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New York City Labor Law And Civil Litigation Blog

Man freed after 23 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit -- and gets $0

More than two decades ago, a Kansas man named Lamonte McIntyre was arrested, charged and wrongfully convicted of a 1994 double homicide -- a crime he did not commit. However, after the state of Kansas stole 23 years of his life, he was freed just last week following his exoneration.

So, can you guess just how much Kansas is required to pay a man who has wrongfully lost more than half of his life behind bars? The answer: absolutely nothing.

3 reasons why people confess to crimes they didn't commit

If you think only guilty people confess to crimes, you couldn't be more wrong. In fact, innocent individuals are often convicted after they provide police with false confessions.

Just how common are false confessions? A lot more common than many people know. For instance, according to the Innocence Project, more than 25 percent of wrongful conviction victims who were later exonerated by DNA evidence originally made a false confession to police.

These fire-related statistics are alarming

Whether they occur at home or work, few tragedies can impact your life as much as a serious fire -- especially when it results in serious burn-related injuries to you or a loved one.

While many people think it will never happen to them, the sad reality is that fires occur far more often than many people know, resulting in countless burn injuries and thousands of deaths every year in the United States. In fact, according to the most recent information provided by the U.S. Fire Administration -- a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) -- there were 3,362 fire deaths in 2015 alone.

City Council passes safety training bill for construction workers

The New York City Council has unanimously passed Intro 1447, a bill requiring most construction workers to take 40 hours of safety training. A major holdup had been the concern that many immigrant and low-income day laborers would be shut out of the construction trades by the requirement.

The new bill -- the third version -- added $5 million towards affordability and access. In addition, workers can remain employed until December 2018 or later as long as they complete at least 10 hours of the training by March 2018.

2 different construction workers fell to their deaths on Thursday

Two workers were killed and another was injured in separate fall accidents on the same day last week in Manhattan. The tragedies prompted a call by Queens Assemblyman Francisco Moya for the swift passage of a bill he is sponsoring, known as "Carlos' Law."

The first worker was killed in the morning while he was working on a residential high rise being built on Maiden Lane in the financial district. He fell from the 29th floor to a part of the building close to street level, according to authorities. He was a 43-year-old Ecuadoran native with five children.

Officials call for more regulation after fatal Queens bus crash

A speeding charter bus plowed into a New York City bus in Flushing, Queens, early Monday morning. It has since been revealed that the charter bus driver had lost his license after a drunk-driving arrest two years ago. Nevertheless, he was allowed back on the road by Dahlia Group, the charter bus company. The driver was killed, along with a pedestrian and a city bus passenger.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigation is underway, so no final determination has been made about the cause of the accident. According to a report in the New York Times, however, the NTSB says charter bus was traveling at about 58 mph when it struck the back end of a Q20 bus.

Victims of wrongful convictions often serve years in prison

Think only guilty people are in prison? Nope, not by a long shot. In fact, wrongful convictions occur all the time for a variety of reasons, including faulty evidence, eyewitness misidentifications and even official misconduct by police. This problem is so pervasive that one NYC politician has even called for the state to create a special commission to investigate why wrongful convictions occur and who is to blame.

One of the most tragic aspects of wrongful convictions is that an individual may spend years behind bars for a crime they did not commit, while the actual perpetrator remains free to victimize others. In some cases, a wrongful conviction victim will spend years -- or even decades -- in prison before they are eventually set free.

Do undocumented workers face additional risks when reporting injuries?

Suffering a serious on-the-job injury can be a devastating blow for construction workers, often leaving them facing expensive medical treatment and no paycheck to pay for it.

However, while most construction workers simply seek workers' comp or file a legal action to help cover their bills, many undocumented workers think they have no options. In some cases, they fear they will be deported if they report their injuries, or, at the very least, they believe they have no legal rights given their immigration status.

Fall-related deaths occur far too often on construction sites

According to the most recent Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 900 construction workers suffered work-related fatalities in 2015 alone -- making construction one of the deadliest industries in the United States. In fact, construction-related deaths accounted for more than 20 percent of all worker fatalities that year, as reported by the CFOI.

While the underlying causes of these construction deaths are numerous, the leading cause is one of the most obvious: work-related falls. Even New York, which has the toughest scaffolding laws in the nation, has had its fair share of construction-related deaths caused by falls.

Proposed changes to NY's PPD guidelines may harm worker interests

As part of a 2017 reform plan, the New York State Workers' Compensation Board is slated to release new guidelines for how to compensate workers for permanent impairments. Unfortunately, the workers' advocacy group the Workers' Compensation Alliance is concerned that they may harm workers' interests. The group has just released a survey that indicates many injured workers already feel their benefits are inadequate.

The issue surrounds an announcement by the state board's chair, who said the new guidelines "will incorporate advances in medicine that result in better healing and outcomes for injured workers to use in evaluations and determinations for schedule loss of use awards."

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