miles will be completed.

This achievement has been overshadowed by another statistic, however. With 3 months left in the year, New York has seen 17 cyclist deaths so far in 2016. That is already 2 more deaths than 2015’s tally.

The increase in deaths diminishes hope for the success of Vision Zero, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to eliminate traffic deaths by 2020.
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https://blog.caesarnapoli.com/files/2016/09/article-urn-publicid-ap.org-53f5951543144a3cbd943ba2d18c90ef-4VJWyIgPfj76a54cf882542add01-115_634x429-300x203.jpg17 New York City construction workers died last year in work-related incidents. That is, if you ask the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health. According to the Department of Buildings, only 12 construction workers lost their lives on the job.

The discrepancy between these two numbers stems from conflicting definitions of a construction-related death, and it is indicative of the absence of clear, consistent data in an industry that has seen both tremendous growth and a surge in preventable deaths over the last 5 years.

The majority of the construction worker fatalities in the last year occurred on non-union sites—the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health identified 15 out of 17 deaths as non-union. However, there is disagreement as to how much of the industry is made up of non-union workers.
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