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Brooklyn Commuter Train Crash – More Than 100 Injured

Another commuter train accident has occurred in the New York City metropolitan area. According to officials, around 8:30 am EST, a Long Island Rail Road train derailed at the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. Early reports indicate that at least 103 people were hurt, although the most serious injury thus far reported is a broken leg.

Officials from the New York Fire Department, who responded to the crash, said that one of the rails on which the train was traveling actually broke through the bottom of the train. State officials say the train was traveling at a fairly low rate of speed and simply failed to stop at the terminal. At least one witness, however, told reporters that the train was going at a higher than normal rate of speed just before the crash.

There were believed to be about 600 people on board when the accident occurred. Passengers told officials they heard the sound of the train hitting the bumping block and were immediately thrown to the ground and on top of each other.

At this point, officials have no information on what caused the accident. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Railroad Administration have initiated an investigation.

The crash comes just three months after the deadly collision in the Hoboken Terminal in New Jersey, where a bystander was killed and a significant part of the terminal demolished. State and federal officials say this accident was far less serious than the September crash in Hoboken.

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To set up an appointment with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll free at
888-519-6400. Your first consultation is free of charge.

Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Farewell Meeting with Members of New York City Council and Congress

On 12/29/16, Korean American Association of Greater New York, held a Farewell Ceremony for Secretary General of the United Nations Mr. Ban Ki-Moon. His term ends 12/31/16.

As the Chairman of the Board of Korean American Association of Greater New York, I had the honor of presiding over the ceremony.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attends Farewell Meeting with Members of New York City Council and Congress

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attends Farewell Meeting with Members of New York City Council and Congress

SG Farewell Meeting with Members of New York City Council and Congress

SG Farewell Meeting with Members of New York City Council and Congress

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attends Farewell Meeting with Members of New York City Council and Congress

Can You Seek Compensation for a Sports Injury?

Sports Injury

Injuries are a part of sports, from the professional level to the weekend warrior. For the pros, though, it’s a job and injuries are part of the risk assumed. But what about an injury you suffer in a pick-up basketball game or a sandlot football contest? You may have insurance to address the medical expenses, but what about lost wages and income, or physical pain and suffering.

Was the Injury Truly an Accident?

One of the critical components in determining whether you can seek damages from another party has to do with whether or not there was negligent or willful behavior that led to the injury. With sports, even at the amateur level, there is always some assumption of risk. You know, when you play full-contact football, that there’s a risk that impact will cause injury. You know, when you play softball or baseball, that there’s a possibility that you will be hit by a flying ball. Those situations that are simply by-products of the game, that no “reasonable” amount of care could prevent, will not likely be compensable.

But there are circumstances where your injury could have been prevented through the exercise of reasonable care. The manufacturer of a baseball bat may use substandard lumber, making the bat more susceptible to breaking or splintering. The parties responsible for maintaining an athletic field or facility, such as a basketball court, may be negligent if they fail to reasonable maintain the field/court and you suffer an injury as a result.

Furthermore, where a participant in amateur sports acts willfully in ways that would not be reasonably considered a part of the game, there can be liability. For example, if someone tackles you in a game of touch football, or a pitcher in a sandlot baseball game intentionally throws a ball at you, you may be able to recover for any injuries you suffered.

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To set up an appointment with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll free at 888-519-6400. Your first consultation is free of charge.

Seasons Greetings and Wishing A Very Happy New Year!

Sackstein-law

Producer Seriously Injured in “PunkinChunkin” Explosion

Explosion

A television producer sustained life-threatening injuries when an air cannon used to project a pumpkin through the air exploded, striking her in the head with a metal plate. Susan Dakessian, 39, was in Delaware on November 6, covering the 2016 World Championship PunkinChunkin for the Science Channel. The event typically includes catapults, trebuchets, slingshots and air cannons designed to hurl pumpkins through the air.

According to witnesses, Dakessianand another person were standing in a restricted area near the firing line when the air cannon blew apart. Dakessian says she saw a metal plate coming toward her and ran. When she looked to see where the debris might land, the plate hit her in the head.

Organizers say it’s the worst accident in the 30-year history of the event. In 2011, a volunteer was seriously injured and filed a lawsuit, causing the event to be canceled for two years while organizers worked out new safety regulations. This year’s competition, the first since 2013, banned alcohol on the firing line and required that all machines be inspected prior to use. Officials say that Dakessian was wearing a hard hat at the time of the explosion, but the force and weight of the plate rendered that pretty useless.

Dakessian was taken to a local hospital, where she had a part of her skull removed to accommodate brain swelling. Doctors say she will likely need months of rehabilitation. Dakessian had no opinion on whether or not PunkinChunkin should be permanently canceled. She was, however, disappointed that the Science Channel chose not to air the special on the event. According to industry watchers, the annual show was one of the most watched of the year.

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To set up an appointment with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll free at 888-519-6400. Your first consultation is free of charge.

Happy Thanksgiving from Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee

Sackstein law Thanksgiving card

Amtrak Settles Fatal Philly Crash for $256 Million

A year after a speeding Amtrak train derailed on a curve in Philadelphia, killing 8 and injuring more than 200 others, the company has established a fund designed to settle all claims against the carrier. The company had already accepted responsibility for the May, 2015 crash. To participate in the settlement, a plaintiff must opt in by November 21. The company expects that all payments will be made by June, 2017.

Federal investigators determined that engineer Brandon Bostian was distracted at the time of the derailment, having heard that another train had been hit by a rock. Evidence indicated that Bostian lost track of where he was and accelerated to approximately 105 miles per hour, more than twice the speed limit of the curve where the train left the tracks. Well-known chef Eli Kulp was paralyzed in the accident and a Naval Academy cadet and a college dean were killed in the crash.

The train had just left the terminal in Philadelphia on its way to New York when the accident occurred. In the days following the crash, Amtrak installed an automatic speed control on the curve. The company has now integrated that technology into nearly the entire 450 mile Northeast Corridor.

Before the Philadelphia crash, the statutory limit on payouts for a single crash was $200 million. However, after hearing testimony about the number of deaths and injuries caused in the Philly crash, Congress increased that amount to $295 million. Attorneys for plaintiffs had argued that the prior cap would not sufficiently cover the losses of all plaintiffs.

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To set up an appointment with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll free at 888-519-6400. Your first consultation is free of charge.

How A Drunk Driving Accident Can Be Different

Damaged car during dangerous accident.

According to statistics, more than half of all highway motor vehicle accident fatalities involve drunk drivers and nearly two thirds of all single fatal car accidents are tied to alcohol abuse. But a motor vehicle accident is a motor vehicle accident, right? It doesn’t matter if the driver was drunk—you still need to take the same steps to recover compensation for your losses, don’t you? Not necessarily! Here are some ways in which a crash involving a drunk driver may be different.

You May Be Able to Sue the Driver Directly

If the state is a no-fault insurance state, like New York, you typically have to look first to your own insurance provider and cannot sue the driver directly unless there are extenuating circumstances. In New York, that means that your injuries must pass a threshold defining “serious injury.” The reality, though, is that the vast majority of alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents result in serious injury or even death.

The Criminal Process Can Help in Your Lawsuit for Damages

Because drunk driving is also a criminal violation, law enforcement officers will fully investigate the facts and circumstances of the accident. Blood alcohol tests can help you establish negligence in a personal injury action, even though a conviction or plea for drunk driving does not automatically mean the person will be found liable for damages.

Some States Allow for Punitive Damages

If you can show that the drunk driver’s actions demonstrated a disregard for the safety of others, you may be able to obtain punitive damages in addition to compensation for actual losses. Drunk driving is typically thought to be reckless and egregious and often brings an award for punitive damages.

You May Be Able to Sue Other Parties

In New York, as in other states, there are dram shop and social host liability laws that make persons who serve alcohol responsible for injuries caused by those served. If a bar, restaurant or tavern employee served someone who was visibly intoxicated, or served them enough that a reasonable person would expect them to become intoxicated, the employee and the establishment can have some responsibility for the accident.

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To set up an appointment with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll free at 888-519-6400. Your first consultation is free of charge.

Happy Halloween

Sacksteinlaw

Contact Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP

To set up an appointment with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll free at 888-519-6400. Your first consultation is free of charge.

General Motors Settles Last Lawsuits Over Defective Switches

GM Hedquarters in Detroit

Two personal injury lawsuits filed against auto giant General Motors in federal court in New York have been settled, according to attorneys for the plaintiffs. GM says these are the last claims linked to a defective ignition switch that would cut off power to vehicles, often at high speeds on highways.

According to company officials, the safety defect has been tied to at least 124 deaths. GM initiated a recall of more than six million cars in 2014, and previously settled prospective claims, as well as legal action filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, for more than $2 billion, including a $900 million fine imposed as part of a criminal complaint against the company.

An independent investigation revealed that General Motors knew about the problem for more than 10 years, but failed to take any action whatsoever, even though the company’s own safety engineers had compiled evidence that the problem was real.

Testimony at a number of trials indicated that the faulty ignition switch was used in both the Chevy Cobalt and the Pontiac G5. Evidence showed that General Motors had internal meetings to discuss concerns about the switch as early as 2005. GM never actually disclosed knowledge of the defect to the public. Instead, the problem and the company’s knowledge of it came to light during discovery proceedings in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against GM. Attorneys in that case obtained testimony from GM engineers and found written evidence in documents produced by the company.

Contact Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP

At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP, we have more than 60 years of experience protecting the rights of personal injury victims, including people hurt in bicycle accidents. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us toll free at 888-519-6400.