Articles Posted in Brooklyn

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The toll that concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) have on battlefields and sports’ fields is raising awareness and stirring up new ideas. TBIs affect more than 1 million Americans annually.

The single greatest challenge with a TBI case is the actual diagnosis. Many of the symptoms – dizziness, nausea, lack of focus – are also caused by other conditions. This makes it difficult for athletic trainers and medics to accurately take the step toward a proper diagnosis and treatment. Even brain-images taken after a concussion may not reveal mild brain damage, especially if there is no earlier image for the doctor to make a comparison with.

To help in that area, a team of doctors and engineers at the University of Pennsylvania has developed a “blast badge.” The patch-like item changes color within a set spectrum, and that color reflects the intensity of an explosion or impact.

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A Towanda resident, the vice president of the Pennsylvania Brain Injury Coalition, has spearheaded efforts at the Pennsylvania state Capitol in an effort to bring about increased awareness concerning brain injuries. His intention is to use the raised awareness to fight for legislation intended to prevent injuries and offer better medical treatment to those affected. 

A witness on the scene said, “As part of Tuesday’s rally and press conference, I had the great pleasure of meeting with the vice president and the Brain Injury Coalition and hearing about their ongoing efforts to prevent traumatic brain injuries and to seek better medical treatment. An advocacy effort of this kind takes a great deal of planning and forethought, [this man] did an admirable job in educating policymakers in both the House and the Senate of the need for brain injury legislation.”

The coalition is a proponent of the Safety in Sports Act, which is a continuation of previous years’ funding for community and home-based programs, a state level advisory board, and the inclusion of brain injury screenings for persons in state programs or facilities.

In Pennsylvania every year, there are roughly 156,000 concussions reported. A reporter can cite a recent study that found “15 percent of all high school football players reported concussion symptoms but only 47 percent of those players reported them to school or team officials.”

 Brain injuries in The Bronx and Broolkyn kill brain cells and disrupt neural pathways which affect the way a person thinks, feels, and acts. It is the leading cause of disability and death through the age of 40. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) as the name suggests are more severe and should be treated immediately.

Facts on brain injuries:

– 10 million Americans live with an acquired brain injury.

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The symptoms of bTBI (explosive blast traumatic brain injury) can actually be very subtle, doctors tell reps. Sometimes, there is no outward sign of injury until certain symptoms begin to arise, like headaches, vertigo, or short-term memory loss. Because of this, victims of bTBI should be evaluated by a Bronx physician or psychologist to determine how extensive their injuries might be, if any. Neurophysical evaluation should be a part of this examination. There are currently efforts to create neuropsychological tests that can be automated on laptop computer or are easy enough to be used to by first responders who may have less training.

Patient who may have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) should see a combat stress team provider or a psychiatrist as soon as possible. It is very important to remember, sources have learned, that bTBI and PTSD can have very similar symptoms and may occur alone or together in a patient. It may be difficult to tell them apart.

When TBI may be present in a patient, that person should be excused from all combat-related duties. The patient should be put on light duty until the symptoms are gone or until he or she is moved to a place where advanced neuroimaging, like MRI, may be used, and a more detailed evaluation can be used. Brooklyn Doctors have determined that it is vital for a patient suffering TBI, or who may be suffering from it, to be treated with the utmost care, so the condition does not become worse.

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Evidence is linking exposure to welding fumes to damage done to dopaminergic neurons in the brain. This link raises a welders’ risk for Parkinson’s disease (PD).

The study of healthy welders who were exposed to manganese, positron emission tomography (PET) imaging showed reduced uptake of the tracer F-18-fluoro-L-dopa (FDOPA), which is a significant sign pointing toward dysfunction in the nigrostriatal dopamine system.

A Law Office issued a statement putting the findings into layman’s terms: “This study suggests that a substantial percent of welders may have brain injury, even if they do not have symptoms currently.”

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Plaintiff is a sixth grader who instituted a claim for damages against his school when he was seriously injured when he fell down an flight of stairs on his way to lunch. On January 30, 2021, plaintiff testified that he had been in math class on the second floor right before lunch. According to plaintiff, his math teacher never escorted her class to the lunchroom and that day was no exception. Plaintiff stated that at the sound of the bell, he and his friend headed to one stairwell, while the rest of the class went to the stairwell at the other side of the hall. His friend did not see any adults in the stairwell when he got there, but there were a group of older boys there who moved over as he and his friend approached. Plaintiff testified that he suddenly heard footsteps which sounded like they were coming from a herd of buffalo and the next thing he remembered was waking up in the school nurse’s office with a tissue on his forehead and blood stains on his shirt. Because of the fall, plaintiff suffered brain injury coupled with excruciating pain as being in his head, neck, and lower back. Additionally, his arms and leg were swollen and sore and he was in a neck brace.

In a testimony, plaintiff presented the written policy of IS 292 to have a teacher escort the sixth graders down to lunch from their second floor classrooms. Plaintiff claims that his teacher’s negligent failure to do so proximately caused his injury. According to plaintiff, he has a much harder time understanding his schoolwork since his accident and, as a result, his grades have substantially dropped. He also is unable to remember more than one item at a time and feels “dumb and filtrated. Plaintiff testified that he planned to attend college to study graphic design.

The Brooklyn jury found defendants are negligent in the supervision of plaintiff and found that that negligence was a substantial factor in causing the injuries sustained by him. Defendant move to have the judgment set aside or have a new trial on the issue of liability or in the alternatively, for a new trial on the issue of damages on the grounds that the awards are unsupported by evidence. The plaintiff sought for an increase in the award of damages.

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Defendant, with his live-in partner, resided with a six year old ‘adopted’ daughter and his other ‘adopted’ 16-month old boy. Neither child has been legally adopted. On November 1, 1987, defendant scolded the six year old daughter for not drinking enough water and expressed annoyance with her. At approximately 6:00 p.m. of the same day, the girl went to into the bedroom to ask defendant if he would take her with him to a dinner engagement. Moments later, defendant carried the unconscious body of the daughter out of the bedroom. When the wife asked him what happened, defendant replied, “What’s the difference what happened. This is your child. Hasn’t this gone far enough?” The wife had no idea what defendant meant by this remark. Defendant handed the girl to defendant, who placed her on the bathroom floor. The child’s eyes were closed, she was unresponsive and she was not moving at all. Her breathing was raspy.

Defendant from The Bronx dressed for the dinner and went back home. Upon his return, the girl hasn’t regain her consciousness at all. The wife, believing that defendant has healing powers, urged him to heal the child. Instead, defendant and the wife took cocaine where defendant admitted he knocked the girl down because she stared defendant a lot. The next day, the child was still unconscious. Defendant tried to revive the girl and the wife called 911. The paramedics decided to bring the girl to a hospital where a tube was placed into her trachea to insure that air would go directly into her lungs.

The medical personnel observed that the girl’s body was covered with multiple bruises in various parts of her body, legs, knees and thighs. A neurological resident concluded that the child sustained brain injury due to pressing down of the brain stem causing subdural hematoma near her forehead. Over the course of the next few days, the girl’s condition did not improve and she was not responding to medical treatment. On November 4, she was declared brain dead. On November 5, the hospital removed the girl’s life support system and was pronounced dead.

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Plaintiff instituted a personal injury action against the defendants to recover damages due to a motor vehicle accident alleging that she was struck by the truck owned by defendant and its employee. In connection with the claim for damages, plaintiff alleged that she suffered head injury including pain in neck, shoulders, both arms, and lower back extending to both knees. She claimed that she was referred by an attorney to Total Care Plus where she was treated 2-3 times per week for about a year commencing a few days after the accident. She states that she received treatment from a psychiatrist, an internist, and a neurologist and received physical therapy with various modalities. Thereafter, she received treatment in China.

At the conclusion of the Brooklyn trial, the jury rendered a decision finding that plaintiff had not suffered an injury which resulted in a significant limitation of use of a body function or system or a permanent consequential loss of use of a body organ or member. The jury did, however, find that plaintiff had sustained a medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature that prevented her from performing substantially all of her material acts that constituted her usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the accident. They awarded plaintiff damages in the amount of $70,000 for past pain and suffering, and $80,000 for future medical expenses payable over a period of 0 years.

Defendants move to set aside the decision of the jury based on the ground that:

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This is an action for personal injuries allegedly sustained by the plaintiffs herein as a result of purported exposure to lead-based paint at premises owned by the moving defendants. Susan Adams is the plaintiffs’ mother and she has commenced this action in her representative capacity as parent and natural guardian of Steffen Adams, an infant. The other plaintiffs, Shane Adams and Justin Adams, also the children of Susan Adams, have reached the age of majority.

An attorney from he Bronx said that in the Bills of Particulars verified by plaintiffs’ counsel, the plaintiffs Shane and Justin Adams alleged multiple neurological, cognitive functions, neuro-behavioral, developmental and psychological injuries including neurological damage, brain damageand Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) as a result of exposure to lead while residing at the defendants’ premises. Significantly, the plaintiffs’ Complaint alleges lead paint exposure during three (3) different time periods at three (3) different residential leasehold premises. Defendants Rizzo and Scaravillo were owners of premises known as 212 Seward Street at which plaintiffs resided between 1988 to 1990. The Cifra defendants owned 302 Mildred Avenue at which plaintiffs resided from 1991 to 1992. Defendant Luttinger owned 501 John Street at which plaintiffs resided from 1990 to 1991. The allegations of brain injury advanced by Susan Adams on behalf of Steffen Adams are verbatim identical to those of Shane and Justin.

Thereafter, Susan Adams was deposed, and upon commencement of this deposition, counsel for all parties stipulated, as is the custom and practice in this district, that all objections except those as to form were reserved until the time of trial and that the deposition would be held pursuant to the provisions of the Civil Practice Law and Rules. At the beginning of this deposition, plaintiffs’ counsel, James Nixon, made certain pronouncements and imposed significant unilateral limitations on the scope of the questioning he would permit Susan Adams to answer. Almost immediately, Mr. Nixon undertook a course of conduct at the deposition whereby he restricted the witness from answering questions, made demands for production of records supporting the questioning counsel’s “good faith” and otherwise engaged in conduct that, severely limited and unfairly and improperly obstructed the defendants’ ability to conduct the deposition.

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These are three consolidated cases of employees who were all injured while they were performing tasks directly related to their employment. The only question raised in these cases is whether or not the employees here have suffered grave injury; that is, whether they suffered a brain injurythat results in permanent total disability. The question of what can be considered a permanent total disability has to be defined.

In the first case a Bronx ironworker fell about 19 feet to the ground. He was standing on a ladder installing a steel cupola. He was an employee of an iron works company which was then rendering iron works for a night club. The ironworker hit his head and sustained a brain injury.

He filed a suit in damages under the Worker’s Compensation Law against his employer, iron works company and the night club which hired the iron works company.

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The current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to a great many more serious injuries to United States service members. One of the most prevalent and dangerous is explosive blast traumatic brain injury (TBI). Doctors have been studying the rising trend.

There have been a number of military medical treatments for blast TBI which have been a success in the war theater, such as decompressive craniectomy, cerebral angiography, transcranial Doppler, hypertonic resuscitation fluids, and others. There has been similar progress stateside in neurosurgery, neuro-critical care, and rehabilitation for patients suffering injuries caused by blast TBI.

As they continue to treat these injuries, military physicians in Brooklyn and Long Island have been able to clinically categorize many types of blast TBI, according to studies. One of these important discoveries is the development of psuedoaneurysms and vasospasm in severe blast TBI victims, which can cause delayed decompensation. Another is that mild blast TBI often has very similar clinical features to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some physicians have conclude that the injuries explosive trauma causes to the nervous system might be more complex than might appear at first examination.

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