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New York City Labor Law And Civil Litigation Blog

Can your older car learn new safety tricks?

Yes, your older car can have some of the latest and greatest safety technology, provided you're willing to spend the time and money. Today's cars have some truly amazing tech that can save lives -- but only as long as it is installed in your vehicle.

In fact, some of these technologies are so helpful that the National Transportation Safety Board wants to see items like backup cameras, blind spot detection, emergency assistance calls, lane departure warnings, and forward collision avoidance systems to be standard on all cars, not just high-end vehicles. It's happening, too. As of now, all 2018 vehicles sold in the United States will have standard backup cameras, and most new vehicles will have automatic braking systems by 2022.

What are the most important safety features to consider adding? Only $500 worth

Are changes coming to New York's wrongful conviction recovery statute?

Earlier this week, we told you about Section 8-b of the New York Court of Claims Act, which is the provision that permits those who have been wrongfully convicted, imprisoned and subsequently exonerated to file a claim against the state for damages.

For many exonerees, this provision provides the means necessary to move on with their lives. However, several lawmakers are now proposing changes to this particular law -- changes that may actually benefit victims of wrongful convictions.

Are victims of wrongful convictions entitled to damages?

According to the Innocence Project, 32 states already have laws on the books that permit victims of wrongful convictions to seek compensation for any damages sustained due to their wrongful imprisonment.

While these laws can vary from state to state, New York's wrongful conviction recovery statute -- otherwise known as Section 8-b of the New York Court of Claims Act -- provides important legal recourse for victims of the state's criminal justice system.

Lab scandal likely to void 20,000 wrongful convictions

The admitted evidence tampering and forgery by a single Massachusetts lab worker has led to the likely dismissal of more than 20,000 wrongful drug convictions, which is possibly the largest mass-dismissal of criminal convictions in U.S. history.

In fact, according to a New York Times report, an attorney with the ACLU of Massachusetts, Carl Williams, stated, "We're all overjoyed today at having what is, we think, the largest dismissal of criminal cases as a result of one case in the history of the United States of America."

New coalition campaigns for approval of NYC safety law

Almost every week, it seems, New York City tragically loses another construction worker in what could have been a preventable accident. At the time of this blog, there have been a total of 33 construction worker deaths in NYC in the past two years. Increasing safety standards and training improvements seem to be key to avoiding even more fatal accidents in the future.

The growing epidemic has grabbed the attention of lawmakers in the form of proposed safety and training legislature. And a coalition of New York City construction unions increased their lobbying efforts recently to garner enough support from council members to sponsor the bill.

Yet another NYC construction worker suffers a deadly fall

Last Wednesday, a New York City construction worker sadly died from injuries sustained in an on-the-job fall -- making it the most recent in a long string of worker fatalities over the last few years.

One of the most tragic aspects of this particular construction worker death is that it could easily have been prevented, at least according to city officials. In fact, in a recent New York Daily News report, Rick Chandler, the city Buildings Commissioner was quoted as saying, "We think it was completely preventable."

3 reasons to see a PI attorney before seeking workers' comp

Suffering a serious on-the-job construction injury can be devastating, often resulting in the loss of a paycheck, not to mention extensive medical treatment. If you are strapped for cash, you may be tempted to simply seek as much money as you can through a workers' comp settlement.

However, before you talk to a workers' compensation attorney about seeking workers' comp benefits, you should always talk to an experienced catastrophic personal injury attorney. After all, you may be leaving money of the table if you think workers' compensation is your only option.

Construction workers can speak up about unsafe working conditions

As we've mentioned often in this blog, construction accident fatalities have become an epidemic in New York City and throughout the state. It seems every week there is at least one tragic construction worker death - that could have been prevented with proper safety precautions in place.

In many ways, New York contractors, as well public officials and lawmakers, have failed at keeping workers safe on the job site. Measures to improve construction worker safety, such as improvements to the Scaffolding Law and introduction of the Construction Safety Act, are a good start, but won't work alone. Construction companies need to comply with new laws - and workers need to report on them when they don't.

Does video-recording interrogations help prevent wrongful convictions?

Given that some police interrogations have led to false confessions and wrongful convictions in the past, it probably comes as no surprise that several New York lawmakers are now attempting to make the interrogation process more transparent by requiring law enforcement officers to video-record all custodial interrogations involving major offenses.

Currently, New York State has no law requiring law enforcement officers to create videos of interrogations. In fact, while many confessions are recorded, the interrogations before them often are not -- meaning jurors may never know what happened in the interrogation room leading up to the confessions.

Fall-arrest systems can put workers at risk for suspension trauma

For construction workers, fall-arrest systems are vital for workplace safety. These harnesses are designed to save workers' lives during falls - and they do just that on countless occasions.

But the risk of severe injury or death doesn't end there. In some cases, workers can develop orthostatic intolerance, commonly known as suspension trauma. This condition can quickly develop if a worker is suspended too long in the safety harness before being rescued. In these situations, it is important to act quickly and follow established rescue procedures.

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