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The Perecman Firm

New York, NY Personal Injury Blog

David Perecman Urges Health Officials to Do More To Keep Health Care Workers Safe After Second Nurse Diagnosed With Ebola

A second Texas health worker tested positive for Ebola after caring for the first U.S. patient diagnosed with the virus in Dallas. Forbes (10.15.14) reported that there were allegations that the Dallas nurses did not have sufficient protections against the deadly virus. The Ebola outbreak shows that being on the front lines of disease can be particularly dangerous business for health-care workers.

Attorney at Law David Perecman urged federal and state health officials to do more to effectively keep health care workers safe.

“Extensive training and the right personal protective equipment should be provided to all health care workers handling Ebola cases,” said Perecman.

Ebola patients are highly infectious and need constant monitoring.  This makes caring for them difficult.  When working with these patients, doctors, nurses, lab technicians and others must undertake comprehensive protections to ensure that fluids like blood, sweat, urine and vomit, expelled by Ebola patients do not touch their skin or get accidentally ingested.

Some hospitals demonstrated their ability to care for Ebola patients. Emory Healthcare was able to treat three different Ebola patients without any staff becoming sickened by the disease, reported Forbes.  However, Emory has an isolated infectious disease unit, as well as dedicated, high-level expertise in fighting problems like Ebola. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital is a reminder that the average hospital may not be adequately prepared to handle Ebola, despite the assurance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“The illness of the nurses plus the fact that more than 230 workers have died overseas trying to battle Ebola is a reminder that health-care workers put themselves at risk to treat the sick,” said Perecman.

When it comes to treating Ebola patients, health-care workers must be extremely careful. According to the CDC, there are approximately 30 distinct steps workers have to take to avoid a risk of infection.

Of course, Ebola is not the only danger health care workers face on the

South Korea Concert Collapse Kills Sixteen People

Concerts can be a great time for music fans, they can also be a dangerous place.

Sixteen people were killed and eleven others seriously injured when a ventilation grate collapsed while they were watching an outdoor K-pop concert in Seongnam, South Korea, reported CNN News (10.19.14).

More than two-dozen people were standing on the grate to get a better view of the performance when their weight caused it to give way.  They fell approximately 66 feet into an underground parking area.

“There was a sudden, loud screaming, and when I turned it looked as if people were being sucked down into a hole,” one witness told CNN affiliate YTN.

YTN said that the concert organizers had repeatedly urged the spectators to move off the grate before it collapsed. More than 700 people were believed to be attending the outdoor concert, which featured South Korean artists.  The popular all-girl band 4Minute was performing on the stage at the time of the accident.

In the United States, spectators who have purchased a ticket to an event should know that the event facility, concert promoter and organizers of the event have a duty to provide a secure and safe venue for attendees. Premises liability law includes protecting people from danger and harm by warning invitees and eliminating hazards.  Under the law, event organizers and property owners are also responsible for anticipating dangerous situations and training staff on how to prevent patrons from being injured or killed.

In other words, steps must be taken prevent injuries to invitees before they occur. When organizers and properly owners fail to do this and patrons suffer injuries in accidents that could have been foreseen, the organizers and owners may be held liable for negligence under premises liability laws.

Some considerations for event organizers include sufficient security, accessible exits, appropriate medical response, proper lighting, stairs and escalator safety, parking lot safety, and adequate crowd control.

If a person

Train Collision Injures Dozens on Fall Foliage Tour

New York personal injury lawyer

Forty-four people were injured after a passenger train and a freight train collided in the Ozarks about 130 miles northwest of Little Rock, Arkansas.The people on the passenger train were on a scenic fall foliage excursion at the time of the accident, reported CNN News (10.16.14).

The trains collided when excess leaves on the track apparently caused the passenger train to stall on a small grade, said CNN News. Another train was called to help. However, due to a miscommunication about the location of the passenger train, the freight locomotive rounded the curve, and crashed into the passenger train.

The six crew members and 38 passengers aboard the fall foliage tour train were all injured, reported CNN News.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), there have been a total of 1,013 train accidents since January 2014. Of these accidents, 36 involved passenger trains. The FRA also reported a total of 488 rail-related deaths nationwide in this same time period. Human error, mechanical or electrical failures, improper operating procedure, inadequate safety devices, faulty equipment, maintenance problems, and negligence may be causes of railroad accidents. Accidents related to errors made by humans and track defects account for more than two thirds of all train accidents.

Just as there are many factors that can cause a train accident to occur, there are multiple parties who may be held liable for any loss of income, medical expenses and other costs associated with a train accident. Responsible parties may include the company that owns the train, the train operator, the manufacturers or suppliers of any parts of the train, and those who maintain the railroad and-or trains.

Depending on where the train accident took place, there may be very short deadlines for protecting a victim’s legal rights. Injured train passengers should contact a lawyer immediately following an accident.

The Arkansas & Missouri Railroad operates the passenger train involved in

Truck Crashes Into Queens Bagel Store, Injuring Six

Box trucks are used by all kinds of companies that need to deliver or haul items and loads.

The driver of a box truck crashed into a Queens bagel store, seriously injuring six people, including an infant. The accident took place in Forest Hills, Queens at Queens Boulevard and 76th Avenue. CBS video from the scene showed the truck stopped almost halfway through the “Bagels for You” shop.

None of the injuries were considered life-threatening. One woman suffered a broken arm. The driver of the truck was unharmed

The truck first sideswiped a car that was parked along Queen Boulevard, then went up on the sidewalk, and then he continued about a half a block straight into the front of the bagel store, reported CBS News (10.8.14).

“He was rolling very, very slowly– at the most, 5 miles per hour.  He then drove up on the curb and gunned it.  Aimed right towards it,” one witness told CBS.

The incident was being investigated. The investigation will likely include an inspection of the accident site and the vehicle. Clues in the wreckage can help determine what caused the accident.

It was reported by CBS that there were no skid marks at the scene. In an accident where there are no skid marks or indication that a driver tried to stop, the conclusion may be that the driver was distracted or fell asleep. If another vehicle or pedestrian was involved and there are no skid marks, it may mean that the driver failed to see the person or object.A lawyer works with accident investigators to reconstruct what happened in order to demonstrate negligence

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The police will investigate an accident with the intention of determining if any criminal action was linked to the accident. Violations may include speeding, mechanical violations, and alcohol or drug use. CBS reported that no criminality was suspected so far.

Delivery trucks, like the box truck involved in

Experts Question the Safety of Formula One (F1) World Champion Michael Schumacher’s Helmet Camera

Experts examined a camera which had been fixed to the ski helmet of injured Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher.

A French journalist recanted comments he made regarding the GoPro camera that was attached to the helmet Michael Schumacher was wearing when he was injured in a December skiing accident. Jean-Louis Moncet had suggested that the Formula One driver’s brain injury may have been made worse by the camera, said the New York Post (10.13.14).

The GoPro Cam was mounted on Schumacher’s helmet when he fell and struck his head on a rock while skiing in the French Alps. Schumacher was left in a medically-induced coma for nearly six months following the accident.

Doctors had previously said that Schumacher would not have survived the skiing accident if he had not been wearing his helmet, as Autosport reported in December 2013.

It is well established that helmets clearly work to reduce injuries and fatalities among skiers, bike riders, motorcyclists and others. The question now is whether or not the GoPro camera really weakened Schumacher’s helmet. Experts have previously weighed in on the likelihood of wearable cameras weakening the helmets they are mounted on.

It is thought that a camera would not alter the structural integrity of the helmet. However, if an accident occurred and the camera was the first point of impact, the helmet’s shell may become compromised. The solid helmet attachment could become a penetrating object. The object may also inhibit a helmet’s ability to absorb, move or function correctly in the event of an impact.

Tests have been carried out on helmets where a GoPro camera was mounted and experts are still working on more tests to find out if a camera can indeed weakened the helmet.

While riders can fit a Go Pro or similar camera to their helmet via a clamp, suction cup or tape, it is strongly unadvised to secure anything to a helmet by drilling holes.

Filming Police Helps Keep Them Honest And Protects Civil Rights

In the past, many incidents of police misconduct went unreported because citizens did not feel that they would be believed. Now smartphones have changed those beliefs. The technology is empowering citizens to hold police accountable for their actions.

Citizens should know it is completely legal to film the police everywhere in the United States including New York. The requirement is that the person who is doing the filming cannot interfere or get in the way of the police.

In mid-July, a bystander on Staten Island filmed the death of Eric Garner in a prohibited police chokehold. Since then, at least eight other videos showing instances of apparent excessive force by NYPD officers have surfaced. Most of these videos were captured by smartphone. Four such videos have appeared this month alone, said the Huffington Post (10.13.14).

In the Huffington Post, Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said that she encouraged people to film troubling police incidents on their phones. “When police wrongdoing is captured on videotape, it makes the public understand what has happened and why we need to hold the police accountable,” she said.

Lieberman is right in saying that many people would not have believed what happened to Rodney King if the incident was not recorded on videotape. King was beaten by police officers in Los Angeles after a traffic stop in 1991. The video aired on television news programs across the country, stoking charges of police brutality and racial injustice.

Other videos which showed questionable action by the police included:

A July 17 video shows a NYPD officer putting Garner in a chokehold during an arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes on a Staten Island sidewalk. The video, filmed by a bystander, shows Garner, who had asthma, repeatedly crying that he could not breathe before his body goes limp. He died of a heart attack during the arrest.

A July 14 video shows Ronald

Mercedes-Benz Self-Driving Truck Could Prevent Accident Injuries and Fatalities

Mercedes-Benz unveiled a semi-truck called the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025. Incredibly, it drives itself on the highway. The self-driving truck’s technology could eventually help decrease the number of highway accidents that kill thousands of people each year.

The Future Truck 2025 uses a combination of advanced dual cameras, radar sensors, and blind-spot technology to analyze the truck’s surroundings to get a sense of traffic and terrain. The technologies will maintain lane position and following distance. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology will connect the truck to other cars on the road, providing their exact locations and speeds. While the truck does not need this data to drive autonomously, it will be needed for detecting stopped vehicles or moving aside for emergency vehicles, among other things, said Wired (10.7.14).

Currently the system is only designed to work on an open road, like a highway. A driver is still required to get the truck onto the interstate and merge into traffic. The highway is where truck drivers most often fall asleep. In addition to accidents caused by drowsy drivers, the “Highway Pilot” system will also cut down the number of accidents caused by distracted driving and road rage.

Mercedes refers to the system as “Highway Pilot”, the Future Truck. It is called the 2025 as it will likely not be available until that year.

In the Future Truck, the driver becomes a “transport manager” once the Highway Pilot is activated. If the truck approaches construction, or it’s time to get off the highway, the truck will flash a visual alert to tell the driver to get his or her hands back on the wheel. If he driver does not do this soon enough, the truck sounds an alarm, and the truck can make itself come to a controlled stop in an emergency, as necessary.

According to Wired, Mercedes is serious about spending the next decade perfecting the truck and getting it ready for commercial

David Perecman Weighs in on Halloween-Themed Hayride Accident That Left One Dead and Over 20 Injured

Halloween hayrides can be fun, but the can also cause serious injuries or even death, warned Attorney at Law David Perecman. A trailer carrying passengers on a Halloween-themed hayride overturned in Mechanic Falls, Maine, killing one teenage girl and injuring at least 20 other people, reported ABC News (10.12.14).

Cassidy Charette, 17, died from her injuries after a crash “threw everyone off the trailer and into each other and into trees,” said ABC News. Apparently, a mechanical problem prevented the 1979 Jeep pulling the wagon from stopping.

David Brown, 54, the driver of the Jeep was among those hospitalized. ABC said he was an experienced trucker with a commercial driver’s license.

The accident happened during the Gauntlet Haunted Night Ride, a spooky hayride through a forest. The activity took place at a rural farm that also featured Pumpkin Land.

“Any time you are in any type of moving vehicle without proper seating or safety restraints, you are taking a risk,” said Perecman, founder of The Perecman Firm.

When people suffer hayride injuries, these injuries may be significant because of the number of people involved and the size and weight of the vehicle. Hayride trailers can crush and-or eject riders causing catastrophic injuries. Serious accidents may occur when proper control mechanisms are not in place. A number of hayride accidents have been caused by poor maintenance, lack of maintenance or inadequate supervision at a place like a farm.

“Hayride operators must not take their responsibilities lightly. If there is any failure to ensure customer safety, they may be held responsible for any injuries and losses caused by carelessness or negligence,” said Perecman.

Unfortunately, many hayride operators fall short on safety. They may overload the ride, fail to provide safety harnesses, inadequately train the ride operator, and experience electrical or mechanical failure, among a number of other factors linked to hayride accidents. Liability for hayride accidents may include negligence or tort

Woman Killed After Crashing Car, Question Of Whether She Was Racing

A woman was killed in a crash in Everett, Washington. Jourdan Bradley, 24, was allegedly racing her Corvette in the northbound lanes of I-5 at the time of the accident. According to KiroTV (10.10.14), witnesses saw a white Chevy SUV or pickup with a canopy racing her before the crash. The Corvette hit a tree and split in half.

Phillip Chumley, 31, a passenger in the Corvette, was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Witnesses told troopers the other vehicle stopped, backed up, looked at the scene and drove away.

Bradley’s father said he was driving “probably eight car lengths” behind his daughter, helping to transport a leather couch to her new house. He disputed the witness accounts that his daughter was racing. He said his daughter was an “extremely cautious driver” and believes that the other vehicle may have cut the Corvette off. He did not see the accident occur.

According to KiroTV, friends and family said her Corvette was her “dream car” and “she would never risk damaging it.”

An investigation was needed to determine whether the Corvette was racing at the time of the accident or not.

Street racing is illegal. Accidents caused by drag racing accidents are often catastrophic as these collisions typically involve high speeds and reckless driving. When drivers speed, they risk not only their own lives, but also the lives of their passengers and others who share the road.

Speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and speeding has been identified over and over again as an extremely dangerous choice. In 2011, speeding was a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes, and 9,944 people died in speeding-related crashes.

In New York, a speeding driver who causes a crash can be held responsible for resulting injuries and-or property damage. A passenger should not have to suffer

Measures Must Be Taken To Protect Workers From Ebola

Thomas E. Duncan was the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. He is unlikely to be the last. Preventive measures must be put into place to protect healthcare workers and other workers from the Ebola virus. Many tasks must be done to help control the epidemic, and it is imperative that workers are kept safe while doing their jobs.

Employers must make sure their employees have a safe workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) was passed to prevent workers from being killed or seriously harmed at work. The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. If unsafe working conditions are present, a worker may report the violation to the employer, to OSHA, and in some cases, the employee may refuse to work.

Personal protective gear is crucial for those working around Ebola victims. The protective gear must ensure that every inch of healthcare worker’s body is covered. The current procedure recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires a multi-step procedure to don personal protective equipment. The process takes approximately 10 minutes. This includes wearing non-permeable gowns, masks, goggles and gloves. The protective gear is to ensure that the wearer will not get into contact with a patient’s bodily fluids. The virus can be transmitted through fluids like saliva, blood and vomit.

Worth noting, protective clothing is only part of the comprehensive response to Ebola. Management of Ebola involves a combination of techniques including work practices, quarantines, avoidances, engineering controls, administrative controls, and more.

However, even with the right precautions, health care workers are still at risk. Overall, 375 health workers in West Africa have contracted Ebola over the course of the epidemic, of whom 211 have died as of September 23, the World Health Organization said, according to CBS News (10.7.14).

Health care workers are not the only