Articles Posted in Negligent Supervision

Beacon High Principal said she “made a mistake” by overlooking safety procedures that led to the unfortunate disfigurement of a student when a chemistry experiment went awry in 2014. According to The New York Daily News, a chemistry teacher at the prestigious Manhattan school created a fireball in the classroom in a “rainbow experiment.” According to the newspaper, this chemistry experiment involves “pouring a one-gallon jug of methanol directly onto hot Petri dishes… producing multi-colored flames.”

Unfortunately, the experiment went awry and Alonzo Yanes was horrifically burned. Medical reports show that the high schooler spent months in the hospital recovering and required skin grafts on more than 30 percent of his body. Testifying before the court in Manhattan, Yanes said he lives with excruciating pain and a permanently disfigured body. According to the teacher, she performed the experiment correctly although safety experts testified that pouring the methanol from a beaker instead of directly from a jug could have prevented the disaster.

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Sprain Brook Manor Rehab in Scarsdale, New York received 40 citations for violations of public health laws between October 2015 and September 2019, according to the New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 4, 2019. The citations resulted from eight inspections by the Department of Health, the public entity tasked with overseeing health and safety standards in nursing home facilities; the statewide average is 32 citations. The violations described by the Department’s citations include the following:

1. The nursing home did not ensure the competency of its nursing staff. Section 483.35 of the Federal Code requires nursing home facilities to employ “sufficient nursing staff with the appropriate competencies and skills sets” to care for residents. A May 2019 citation found that Sprain Brook Rehab did not ensure that its Certified Nursing Assistants “demonstrated competency to provide safe care and respond to individual needs” for one of three residents reviewed. An inspector specifically found that the resident, who was unable to stand and needed assistance to transfer with the aid of a mechanical device, was transferred by nursing assistants when that device was not functioning, but that the assistants did not inform the nurse or seek “guidance for how to safely transfer the resident.” The inspector noted that the resident described feeling pain when she was being transferred.

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Between 2015 and 2019, Briarcliff Manor Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care received 48 citations for violations of public health laws, according to the New York Department of Health on November 2, 2019. The Briarcliff Manor, New York nursing home received these citations after four inspections during that period, in addition to the two fines it received between 2010 and 2016. Briarcliff Manor’s 48 citations are 16 more than the statewide average of 32. The violations described by state surveyors include the following:

1. The nursing home did not develop and implement comprehensive care plans. Section 483.21 of the Federal Code requires nursing home facilities to “develop and implement a comprehensive person-centered care plan for each resident” in accordance with residents’ rights. A March 2019 citation found that Briarcliff Manor did not develop and implement care plans adequate to address one resident’s bladder and bowel incontinence, and one resident’s non-pressure skin conditions. An inspector found that there was no documented evidence of an adequately designed care plan for the resident with incontinence, and that a nurse manager interviewed during an inspection said she did not know why a care plan was not in place. Similarly, the Department of Health found no documented evidence of an adequately designed care plan for a resident’s surgical wound; although a nurse manager attested during an interview that she was responsible for the implementation of care plans, she could not identify the care plan for the surgical wound during a review of the individual’s chart.

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The Department of Buildings (DOB) is suing to revoke the license of a contractor allegedly responsible for the death of a construction worker earlier this year in Turtle Bay. According to The New York Daily News, Nelson Salinas was working on scaffolding halfway up a 14-story residential building when a coping stone was knocked loose by rigging used to support the scaffolding. The stone hit Salinas in the head and he was rushed to New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center where he died from the injuries

After a full investigation, the DOB says the fault lies with Wlodzimierz Tomczak and is now attempting to revoke his special rigger license over the incident. According to the DOB, Tomczak “did not take proper precautions” and could not produce “multiple inspection records… related to the scaffold setup.” 

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Workplace fatalities in New York rose 55 percent during 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. With 87 deaths during the year, the number of workplace fatalities has not been this high since 2008. The high number of deaths is especially surprising because the number of construction fatalities, the industry with the highest number of deaths each year, remained flat. Further, the high number of deaths follows a historically low number of deaths in the immediately preceding year. In 2016, only 56 workers died while performing their duties.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the high number of deaths was caused by two anomalies. First, the year saw an oddly high number of deaths caused by “falls, slips, and trips” outside of the construction industry. In total, 31 people died during the year compared to 13 in 2016. Second, seven finance workers, an industry not known for its hazardous job conditions, died during the year. No finance workers died while working in the immediately preceding five years. In another historical anomaly, workers dying from “unintentional overdoses” almost doubled from 10 to 18. With more Americans addicted to dangerous opiates, economic analysts expect this number to continue to increase.

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Cindy Frey, the widow of late Eagle’s co-founder Glenn Frey, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Mt. Sinai hospital and physician Steven Itzkowitz. The lawsuit alleges the hospital and doctor were negligent in failing to properly diagnose and treat the health conditions that led to his untimely death in January 2016. Frey died at the age of 67 from complications resulting from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia, according to The Rolling Stone.

glen-frey-wrongful-death-300x158According to the lawsuit, Glenn Frey was under the care of the Upper East Side hospital and Dr. Itzkowitz between October 2015 and November 2015. The lawsuit alleges that a competent doctor, acting in similar circumstances, would have diagnosed and promptly treated the Eagles co-founder’s “ulcerative colitis and associated symptoms.” Ulcerative colitis is a form of irritable bowel disease. Further, the lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court, the lowest court in the Empire State, a competent doctor would have assessed Frey’s respiratory problems – the ultimate cause of his death. Dr. Itzkowitz, according to the lawsuit, did not properly check for the problems, diagnose the infection, or hospitalize him. Continue reading

food-safety-272x300A new lawsuit has been filed against Bartaco, the Port Chester restaurant responsible for a Hepatitis A outbreak last October. The lawsuit marks the fourth against the popular Westchester restaurant, including one class action lawsuit. All lawsuits seek unspecified remuneration for damages relating to the negligence of the restaurant.

Last October, a Westchester couple began experiencing fatigue, fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea and poor appetite. A blood test confirmed the Yonkers couple had been exposed to Hepatitis A, a generally mild and short-lasting illness. After several other Westchester residents also tested positive for the illness, the Westchester County Department of Health pinpointed Bartaco as the cause. Stating at the time that “people have a right to expect that the food served to them at a restaurant is safe to eat” and noting that simple hand-washing is generally sufficient to prevent the spread of the illness, Westchester County began to notify the notify patrons of the popular restaurant.  Continue reading

opioid-300x172Westchester County joins a growing list of states and municipalities suing the manufacturers and distributors of highly-addictive opioid medications, according to The medication, once falsely marketed as a long-term solution for chronic pain, has ensnared communities across the nation as users became addicted and graduated to cheaper drugs, such as heroin, or more powerful – but legal – drugs, such as fentanyl. According to the New York State Department of Health, 143 Westchester and Rockland residents died of an opioid overdose in 2016 – an increase from 110 in just one year. Importantly, this estimate includes legal opioid-based drugs as well as illegal opioid drugs, such as heroin.

The Westchester lawsuit alleges that the makers of opioid-based medications, such as Percocet, Vicodin, and Oxycontin, intentionally misled the public about the dangers of the drugs, including the addictive potential. The makers and distributors of these drugs marketed the medication as a safe, long-term solution to chronic pain, with the knowledge that addiction and dependency were likely to follow for Americans prescribed these drugs. This reckless behavior is the center of Westchester County’s lawsuit against drug companies. Continue reading

Two New York City hospitals are being sued for the damages caused by the release of allegedly dangerous patients from their psychiatric wards. In the past month, two lawsuits have been filed against New York City hospitals alleging that the hospitals behaved in a negligent or careless manner when they released dangerous patients into the tri-state area. These patients then went on to physically attack the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

subway-push-victim-300x200The first case involves Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, where a Queens man is suing the hospital after one of its patients pushed her husband in front of a subway car last year. Tragically, the man’s wife died as a result of the fall. According to the lawsuit, Bellevue never should have released the patient, Melanie Liverpool-Turner. Liverpool-Turner, a diagnosed schizophrenic, was allegedly ranting about killing transit riders while on an involuntary psychiatric hold at the hospital, according to filings with a Manhattan Supreme Court. Continue reading

bronx-fire-300x198A month after one of New York’s deadliest fires in a quarter-century killed 13 people, the survivors and their families have sued the city. Eleven of the victims are seeking a combined $110 million from the Administration for Child Services Department (ACS) alleging that the mother of the child was known to the city’s welfare agency for her neglectful parenting, according to court documents. The victims allege that because the welfare agency knew of the mother’s subpar parenting skills, they should have taken steps to either remove the child from the mother or otherwise protect the residents of their building.

On December 27, 2017, a three-year-old child was playing with the fire that came off the stove-top burner when the deadly fire supposedly erupted.  According to the lawsuit, the child began playing with the knobs on the stove in the kitchen after his mother left him and his two-year-old sibling to watch TV while she took a shower. According to authorities, the mother said this was not the first time her son had played with the stove. Continue reading

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