Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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Summer brings many of the joys of enjoying the outdoors and recreational activities such as hiking, swimming, and boating.   Unfortunately, it often gives rise to tragic accidents associated with those activities, particularly when it comes to boating.  According to a report by the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), there were 22 reported boating fatalities in 2017 which was the same as 2016.

An analysis recently conducted by the New York Daily News revealed that there were 15 fatal boating accidents in upstate New York in 2017.  Many of these fatalities involved people not wearing Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs), commonly referred to as “life-vests.”  Drugs and/or alcohol were reported to also be a factor in a number of the deaths.

Persons injured or killed as a result of the negligence of a boat operator have a recourse through the New York civil justice system.  Boat operators in New York are not required to maintain insurance, but still may be held liable for injuries caused due their negligence similar to operators of motor vehicles.  Usually, responsible boat owners will maintain insurance for injuries caused by their negligence as well as property damage and other items unique to boating.  From an attorney’s perspective, an inquiry must be made immediately as to whether the boat owner/operator has applicable insurance and/or the assets available for a meaningful recovery.

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When tragedies occur, it is natural for people to try to assign blame wherever they can.  From a lawyer’s perspective, the issues are rarely as black and white as the general public would like them to be.  On Friday morning, a homeless man was found dead under a downtown R train in Brooklyn at the Court Street Station in Brooklyn Heights.  According to a report by the New York Daily News, the homeless man fell or was struck by the train while walking on the tracks at approximately 4:00am.

This accident, while undoubtedly tragic, requires a detailed legal analysis to determine who is to blame and if there would be reasonable chance of recovery if a lawsuit was brought.  Various areas of New York personal injury law, General Municipal Law, and Estates Powers and Trusts Laws are instantly implicated and need thorough analysis at the outset.

The attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP have over 50 years of experience in the litigation of personal injury cases.  It is this experience in handling these legal matters which gives insight into the appropriate legal analysis of the above-referenced accident and the applicable New York laws.  At first blush, the train accident described above involves a man being struck and killed by a subway train.  Before the analysis of the relevant culpable conduct of the potentially liable parties can begin, other steps must be taken.

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The National Transportation Safety Board found that a failure to screen NJ Transit engineer for sleeping disorder caused Hoboken crash.  Obstructive sleep apnea was a factor in the tragic accident according to an article on Lohud.com.

Perhaps more disturbing is that legislation to require the screening of employees for this sleeping disorder was withdrawn by the Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in August.  The NTSB had investigated five other train crashes since 2001 where sleep apnea was a cause.

Have you or a loved one suffered a serious injury in a train accident? If so, you may have grounds to file a negligence or wrongful death lawsuit against the railroad company or train’s manufacturer. For a free consultation with our train accident attorneys, call (212) 406-1700 or contact us online.

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The "Tide Pod" Challenge has been in the news recently as a result of its increasing popularity and general awareness in social media circles. In essence, the "Tide Pod" Challenge involves primarily kids biting into brightly colored liquid laundry detergent packets, or cooking them in frying pans, then chewing them up before spewing the soap from their mouths, according to this article from the Washington Post. These acts are recorded and posted on social media. 

However, these packets contain highly-concentrated laundry detergent which should not be ingested. The parent company, Proctor & Gamble, has issued warnings about the dangers of this activity and is taking this matter very seriously. YouTube is flagging videos about this activity and removing them from their site.

The question for those of us who have neither the desire nor inclination to film ourselves eating laundry detergent is "Why are people doing this in the first place?" At the outset, it must be noted that these packets are small, brightly colored and smell nice. In fact, in 2013, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued a warning about these products and the dangers of ingestion. The attraction to children is obvious: "The soft and colorful product can be easily mistaken by a child for candy, toys, or a teething product."  

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Congratulations to Barry Washor who recently settled a Bronx wrongful death action arising out of medical malpractice committed at a hospital in Manhattan which resulted in the death of a 35-year married mother of 2 children. The action settled just prior to trial in the amount of $2,400,000. He was assisted in the preparation of this matter by our partner, Matthew Maiorana.

The plaintiff-decedent was 34 years old and with no significant medical history. She was not feeling well December 31, 2011 and went to the emergency room at a hospital in New York City at approximately 10:30 pm with complaints of pain, (10/10), body aches, diarrhea, nausea, blue finger tips, and low grade fever. She was diagnosed with tachycardia with a heart rate of 111 and blood pressure of 100/50. Over the course of the night tests were done that showed that she had a deceased white blood cell count and she was being worked up for an abdominal issue. By 1:30 am on January 1, 2011 her blood pressure was 95/50 and her heart rate was 118. At 2:30 am her heart rate was 127. At 4:30 am her heart rate was 212 and her temperature was 104.3. At 6:30 am the decedent was given antibiotics but continued to deteriorate. She was intubated at 11:00 am. At that time her blood pressure was 80/40 and dropping. At 12:30 pm she was given pressors to bring up her blood pressure and she lost consciousness. She was then brought to the operating room for a laparotomy and a hysterectomy was performed. She never regained consciousness and was placed on life support which was discontinued on January 8, 2011, when she died of complications relating to sepsis.

It was alleged that defendants failed to properly diagnose and treat sepsis. It was plaintiff’s contention that the decedent had sepsis from the time she arrived at the hospital and should have been given antibiotics and pressors immediately. Had antibiotics been given immediately there would have been less than a 20% chance of death. For every hour that is delayed the risk of death goes up 7.6%. Inasmuch as there was an 8 hour delay in giving antibiotics and a 4 hour delay in giving pressors the likelihood of death increased to 70-80%.

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Congratulations to Barry Washor who recently settled a Bronx wrongful death action arising out of medical malpractice committed at a hospital in lower Manhattan which resulted in the death of a 36-year old unmarried mother of 4 children. The action settled just prior to trial in the amount of $2,700,000. 

The case involved a 36 years old woman who was admitted to the hospital on September 8, 2011 with complaints of leg pain and swelling. She initially presented to the emergency room where she was given an ultrasound and diagnosed with a large DVT (blood clot) which ran from her knee to hip. A hematologist was called in and she was admitted under the care of an internist. She was then started on a regimen of Lovenox, an anti-coagulation medication, as well as Coumadin. She was discharged from the hospital the next day and went home by taxi cab with her aunt and cousin. In the cab she became very uncomfortable and was experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath. When she reached her front door she collapsed and lost consciousness. She was taken to a different hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival. She died as a result of a saddle embolism in her lungs which had caused cardiac arrest.

The claim in the case was that because the DVT was so large, the defendants should have done a work up to investigate the possibility of a pulmonary embolism. A CT scan was indicated and plaintiff’s experts opined that had it been done it would have shown some “showering of emboli” which would have required continued admission where it is likely that the pulmonary embolism would not have occurred or least could have been treated had it occurred. It was plaintiff’s contention that the decedent was deprived of a reasonable opportunity for a chance of survival had treatment been done immediately.

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An air conditioning failure due to power loss resulting from Hurricane Irma claimed the lives of 6 elderly residents of a Florida nursing home. According to CBS New York, a criminal investigation is underway concerning the nursing home for their failure to evacuate the residents and a failure to have the air conditioning connected to the backup generator. Reports indicated that the facility did have a backup generator, but that it was connected to the kitchen for cooking purposes. Temperatures reached into the upper 80s following the Hurricane and these residents were forced to deal with the oppressive heat, despite many having pre-existing medical conditions.

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious problem in our country as too often, the elderly are the victims of poor care and cost-cutting fallout. The above-described incident in Florida could potentially form the basis for a medical negligence or general negligence claim should this tragedy have occurred in New York. There are laws in place which protect our elderly citizens and insure that nursing homes provide the proper and expected care that they deserve.

If you or a loved one have experienced negligent care and treatment at a nursing home in New York, you may have the basis for a lawsuit. If so, Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool will give you a free review of your legal options. Fill out our case review form or call 212-406-1700 to schedule your free consultation.

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Cosmetic procedures at New York clinics are the subject of much scrutiny and publicity in recent years. Questions exist over their regulation, licensing, and safety protocols. Another tragedy, reported by CBS New York, involved the death of a 31-year old Harlem woman named Latesha Bynum who passed away shortly after she received a cosmetic injection into her buttocks. Questions arose as the “clinic” where the procedure was done appeared to be in a purely residential building. Although it was reported that the people working there were licensed medical professionals, a police investigation is ongoing.

The police investigation should be the start, not the end, of the inquiry into this tragedy. The death of this woman could be potentially due to an act of medical malpractice which should be fully investigated by competent New York Medical Malpractice attorneys who can insure that justice is provided to the family of Ms. Bynum.

Individuals who have suffered an injury or lost a loved one due to medical negligence should seek the counsel of a skilled malpractice attorney. Medical negligence cases can be expensive and time consuming, necessitating the hiring of a law firm that has the resources to adequately handle these cases. Hiring skilled representation can mean the difference between a favorable verdict or settlement and disappointment.  At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our attorneys have the skill and resources necessary to properly handle medical negligence cases.

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Individuals who have suffered an injury due to a botched surgery can face many hardships. Surgical malpractice may cause patients to suffer serious injuries and may be fatal in some cases. A recent trend involves patients seeking medical treatment overseas due to a variety of reasons, mainly involving the costs associated with elective procedures which are not covered by insurance. Unfortunately, as is too often the case, many foreign countries do not have the same standards for health care and medical treatment as can be found in the U.S.A. When a mishap occurs overseas, a patient or their family may have a remedy limited by the laws of that country or they may have no remedy at all.

Recently, a young woman died as a result of a botched plastic surgical procedure performed in the Dominican Republic according to an article in the New York Daily News. This 25-year old Bronx mother of two died from what was a likely act of medical malpractice in the Dominican Republic. Had this surgical procedure occurred in New York with the same tragic outcome, New York law would provide a remedy for her loved ones to ensure that the responsible parties could be held civilly liable. In this way, her children would potentially receive some financial security as some compensation for the loss of their mother.

However, when a tragedy like this occurs due to negligence in a foreign country like the Dominican Republic, New York law may not apply and their likely will be no basis to sue the culprit surgeon in New York absent a showing of some connections to New York. The most likely situation will be one wherein any lawsuit will have to be brought in the Dominican Republic and subject to their laws. This is not a factor for many people in deciding to have elective surgery in a foreign country, but it is an unfortunate reality when something goes wrong.

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Cross-over accidents resulting in head-on collisions are among the most serious types of motor vehicle accidents due to their unexpected suddenness and the forces typically involved. According to CBS New York, a cross-over accident on the Grand Central Parkway claimed the life of one person and left 8 others injured. According to this report,the accident occurred at approximately 6:30am on Sunday morning. A vehicle traveling westbound on the Grand Central Parkway near 188th Street in Queens crashed through the center divider and into eastbound traffic. Three vehicles were involved in the crash with an SUV flipping onto its roof and a minivan landing on its side.

Have you or someone you love suffered an injury in a head on collision? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. For a free, no-obligation case review, call 212-406-1700 or contact us online. Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning clients will not be charged unless there is a recovery.