Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

The Metropolitan Transit Authority, responsible for running New York City’s subways and buses, is attempting to dodge responsibility and pin a $30-million award on a homeless man.

In 2012, Naeem Davis, described as “homeless” and “a drifter” by the New York Post, pushed Ki Suck Han in front of a subway train. Arguing that he was only defending himself, Davis was acquitted by a jury just last year. Notably, Davis was too poor to afford an attorney for the murder charge.

bus-300x175Still looking for justice, Ki Suck Han’s family then went after the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The family filed a “wrongful death” lawsuit against the state agency. In short, the family argued that the train operator should have stopped earlier, before Davis had the opportunity to push Han in front of the Q train. According to the family’s attorney, “Just because someone is on the tracks, you can’t run them over and kill them and say it’s not our fault. Davis pushed him, Transit killed him.” Continue reading

According to a watchdog organization, New York has the 47th worst record in the United States when it comes to hospital safety. New York’s ranking has been in a slow decline – dropping a full seven spots in the last five years.

The watchdog group, Leapfrog, was founded by healthcare employers and unions wanting to provide more public information about patient experiences at hospitals. Among other factors, the group considers the rate of medical errors, injuries and infections, and patient satisfaction.

According to LoHud.com, the group is “widely considered among the toughest graders” and gave 15 hospitals an “F” rating this year. Most hospitals receiving a failing grade catered mostly to low-income, minority groups. Of the hospitals that Leapfrog failed, almost 90 percent were rated “average” by Medicare and Medicaid. Continue reading

Medical errors are gaining more attention as a whopping one-fifth of Americans admit to having personally experienced one. At the same time, Johns Hopkins University has released a new study that reports medical errors may be the third highest cause of death in America. With America’s healthcare industry continuing to reshape itself, healthcare advocates worry that unintentional harm caused to patients may not be receiving enough attention.

med-errorIn a survey of over 2,500 Americans by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement/National Patient Safety Foundation, most Americans reported generally positive experiences with the healthcare system. However, a full 21 percent reported that they had personally experienced a medical error. According to the survey, the most common errors were related to a person’s diagnosis and were most common in an outpatient care. Continue reading

A jury returned a verdict in favor of a Brooklyn mother in the amount of 26 million dollars after an understaffed hospital recklessly sent the pregnant woman home without proper monitoring.  Speaking to the New York Post, the mother, Danielle Madden Buck, described Maimonides Medical Center as a “baby mill” that brushed away her complaints ultimately leading to an early birth for her twins, Aleigha and Madelyn, weighing only l.5 pounds each.   Madelyn died a month after birth, Aleigha is still alive but is deaf and cannot speak, along with a host of other medical issues. The jury agreed with Buck that if it were not for Maimonides Medical Center’s negligence then at least some of the twins’ health problems could have been mitigated.

The events leading the lawsuit began on February 9, 2010 when Buck went to Maimonides Medical Center with cramping and spotting. Because the hospital was allegedly understaffed, only a medical resident (student still training to be a doctor) was available to see Buck. The resident promptly sent Buck home. When the cramping and bleeding became worse later in the day, Buck went back to Maimonides only to be sent home again.  Continue reading

Despite a litany of problems surrounding Dr. Ira Kirschenbaum’s tenure as Head of Orthopedic Surgery at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, the Hospital has refused to sanction the surgeon.

doctor-with-cashIn fact, Kirschenbaum had already settled three malpractice suits before he was even recruited by the Bronx-Lebanon to lead their Orthopedic Surgery department – two more were still pending at the time of his hiring. In New York, any doctor that settles three malpractice suits in a 10 year period receives a “note” on their Department of Health public profile. Dr. Kirschenbaum  has received such a note as well as a 1-million-dollar-a-year job at Bronx-Lebanon.  According to the New York Post, the President of Bronx-Lebanon, Miguel Fuentes, recruited him even over the objections of the chief of surgery. Continue reading

The practice of concurrent surgery, or “double-booking,” where a surgeon performs or presides over two patients during the same period of time, has become more popular in recent years. As the practice has become more common, scrutiny by regulators and patient advocates, as well as lawsuits by injured patients, have also increased. These opponents of the procedure say it is unsafe, unregulated, and done primarily to line the pockets of surgeons. Surgeons advocating the practice retort that “double-booking” is a safe and efficient procedure.

double-surgeryDouble-booking has been a common practice at teaching hospitals across the country, where senior attending surgeons delegate procedures to residents or fellows. The residents or fellows will perform one part of the surgery while the surgeon operates on another patient in a separate operating room. Because double-booking requires the surgeon to constantly shuffle between operating rooms, the practice is known as “running two rooms” in the medical community. Senior surgeons may also see patients, or otherwise leave the operating rooms altogether. Continue reading

Despite almost universal state laws discouraging the practice, Americans are still refusing to put down their phones while in the car. Cell phone usage, especially text messaging, and distracted driving continue to be contributing factors in car crashes. The need to stay in contact all the time is especially high among young twenty-somethings. In New York State, residents between the age of 21 and 29 make up only 15 percent of the state’s drivers, yet they are involved in 37 percent of crashes involving cell phone use and 24 percent of crashes involving distracted driving. Continue reading

While most states have laws banning “texting while driving,” states are increasingly strengthening enforcement and penalties for so-called “distracted driving.” In 2016, auto accidents and fatalities increased by 9 percent. As a consequence, in 2017, states have taken varying approaches to solve the problem of distracted driving – which often results in accidents.

The states of Iowa and Washington have enacted the strictest laws against “distracted driving” in the country. Now, a violation (texting or calling – without a hands-free device) will move from secondary enforcement to primary enforcement. This means that police officers will not have to witness a secondary violation (such as speeding, failure to signal, etc.) before pulling a car over and issuing an additional ticket for texting or calling while driving. Instead, if a police officer witnesses a driver texting or placing a phone call, they will have the right to pull that driver over immediately and issue a ticket.

Continue reading

Police Officer Jason Behar has the impressive distinction of issuing the most DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in the State of New York. The Port Chester Officer had issued 128 DUI arrests in the last year. Behar says that he is motivated to locate drunk or otherwise intoxicated drivers because of the “numerous accidents, some involving deaths.” The Port Chester Police Chief Richard Conway said, “We’re really proud of him, it was a great individual effort.”

When describing how Behar locates so many drivers under the influence, he states there are several “tip-offs” – driving with no lights on, hugging the line, and swerving back and forth. To avoid a DUI, Behar suggests to basically just “Don’t do it.” Adding that taking a cab, an Uber, or not drinking above the legal limit. Behar also has advice for sober drivers – “…. pull over the side of the road and stay away from erratic drivers. There’s an element of danger just being around a drunk driver.”

Continue reading

The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reports that the number of traffic deaths has increased by 6 percent in the last five years. Even more alarmingly, the number of pedestrian fatalities has increased by 25 percent over the same period of time. Pedestrian fatalities now account for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities – up from 11 percent in 2011. The State of New York currently ranks 25th in pedestrian fatalities. New York City, as the largest city in the country and most pedestrian-friendly, unsurprisingly has the most pedestrian fatalities. New York City had 131 pedestrian fatalities in 2015, the second-highest city for pedestrian fatalities was Los Angeles which had only 85 in the same year.

The GHSA Report states that the increase in pedestrian fatalities is most likely due to more people choosing to walk or bike. Spurred by the health, environmental and economic benefits – walking and biking have become more popular in recent years. According to the Government Accountability Office, almost one million more people are choosing to walk or bike to work compared to 2005.

Continue reading

Contact Information