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The Perecman Firm

New York, NY Personal Injury Blog

The Perecman Firm Listed in New York Law Journal’s Top New York Settlements of 2014

The New York Law Journal published the “Top Settlements New York 2014″ in its December 2014 edition. The Perecman Firm, a New York City law firm, appeared with second largest settlement in New York State. The settlement was the largest construction accident settlement in the state.

The case, Nechifor v RH Atlantic-Pacific LLC (New York Supreme Court, 2012 NY Slip Op 01124), resulted in a large construction accident settlement for a career-ending fall from a scaffold — $9.9 million.

As summarized in the New York Law Journal, New York’s Labor Law 240 helped Nechifor succeed in the lawsuit that followed his life-altering fall in 2009. According to the lawsuit, laborer Gheorghe Nechifor, 45, was working at a construction site when he fell off a scaffold. He plummeted approximately 10 feet and landed on a sidewalk, suffering injuries to his back and foot. Nechifor claimed that he was not provided with a safe way for climbing up and down the scaffold.   No attachable ladder was provided so he had to climb the scaffold using its horizontal railings as steps. Snow made his assent and descent even more dangerous.

According to the Labor Law, Nechifor should have been provided proper safety equipment while working on an elevated structure. The defendants also failed to provide or ensure reasonable and adequate protection, as required by Labor Law 241. It was also concluded that the defendants violated Labor Law 200, which defines general workplace-safety requirements. New York’s Labor Laws make property owners and contractors liable for the accidents that occur on worksites that they control should workers fail to be provided with proper safety equipment.

“I can’t work for more than a half-hour at a time,” said Nechifor to the Labor Press. “There’s not a single job in the world for me now.”

Attorney at Law David Perecman, founder of The Perecman Firm and chair of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association’s

NTSB Investigating Fatal Plane Crash In Maryland

The majority of aviation fatalities that occur each year involve private aircraft.

A mom and her two children died after a private jet crashed into their home in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The accident also killed three health care professionals aboard the plane. They were identified as David Hartman, 52, Dr. Michael Rosenberg, 66, and Chijioke Ogbuka, 31, reported NBC News (12.9.14).

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation team was trying to determine what caused the crash. Reportedly, there was no evidence that the plane had engine trouble, hit a bird or had a fire on board. According to NBC News, Rosenberg was involved in a minor plane crash four years ago. However, investigators are still trying to determine if he was at the controls at the time of the crash. The plane was trying to land at the Montgomery County Airpark.

The NTSB team collected evidence at the scene, including the cockpit voice recorder, the flight data recorder and the “four corners” of the plane — the nose, the tail and the tips of the wings. As is typical, the process to determine the cause of the plane crash may take months. The analysis will include data regarding the plane’s airspeed, altitude, direction and actions undertaken, such as the movement of individual flaps on the wings, auto-pilot and fuel gauge. Investigators will look at that data and other factors to determine the probable cause of this accident, whether it was pilot error, maintenance, weather or some other cause.

It was reported that the private jet reached its slowest speed of the flight shortly before the crash and the NTSB is investigating whether this affected the plane’s performance. A review of the plane’s flight data recorder showed that an impending aerodynamic stall warning sounded approximately 20 seconds before the crash. But, also according to the flight data, the throttle was applied and the engines responded, NBC News reported.

The family

TGI Friday’s Mistletoe Carrying Drone Causes Injury In Brooklyn Restaurant

Drones can be dangerous. They can cause serious injuries and even death.

A photographer was hit in the face by a mistletoe-carrying drone at a TGI Friday’s restaurant in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.   It severed the tip of her nose.

“It literally chipped off a tip of my nose,” Georgine Benvenuto told Courier’s Life Brooklyn Daily (12.9.14). “It took off part of my nose and cut me here, right under my chin.”

The drone was part of the restaurant chain’s “Mobile Mistletoe” holiday promotion. To attract customers and publicity, two remote-controlled helicopters dangled sprigs of mistletoe while hovering around the restaurant. They flew over couples to prompt them to kiss, while recording the response of the patrons with an on-board camera.

According to the Courier’s Life Brooklyn Daily, drone operator David Quiones had encouraged the Courier’s reporter to let him land one of the two aircraft on her hand, but she allegedly flinched when the 10-inch drone touched down. The four-bladed flying machine then veered out of control and hit the face of Benvenuto, the Courier’s photographer. Quiones blamed the woman for her injury.

No injuries were reported at similar TJI Friday’s Mobile Mistletoe events in Long Island and Texas. The drone which hit the woman was the smaller of the two aircraft being flown in the restaurant. The other was a larger, 23-inch drone sporting six uncovered propellers.

Quiones was quoted as saying: “If people get hurt, they’re going to come regardless. People get hurt in airplanes, they still fly…There is a risk involved — anything flying, there is risk.”

For the restaurant chain, there is a serious risk of a lawsuit. Both aircraft models the drone operator flew were dangerous. Putting a flying drone in a busy dining room is not putting safety first.

In September 2013, a 19-year-old toy-helicopter enthusiast was killed in Brooklyn when his remote-control aircraft fell from the sky and its rotor blades slashed his

Car Accident Injured Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered two fractures in his lower back after a two-car crash near the team’s stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, reported ESPN (12.10.14). He was found not to be at fault for the accident.

According to ESPN, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the football player “was traveling at the posted speed of 35 mph when the other driver pulled out in front of him.”

Newton was taken to the hospital for overnight testing and observation. He was then released the next day. The other driver was also taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

ESPN reported that it was “unclear” when Newton would play again.

In almost all car accidents, it’s important to prove who was liable or responsible for the accident. Responsibility is determined by who was negligent or made the mistake. Determining who is at fault in a car accident is essential to deciding who will pay for any damage incurred. In general, the driver responsible for the accident has to pay for the damages.

In some accidents, it may be obvious who was at fault. In other cases, the evidence is not so straightforward. For example, one driver may pull out in front of another car just before the driver of that car reached that spot. The cars then collide.   If the damage is on the driver’s side of the car that pulled out and on the front of the car that hit it, the evidence may not be clear cut. The accident could most certainly have been caused by the car that pulled out in front of the other car. Perhaps the car that hit the car pulling out was going fast and was not able to stop in time and so crashed into the other car. But the evidence also supports the theory that the other car pulled out, was waiting for traffic going the other way to clear, and

How To Decorate Safely For The Holidays

The holidays are here! This time of the year is one for celebration and decorating can be fun. However, taking a few small precautions can make the joyous holiday season more likely to stay joyous. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated there were 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating seen in emergency departments around the U.S. during November and December 2012.

Tree Safety Tips

Christmas trees both live and artificial should be kept least three feet away from fireplaces, heating vents and radiators. The water levels of live Christmas trees in a home or office should be checked every day. Make sure the tree is kept in a base that can hold adequate water. A hydrated tree is less likely to ignite in case of a fire. Gently tug one of the branches on the tree to test for breaking needles. If the needles are hard to pull from the tree, this is an indication that the tree has enough moisture. Artificial trees should have the label “Fire Resistant.”

Place breakable or toxic ornaments high on the tree to help kept pets and children safe. Never hang electric lights on a metallic tree because the tree can be charged with electricity and cause electrocution or a fire.

Ladder safety

Putting up Christmas lights can be made safer by following the correct ladder safety procedures. Every year many people are injured while hanging Christmas lights. Most commonly, the injuries are caused by falls. According to the CPSC, the most frequently reported holiday decorating incidents in 2012 seen in emergency departments involved falls (34 percent). The injuries are usually relatively minor such as broken bones and cuts. However, people have suffered serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, as a result of a fall. Make sure the ladder is in good condition and can hold the weight. Also make sure it is placed on level ground.

Light Safety

Make sure outdoor

Olympics-IOC Introduces Tougher Anti-Discrimination Clause

In a unanimous vote, the International Olympic Committee amended the Olympic Charter to include sexual orientation in its non-discrimination language in Principal 6. This change was partially in response to the Sochi games, which stirred up worldwide controversy due to Russia’s gay propaganda law, said Reuters (12.8.14). The law was passed before the 2014 Winter Olympics and made providing “homosexual propaganda” or “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” to individuals under 18 years of age a crime, punishable by a fine.

The Principle 6 clause of the Olympic Charter will now state that the Olympics should be free of discrimination “of any kind, such as race, color, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

By amending Principle 6, the IOC specifically added sex and sexual orientation to its Olympic Charter. The language also will be included in the host city contract between the IOC and future Olympic Games hosts. The 2022 Winter Olympic host finalists are Beijing, China and Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Rights groups had also wanted the inclusion of the term gender identity in the amendment but the IOC did not add it.  ‘Gender identity” would have protected trans-gender athletes, spectators and others.

The campaign to have Principle 6 added to the Olympic Charter was launched in January2014. The Principle Six campaign was put together by All Out, a social media organizing advocacy group with close to 2 million members around the world, and Athlete Ally an organization working to end homophobia and transphobia in sports. Over 50 athletes also joined the campaign to strengthen the Olympic principle of non-discrimination. These athletes, who represented many countries and sports, included Andy Roddick, US, Tennis; Seth Wescott, US, Snowboarding; Lori Lindsey, US, Soccer; Mike Janyk, Canada, Skiing; Joerg Fiedler, Germany, Fencing; and Heath Spence, Australia, Bobsled.

Discrimination has no place in the Olympics. Moreover, all sports and sporting events should take steps

David Perecman Urges NYPD To Help Rebuild Trust Between Police, Community

Protests broke out in in New York City and across the country as protesters stood in solidarity against certain police tactics as a growing number of unarmed black men have been killed by police officers.

The demonstrations followed the recent controversial grand jury decisions in New York and Ferguson, Missouri.  In New York, a grand jury decision acquitted a white police officer of any wrongdoing in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black Staten Island resident, on July 17.  A Missouri grand jury chose not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown. The protesters were also out honoring Akai Gurley who was shot and killed by a New York City police officer on November 20 in a Brooklyn public housing project stairwell, reported NBC News (12.7.14).

“Nobody is above the law, including police officers.  Communities are now standing up and putting a focus on police brutality and other problems,” said Attorney at Law David Perecman. “When police are not fair to everyone, it is a problem that impacts us all.”

Among the cities people marched in were Berkley, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Miami, Florida; and Chicago, Illinois.

“People are frustrated and angry.  The Justice system needs to be fixed.  In our city, the New York Police Department needs to rebuild trust in law enforcement, especially in the minority communities.  This takes training, education and positive public interaction. We welcome the use of body cameras and other new technology to help mend relations.”

According to the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board, 2739 complaints against the NYPD were received between January and June of 2104.   Of these complaints, 58% alleged abuse of authority and 53% alleged excessive use of force. Street encounters, or stop-and-frisk interactions, were the most common form of circumstances in which complaints were filed.   The complaints were filed directly to the CCRB either in person, by phone, by mail

Three Killed, Eight Injured In Three Car Accident Involving Black Bear

Good people, including policemen, firemen and private individuals, are hurt and killed every year while trying to help others in need.

Three people died and eight others were injured after a car hit a 300-pound black bear in Florida.  The collision with the animal caused a “rare” three vehicle chain reaction, reported CNN News (12.8.14).  Those who were killed were all trying to help a woman after her SUV hit the bear in a “dark, remote road” at Big Cypress Seminole Reservation in the Everglades.

The group of three people in a separate car pulled over to help the stranded woman.  When they got out of their vehicle, a third car hit the disabled SUV.  The car then hit and killed the three helpers.

There were a total of 13 passengers in the three vehicles.  Only two people escaped without any injuries, including the woman in the SUV. The bear died when it was hit. According to CNN News, black bears are not typically involved in traffic accidents.

Unfortunately, the chances are often quite high that a Good Samaritan may be hit by a passing car or burned in a vehicular fire while attempting to help victims following an accident. However, many more people would die as a result of auto accidents in New York without these brave people.

The safest place for people to remain after an accident while waiting for help to arrive, in most cases, is inside the car with a seatbelt on.  Generally, it is not recommended that the car occupants get out of a vehicle unless they are in danger. Getting out of a vehicle stopped on a roadway increases the chance a person will be injured. This also applies to those stopping to offer help.

Safety experts often suggest that those who want to offer assistance call 911 for help unless there is an immediate danger to any people in the vehicle.  People who

Fuel Tanker Explodes on New Jersey Highway, Kills One

A multi-vehicle crash resulted in a fuel truck bursting into a fireball on New Jersey State Interstate 78. At least one person died in the accident, reported the New York Daily News (12.6.14).

The crash involved a tanker, a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle. At least 9,000 gallons of fuel spilled onto the highway, which was closed in both directions for several hours, reported the New York Daily News (12.6.14).

After a preliminary investigation of the crash, authorities believe that the driver transporting a fuel tanker may have crossed an eastbound lane, crashed and caught fire, reported the New York Daily News.

None of the three drivers of the vehicles involved in the crash have been identified yet.

Tanker trucks are just one of the many different types of commercial trucks on the roads. Like other large trucks, tanker trucks typically carry very heavy loads, which can increase the overall weight of the trucks considerably. A truck that is carrying a heavy load needs more space and time for braking than other vehicles. Drivers may also have been driving for several hours.

Although all large trucks are dangerous to the occupants of other vehicles, when an accident happens, tanker trucks may be more dangerous. Highly flammable liquids like fuel or industrial chemicals can become extremely hazardous if the truck carrying them is involved in an accident. A fire or explosion can cause debris to shoot out and hit other vehicles and people, resulting in injuries. Injuries caused by hazardous materials may include chemical burns and fume inhalation.

According to the latest numbers available from the Department of Transportation, 333,000 large trucks across the U.S. were involved in traffic accidents in 2012. Of that number, 3802 of the trucks were involved in fatal crashes. There were 3921 people killed and 104,000 people injured in the crashes. Most of the people who died (72 percent) were occupants of vehicles other than

NYPD Begins Test of Body Cameras

Body cameras will soon be worn by New York City police officers.  The NYPD is launching a body camera pilot program in which select officers will go about their daily tasks while wearing the cameras on their chests.  According to the New York Post (12.3.14), nine officers in each of three commands will be camera-equipped by this weekend.

The three precincts are the 40th Precinct in the Bronx, Police Service Area 2, a Housing Bureau post that covers East New York and Brownsville, and the 120th Precinct on Staten Island.  The 120th Precinct is where Eric Garner died from a police chokehold while being arrested. Three other precincts will start testing next week.  The pilot program will run for three months.

The six precincts chosen for the camera test all had the highest rates of police stop-and-frisks of civilians. Fifty-four officers volunteered to test the devices.

The technology is a step towards improving police accountability and helping ease tensions between city residents and the police.  Based on reports from cities where police use cameras, the cameras will likely make NYPD officers more conscious of their behavior and dissuade people from filing false complaints.  Cameras are already in use in other cities across the U.S.

Police are allowed to use their cameras in seven situations, which include “all reasonable suspicion stops, law enforcement encounters, vehicle stops, arrests, any encounters that escalate and vertical patrols,” reported the New York Post.

In August 2013, a US federal judge ruled that the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk tactics violated the constitutional rights of minorities.  Among the remedies ordered was the use of body cameras in the precincts that had the highest number of stop-and-frisks.

Two cameras are being tested by the NYPD.  One camera is Vievu’s LE3.  It weighs approximately three ounces. The other camera being tested is from Taser International. The cameras record video and audio. The data will be kept in a central storage cloud