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April 2014 Archives

Ladder Accidents Continue to Plague Construction Workers

The New York attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy have been talking about the frequency of construction falls and how, statistically, they far outnumber the field when it comes to fatal work accidents. Few are aware of how often those falls involve ladders. This article, brought to you by Block O'Toole & Murphy, outlines how dangerous working on a ladder can really be.

Crane Banned in New York Being Used in New Jersey

The New York lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy are following an unusual story with uniquely local flavor that involves a controversial tower crane. Tower cranes are fairly common at major construction sites. These cranes are massive, capable of rising and reaching hundreds of feet. Tower cranes are used to hoist steel, concrete, large tools and other building materials. They are capable of lifting nearly 20 tons or almost 40,000 pounds. Obviously, given the size of the crane and the massive weight of what they are lifting, there are obvious safety implications.

Fatal Truck Accident Prompts Lawsuit

FedEx trucks are everywhere and are part of the driving landscape in every city in the United States, including New York City. They are so common that other drivers seldom pay much attention to them. However, a recently filed lawsuit in California raises some issues that should convince drivers to use caution when approaching these ever-present long-haul and local delivery vehicles.

Dangers of Brain Injury Highlighted by Death of Duchess Camilla's Brother

The New York brain injury lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP, are following the sad report involving Mark Shand, the 62-year-old brother of the Duchess of York, Camilla Parker Bowles, who died Wednesday from a brain injury suffered when he slipped and fell outside The Rose Bar at the Gramercy Hotel in Manhattan. We extend our thoughts and prayers to Mr. Shand's family, and commend him for the charity work that he tirelessly performed as a conservationist, the very work that brought him to New York City for his ultimately tragic visit.

Reduced Speed Limit to Prevent Car Accidents in the Bronx

Speed limits on city streets with higher-than-average car accident numbers are being reduced as part of Mayor de Blassio's Vision Zero initiative. The Grand Concourse in the Bronx will be the city's second street to have its speed limit reduced as part of the program. The first was Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.

New York's Scaffold Law Protects Construction Workers

The New York lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy consistently follow the debate over the Scaffold Law, the law that protects the health and safety of the workers that shape our majestic skyline and build our beautiful buildings. We have emphasized that while this law protects all workers, it has a particularly meaningful impact on immigrant workers. Indeed, it is well settled that immigrant workers are the group that are most often injured at construction sites and by a large margin. Frequently it is as a result of being placed in unsafe working conditions without having a real voice in how the work should be performed. Now, in an editorial, respected local television personality Errol Louis chimes in.

Lukasz Stolarski Dies in NYC Construction Accident

A construction worker fell 13 stories to his death last week at a building site at 424 West 33rd Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues in Manhattan. The New York City Department of Buildings has found more than 40 open violations at the site.

Discount Bus Accident Shines Light on Safety Issues

A bus bound for New York City from Washington, D.C., crashed into a guard rail on Interstate 95, putting five injured people in the hospital. The bus, operated by the discount line Megabus, drove onto the right should and hit the guardrail a little after 3:30 PM, according to the Maryland State Police.

DOT Hopes to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents With Changes

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) is taking steps to make the intersection of Broadway and 96th Street in Manhattan safer for pedestrians. Two fatal pedestrian accidents occurred last year on the same day and within a few blocks of each other and the deadly intersection.

Fatal Construction Accident in Manhattan

The New York City personal injury lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP, are following the story of a construction worker who tragically died yesterday, April 13, 2014, at 3:30 p.m. after falling from the roof of an office building near Penn Station located at 424 West 33rd Street. The worker plummeted 10 stories and landed on a second floor scaffolding below. As reported by The Daily News, the worker was only 34 years old.

Metro North Deadly Train Accident Prompts Jersey Safety Review

New Jersey Transit recently approved spending $500,000 to hire an outside consultant to review workplace safety practices and procedures. The need for this review became evident in the wake of the Metro North accident last year that killed four and injured dozens more when it derailed in the Bronx.

April is 'Distracted Driving Month'-Why Everyone Should Be Paying Attention

The New York personal injury attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy have been talking about distracted driving for a long time. It goes without saying that texting and cell phone use behind the wheel significantly increases a driver's risk of crashing. One momentary lapse in judgment can shape the rest of your life or the life of another wholly innocent person. It isn't worth it and it can wait.

Workplace Safety: We Have a Long Way to Go

The New York lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy have been fighting for injured construction workers for decades. Often, as part of their work, they encounter figures that are illustrative of our collective failures when it comes to worker safety. As a society, we are not doing enough. Below, is insight into some of the concerns that we must all embrace and improve upon if we are going to make construction work safer.

Fatal Queens Car Accident Spurs City to Look at Signage

The death of four college students in a car accident in Queens last week is prompting New York City to examine its signage policies. According to NY1, the city posted warning signs near the scene of the accident less than a year ago, but intends to review the signs to ensure that they are clear.

Construction accident lawsuits plague NYC residential tower

One of the biggest construction projects in New York City history, One57, has become the subject of at least 19 lawsuits. Although it is not known whether this is a record number, one construction litigation attorney said that that number of cases was unusual.

Metro North Derailment Sleep Apnea Defense Looming

While the tabloids are speculating about whether Rockefeller will face criminal charges, there may be civil implications for the victims here as well. It says here that Metro North will wheel out a rarely used, but occasionally effective, defense to explain away their potential culpability for this horrible accident: the "Sudden and Unanticipated Medical Emergency Defense." What are we talking about here?

Customers Suffer Personal Injury in Bronx Store Accident

Unwary customers were buried by piles of shelves and merchandise after overstocked shelves collapsed in a 99 Cent Store located in the Bronx. The avalanche of shelves and merchandise buried eight victims, including several children, at the Morris Avenue discount store.

Dream Hotel Construction Accident: People Forget Too Fast

A hard-working construction worker lost his life because he was compelled to work on a dangerous scaffold. He fell 8 stories to his death at the posh Dream Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Despite this, there were only a few snippets in the local tabloids, some brief television and radio coverage . . . and then nothing.

Demonstrations Shine Light on Construction Safety Concern

The New York attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy have long advocated for the rights of hard-working women and men in the construction industry. Often that involved explaining the import of the worker safety laws that are in place in New York State. Frequently it is centered on detailing the causes of construction and work-related accidents.

Will Proposal to Reduce Fatal Traffic Accidents With Speed Cameras be Approved?

For the better part of a year, the New York attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy have been monitoring proposals that politicians have tossed out regarding pedestrian safety and the reduction of traffic fatalities. Now, it appears the talk will start to be replaced by action. Based on numerous media reports and comments by city and state politicians, an oft-discussed speed camera proposal sounds like it is about to become a reality.

Fatal Cross-Over Accident in Albertson Attributed to Excessive Speed and Distracted Driving

Block, O'Toole & Murphy LLP continues to follow the investigation of the fatal collision that took place yesterday April 1, 2014 around 9:00 am involving a Coach USA bus and a Dodge pick-up truck on Roslyn Road in Albertson, Long Island. Tragically, the driver of the pick-up truck was announced dead at the scene.

Who is In Charge of Workplace Safety in NYC Schools?

We think of schools as places where children congregate, and the New York City Department of Education works hard to make the learning environment safe and secure. But what of the adults who are charged with teaching, overseeing and supporting educational programs? Who keeps them safe in the workplace?

Hit and Run Accident Injures Upstate New York Child

A three-year-old boy was seriously injured last week in the upstate New York community of Kingston. As of Sunday, there were still no leads and police have not located the driver. The boy was struck by an unknown vehicle on Koenig Boulevard, which is a divided high-like section of U.S. Route 9W.

New York Construction Industry Too Often Prioritizes Profit at the Expense of Workers' Safety

The lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy are often at the forefront when it comes to issues involving worker safety. We try and stay on top of the trends impacting the hardworking women and men in the construction industry. In New York, there is an ever growing and troubling trend of awarding lucrative contracts to the lowest bidder without regard to the quality of the work and, more importantly, whether the work will be done safely. Why? This tactic increases the profit margin for the wealthy developer.