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Block O'Toole & Murphy's Blog

MTA Makes Excuses as Bus Crash Numbers Continue to Grow

The City Council recently enacted a right of way law that creates a misdemeanor charge for drivers who strike pedestrians or bicyclists who have the right of way if the driver failed to exercise due care. This law is part of the City's much heralded 'Vision Zero' plan to virtually eliminate traffic fatalities.

Bus Accidents in New York City and Beyond

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Bus accidents have been in the New York City news in recent weeks. Accidents involving buses raise many questions. Who was at fault? Did the driver not even see a pedestrian? Did the driver of another vehicle cause the accident? Did the bus have the equipment needed to adequately see pedestrians and other vehicles? Was the driver properly trained? Were there any prior black marks on his or her driving record? These are not easy questions to answer, but summaries of recent accidents illustrate these and other issues involved in bus accidents.

MTA Bus Driver Caught 'No-Handed'

This couldn't be what they meant when they coined the phrase "hands free." It certainly was not what Mayor DeBlasio had in mind when he came up with his "Vision Zero" traffic plan. Yet, an MTA bus driver was driving a crowded bus often without his hands on the steering wheel and his eyes on the road. 

$1,750,000 Accident Settlement Announced by NYC Law Firm

The New York City attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy obtained a $1,750,000 settlement for a client who was injured in a Long Island motor vehicle accident. Our client, who was 24-years-old at the time of the accident on October 27, 2012, was a clerk for the Township of Brookhaven in Suffolk County.

Auto Companies Resist Recalls

Although the car manufacturer General Motors likes to portray itself as a leader in automotive safety, the reality may be quite different. According to a recent story in the New York Times, GM recalled almost 30 million cars in North America last year.

Because of the spotlight shining on the safety of its vehicles, GM overhauled its safety practices. But was this enough? GM's response to a recent steering issue suggests that the company's commitment to safety may be only skin deep.

New York City Region Not Immune to Oil Disasters

train oil and gas tankers.jpgIf you think that New Yorkers are immune to the controversy over oil pipelines, oil trains and environmental disasters from petroleum shipment, think again. In the past year, companies shipping crude oil through New York State have significantly increased their presence in the state.

Fatal Construction Accidents Are Soaring to Frightening Heights in 2015


Less than four months into the year, 2015 has already been a deadly one for the construction industry. There have been at least seven deaths at construction sites this year, compared with eight in all of 2014. If the current trend continues throughout the year, it will be the deadliest year for the construction industry in recent memory. This year's fatal accidents include the two people who were recently killed in an East Village building gas explosion, a worker who died in the Meatpacking District after soil collapsed around him, a pedestrian struck down by a flying piece of plywood from a construction fence and construction workers falling down an elevator shaft and then being crushed by metal beams. Just this week, there were four other workers who were seriously injured after a wall collapsed on them during demolition work in midtown Manhattan on Madison Avenue.

Road Repairs to Improve Safety Elusive in New York City

Nearly three-quarters of New York City's roads are in poor or mediocre condition, according to a national non-profit transportation organization, TRIP. More disturbingly, half of all bridges in the city do not meet current design and safety standards.

The report, "Conditions and Safety of New York's Roads and Bridges," notes that 43 percent of major local and state-maintained highways in the city are in poor condition, and only 16 percent are in good condition. Furthermore, 39 percent of locally and state-maintained bridges of more than 20 feet in length are in deteriorated condition.

22-Year-Old Construction Worker Killed In Soil Collapse

Fatal Construction Accident Occurred at Former Famed Pastis'Meatpacking District Site

A 22-year-old man was killed Monday afternoon when he became trapped in a dirt hole on a construction site at what used to be Pastis restaurant in the Meatpacking District, according to police. The man has not yet been identified.

The accident occurred at about 12:15 p.m. at a construction site located at 9-19 Ninth Avenue. The site was being developed into a Restoration Hardware store by Aurora Capital Associates; Aurora co-owns the property with William Gottlieb Real Estate; Harco Consultants Corp. was the contractor for the project; Everest Scaffolding was the scaffolding company, according to reports.

4 Workers Injured In Fall at Midtown Construction Site

Details are still emerging as we report that four construction workers were injured today in midtown Manhattan when they fell approximately 2 stories during demolition work at a construction site. This serious construction accident continues an alarming trend of recent, harrowing construction site accidents and injuries in New York City.

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