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April 2011 Archives

Flags of Convenience for Shipowners

Interesting article in the NY Times about a method of ship registration called "flags of convenience," and how ship owners get away with criminal behavior. It talks about how this registry came about and what should be done. The NY Times article states:"Many state registries lack the capacity or will to monitor the safety and working conditions on ships, or to investigate accidents. Instead, ship safety certificates are given out by private classification societies. Owners are allowed to choose which society they want - and the worst predictably choose the least demanding. This self-policing has been compared to registering a car in Bali so you can drive it in Australia with faulty" 

A New York FELA Lawyer Looks at the FRA's First 2011 Safety Advisory

Earlier this month, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued an important safety advisory to railroad workers. It was the first advisory issued by the FRA this year. The advisory was put out to freight railroad operators and employees to remind them of the "hazards associated with switching operations." As a New York FELA lawyer, I am pleased to see the advisory issued and hope that railroad employers will review the important safety information with their employees.The Advisory was issued because two railroad employees were recently killed during switching operations. One of the fatalities occurred on September 2, 2010 in Bridgeport, New Jersey. The other occurred in Illinois during February 2011. Both fatalities occurred because of equipment that was inappropriately left on adjacent tracks. As a result, the FRA is advising that railroad employers review these fatal incidents with their employees and reinstruct employees about the importance of leaving rolling equipment clear from adjacent tracks.If you have been hurt in a New Jersey or New York railroad switching accident or any other type of railroad accident, then you may be entitled to damages. Please contact a New York FELA attorney at 1-800-362-9329 today for more information about your legal rights and your potential recovery.*Source: Federal Railroad Administration, FRA Issues Safety Advisory to Railroad Workers, FRA 05-11, April 6.2011 

New York City District Council of Carpenter union

New York City District Council of Carpenter union members held a rally at union headquarters on Hudson Street in Manhattan on April 12, 2011 demanding that corruption within the unions' leadership be ended, and seeking clarification, and opposition, to changes to proposed wage rates and mobility rules. New York City District Council of Carpenters Supervisor Frank Spencer, who was installed by the federal court through the U.S. Attorney's office, which has investigated and prosecuted corruption in the union for decades, stated that the District Council is reforming itself. Spencer, in a prepared statement, said "The leadership of the District Council has offered a strong proposal to amend its bylaws that expand democracy within the New York City operation and provide further financial transparency. We are working with the Review Officer and the U.S. Attorney's office to develop these bylaws and to ensure our membership has the opportunity to provide more into the operations of their union...I want to ensure our members that their concerns and opinions are being heard and that pertains to changes going forward in the out of work list as well." Spencer was appointed by the U.S. Attorney as Supervisor in August 2009 following evidence of certain union leadership wrongdoings, including fraud, kickbacks, illegal drug use and credit card abuse. Spencer also serves as International Vice President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. 

New Yorkers, Do You Walk Quickly? Learn Why Your New York Slip and Fall Lawyer Wants to Know

Nobody wants to be hurt in a New York slip and fall accident. While the physical pain, emotional trauma and financial loss may be recoverable in a lawsuit, it would be much simpler to avoid the whole thing. A recent study conducted by biomechanics researchers at Clemson University and the College of Charleston have concluded that the best way to stay safe on a slippery surface may not be what we think. Specifically, the researchers have concluded that walking across a slippery surface quickly and with a firm footed stance may be safer than walking slowly or timidly across the same surface. As a New York slip and fall lawyer who has seen the significant injuries suffered by many of my clients, I want you to be able to avoid a similar fate. However, I know that no matter how you walk, slippery surfaces are dangerous and may lead to significant injuries.If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident, New York law may allow you to recover damages. Please contact an experienced New York slip and fall attorney at Hofmann & Schweitzer. We can be reached at 1-800-362-9329 and we look forwarding to discussing rights and your potential recovery with you.*Source: Clemson University Newsroom, Media Relations, Don't shuffle on slippery surfaces, Clemson University, Charleston researchers say, March 24, 2011 

A New York FELA Attorney Explains Why Your Railroad Employer May Be at Fault

Railroad employers would have you believe that every collision between a train and another vehicle happened because of the other vehicle. They want to blame the driver of the car or truck that collided with the train at the railroad crossing, but are they always right?As a New York FELA attorney, I can tell you they are not always right. Sometimes train and car or truck crashes that injure railroad employees are the fault of the railroad employer. For example, a railroad employer may be at fault if the railroad was negligent in designing or maintaining safe railroad crossings. A car or truck may not be able to safely get across a railroad crossing because of:

What Your New York FELA Lawyer Wants You to Know About Railroad Accident Witnesses

When you've been hurt in a railroad work accident, then you have a lot to think about. You know that your employer isn't going to be excited to compensate you for your injuries and you know that you might have a battle on your hands. You are likely counting on your coworkers or colleagues who witnessed the accident to step up and provide evidence as to what they saw happen. However, your colleagues may be hesitant to do so because they fear retaliation.As a New York FELA lawyer, I want to tell railroad employees that you have nothing to fear. FELA specifically protects witnesses from retaliation.FELA prohibits a railroad employer from threatening or retaliating against anyone, including an employee, who provides information or testimony about an accident that was witnessed. An employer who is found to have threatened or retaliated against a witness may face a fine, imprisonment, or both consequences.If you have suffered an injury while working on the railroad, then it is important to know that you are not alone. Your coworkers who witnessed the accident and your New York FELA attorney will stand by you and fight for your just recovery. For more information, please contact a New York railroad lawyer at 1-800-362-9329. 

New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyer Warns About Danger of Asphalt Fumes

Every spring and summer brings business for New Jersey construction workers who are called upon to fix roof damage or repair potholes. Business may be even better for construction workers as the cruel winter of 2010 - 2011 finally departs. However, as the busy season begins, it is important for roofers and construction workers to know how to stay safe from the dangers of asphalt fumes.Potential Problems from Asphalt Fumes

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)*, some of the problems associated with asphalt fumes include:

3 Things Not to Do After a New York Slip and Fall

Often, a New York slip and fall attorney will provide you with a list of things to do after a fall injury to protect your legal rights to a potential recovery. That is an important list and one that we also provide our clients. However, it is equally as important to learn what you should not do after a slip and fall. Specifically, it is important that you:

3 Ways Your New York Railroad Employer Could Have Prevented Your Burn Injury

Railroad burn injuries, as with many other types of train injuries, may be prevented by railroad employers in some circumstances. While not every burn injury is foreseeable, railroad employers may be able to reduce the likelihood of railroad burn injuries by:

What Your New York Maritime Lawyer Wants You to Do to Stay Safe During a Fire

Knowing what to do when a fire occurs on your vessel may mean the difference between life and death. Sometimes, you only have seconds to act before your only choice is between the hot and deadly flames or the cold and equally deadly sea. Knowing what to do can allow you to make quick decisions that may save your life and the lives of your crewmates.As a New York maritime lawyer, I recommend that:

3 Things Your New York Railroad Lawyer Knows and Wants to Share With You

You've probably never been in this situation before. Typically, when our clients call us it is the first time they have ever been hurt while working for a New York railroad. You, understandably, have a lot of questions and don't know what to expect. That's where our experienced New York railroad attorneys can help.As an injured railroad worker, you may not know that:

Are Platform Doors Coming to the New York City Subway?

Train and subway doors serve a very important safety purpose. They prevent passengers and workers from falling out of the train and getting hit by a train. Could doors on the subway platforms perform a similar function? Could they prevent people from falling on to the subway tracks?The MTA is considering installing more mechanical doors on subway platforms to prevent people from falling or being pushed onto the tracks. Similar doors are already used in some locations. AirTrain platforms already use the technology as do train stations in other cities such as Paris, Tokyo and London.As a New York FELA attorney, I am concerned about the number of people hit on train and subway tracks each year, and I am interested in this proposed solution by the MTA. However, before the MTA implements any new safety features, it is important that they do not create other unintended problems. For example, what happens if someone is standing in the doorway while the doors close and the train pulls away? What happens if someone is pushed into the doors?While the MTA considers new solutions to the problem, it is likely that more people will be hurt or killed when they fall onto the tracks. If you have been hurt, or if a loved one has been killed, please contact a New York railroad lawyer at 1-800-362-9329 for more information about your rights. 

What Young Workers Need to Know Before Taking a New York Construction Job

The construction industry offers a lot of potential rewards, but there are also certain risks that young workers, and their parents, must be aware of before they decide to work in construction. As a New York construction accident lawyer, I've seen young workers hurt by transportation accidents, equipment accidents and falls. Their lives have been changed because of someone else's negligence.If you or your child are considering working in construction this summer, then I encourage you to thoroughly investigate your potential employer's safety history and the safety precautions that the employer has in place. For example, you want to make sure that you will be provided with the necessary safety equipment and that you will be trained on how to perform your job safely and use the necessary equipment.Even if you are properly trained and provided the necessary safety gear, you may still suffer an on-the-job injury. If you are hurt in a New York construction accident, then it is important to contact aNew York construction accident attorney as soon as possible after your injury so that your lawyer can get to work protecting your rights and potential recovery.Call a New York injury lawyer today at 1-800-362-9329 for more information. 

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