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Belluck & Fox and Social Media Victims Law Center Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit against Meta, ByteDance, TikTok and the MTA

[NEW YORK, NY, Feb.22, 2024] – Belluck & Fox LLP and the Social Media Victims Law Center have initiated a groundbreaking wrongful death lawsuit. This legal action follows the tragic death of 15-year-old Zackery Nazario, who tragically lost his life due to the highly dangerous “Subway Surfing Challenge.” Having recently risen again in popularity, this challenge was targeted, encouraged, and inspired by social media content to which he was exposed. This lawsuit aims to hold Meta, TikTok, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority accountable for promoting and profiting from these life-threatening, viral challenges.

Popular since the 1980s, subway surfing has seen a resurgence among teens due to social media. Starting in 2021, the MTA reported a significant increase in incidents, with more than 450 cases in the first half of 2023. In that year, five people died from subway surfing in New York City, compared to five deaths between 2018 and 2022.

On the first anniversary of Zackery’s death, his family and friends gathered at the Williamsburg Bridge for a candlelight vigil and marched to the location near where Zackery fell to his death. This event aimed to unite the community in remembrance of Zackery, to share cherished memories, and to advocate for action against this deadly trend. Belluck & Fox LLP, along with the Social Media Victims Law Center, are committed to seeking justice for Zackery and, hopefully, providing some form of peace to his loved ones.

About the Social Media Victims Law Center
The Social Media Victims Law Center (SMVLC), socialmediavictims.org, was founded in 2021 to hold social media companies legally accountable for the harm they inflict on vulnerable users. SMVLC seeks to apply principles of product liability to force social media companies to elevate consumer safety to the forefront of its economic analysis and design safer platforms to protect users from foreseeable harm.

About Belluck & Fox LLP
Belluck & Fox, founded on the philosophy of pursuing justice, one family at a time, has been dedicated to fighting for justice and securing compensation for its clients. Belluck & Fox law firm specializes in wrongful death lawsuits involving a variety of circumstances including nursing home abuse or neglect, workplace accidents, public transportation disasters, motor vehicle accidents, and defective products. While no amount of financial compensation can replace the loss of a loved one, victims’ families should be compensated fairly for the wrongful death, providing them with a degree of financial comfort and justice for those left behind.

Read the Business Wire feature here.

Belluck & Fox Wins Appeal Under Child Victims Act (CVA)

In a recent case, attorneys Michael Macrides, Harris Marks, and Seth Dymond from Belluck & Fox have successfully appealed a dismissal of a sexual abuse case under the Child Victims Act (CVA). Their efforts overturned the initial dismissal, which contested the details of a claim dating back to the late 1980s.

A motion to dismiss had been filed by the defendant based on CPLR 3211 (a) and the Court of Claims Act 11 (b), and it had been granted by the Court of Claims. However, this decision was challenged through persuasive arguments presented by the Belluck & Fox team in obtaining this significant appellate decision.

This ruling recognizes the difficulty survivors face when trying to recall exact dates and times of abuse, particularly in cases involving minors. The court acknowledged the validity of the plaintiff’s claims. Michael Macrides, Harris Marks, and Seth Dymond collectively achieved justice for the plaintiff, while also emphasizing the complexity of instances that occurred decades ago and the delicate balance between legal requirements and the lived experiences of survivors seeking closure and accountability.

If you or a loved one suffered childhood sexual abuse, regardless of when it happened, call the committed, top-rated attorneys at Belluck & Fox today for a free consultation.

Harris Marks & Joseph Belluck Secure $6 Million Settlement in Syracuse Labor Law Construction Case

Belluck & Fox recently achieved one of the largest Labor Law settlements for a construction accident in the Syracuse area. Attorney Harris Marks and firm partner Joseph Belluck secured $6 million in compensation for a painter who fell while on the job and is now permanently paralyzed.

The person bringing the lawsuit, a 61-year-old retired maintenance worker and self-employed painter and contractor, had fallen from an unsecured ladder while painting the outside of a building owned by the defendants. This fall caused severe injuries including permanent quadriplegia, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down and wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. Despite obvious safety concerns like obstacles and an overhead awning that created a dangerous working environment, the defendants failed to provide any safety equipment or assistance to secure the ladder.

The case settled for the full amount of the primary and excess insurance coverage policies in the amount of $6 million. The matter was originally scheduled for trial at the end of November 2023.

In March 2023, the Supreme Court in Onondaga County ruled in favor of the plaintiff, granting partial summary judgment under a law known as Labor Law § 240(1). This law holds the defendants completely responsible for not giving the plaintiff the necessary safety equipment or help required by the law to carry out his work safely. The court rejected the defendants’ arguments that the ladder was “properly placed” and that the plaintiff’s actions were the only reason for the accident. The case was set to proceed to a damages trial only, with the defendants having filed an appeal but not yet perfecting the appeal.

A workplace injury can change someone’s life forever. Serious workplace injuries due to improper construction or office place safety protections and defective equipment are a tragic reality in many occupations. These workplace accident injuries often leave people unable to support themselves and their families without a living wage, and as we see in this painter’s situation, the long-term effects can be devastating.

The nationally recognized personal injury attorneys at Belluck & Fox have extensive experience with workplace injury compensation and representing those who have been injured in accidents on the job by negligence. We have successfully represented people with complex cases who have been seriously hurt in falls, injured by defective products or poorly maintained equipment, suffered severe injuries resulting in disability, and other types of workplace accidents affecting wages.

If you have been injured on the job or workplace and need to talk to a workplace accident lawyer in New York, contact Belluck & Fox today. We will review your workplace accident claim immediately, at no cost or fee to you, and go over all of your options for pursuing just compensation or lawsuit for your injuries.

The Looming Health Crisis Among Quartz Countertop Workers

In a startling revelation, a recent study has unveiled a deeply concerning health crisis affecting workers in the quartz countertop industry. The research, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine on July 24, sheds light on the harrowing experiences of individuals who are facing irreversible lung damage due to exposure to toxic silica dust. As we delve into the details of this study, it becomes evident that urgent action is needed to protect these workers and reevaluate the safety of the materials they handle daily.

The Unseen Threat:
Quartz countertops have become synonymous with modern aesthetics and functionality, gracing countless homes and commercial spaces worldwide. However, beneath this seemingly innocuous industry lies a grave danger that has far-reaching implications for the health and well-being of the workers who craft these elegant surfaces.

The study’s findings paint a distressing picture: 52 countertop workers in California, primarily Latino immigrants, were diagnosed with silicosis, a debilitating and potentially fatal disease caused by inhaling silica dust. The time frame from 2019 to 2022 witnessed the emergence of this concerning trend, with at least ten workers succumbing to the disease. Shockingly, many of these cases progressed rapidly, leading to an urgent demand for enhanced protective measures and early diagnosis.

A Call for Action:
The urgency of the situation is underscored by the fact that silicosis was previously thought to be a fading concern in the U.S., primarily affecting miners and individuals working with natural stone. However, the emergence of this alarming trend among workers dealing with artificial stone challenges our preconceived notions. Dr. Jane Fazio, a pulmonary specialist at UCLA Health and co-author of the study, emphasizes the necessity for immediate action to address the escalating crisis.

Dr. Fazio’s words ring true, especially considering the startling statistics surrounding the affected workers. The average age of diagnosis was just 45 years and nearly 60% experienced delayed diagnosis due to the confusion of symptoms with other respiratory illnesses. Nearly 40% were already at an advanced stage of the disease at diagnosis, underlining the urgency of early detection and intervention.

A New Perspective on Safety Measures:
The study also shed light on the prevailing safety practices within the industry. Fewer than half of the workers reported using water suppression techniques to minimize dust exposure. Similarly, only a fraction claimed to “always” wear masks, with the rest admitting to “sometimes” using them. These revelations underscore the dire need for regulatory agencies and employers to prioritize the safety and well-being of their workforce.

Conclusion: A Call for Change
The tragic cases highlighted in this study are a clarion call for change. As the demand for quartz countertops continues to rise, we cannot overlook the toll it takes on the individuals responsible for crafting these products. The findings compel us to reevaluate industry practices, enhance safety measures, and advocate for comprehensive changes prioritizing worker health over profit. It’s not just a matter of preventing silicosis but of human dignity and the fundamental right to a safe and healthy workplace. Let us heed this call for change and ensure that the silent danger lurking in the quartz countertop industry is confronted head-on.

Quartz Countertop Workers Lawsuit Attorneys Belluck & Fox

If you or a loved one worked in the quartz countertops industry and have been diagnosed with a health complication that can be linked to silica dust, please reach out to Belluck & Fox today for a free consultation.

Belluck & Fox Wins Person Injury Settlement for a Heroic Veteran

In a resounding victory for justice, Harris Marks and our dedicated personal injury team achieved a monumental settlement, securing a compensation of $950,000 for Mr. Sim, a valiant 71-year-old veteran of the US Army. The case is a testament to our commitment to seeking rightful compensation for victims of negligence.

On Thanksgiving night, Mr. Sim, a proud US Army veteran, found himself amid a life-altering event. While crossing a crosswalk, he was struck by a reckless drunk driver who callously fled the scene, leaving Mr. Sim injured and needing immediate help. The incident occurred just as Mr. Sim left his Pastor’s home after sharing a Thanksgiving dinner.

His injuries were staggering, including compound fractures of his right tibia and fibula, necessitating multiple intricate surgical interventions involving Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF). Additionally, Mr. Sim suffered a fractured left leg, a traumatic brain injury, and multiple rib fractures.

This case demanded unwavering dedication and meticulous legal maneuvers. Our team left no stone unturned, conducting multiple depositions to build a comprehensive and compelling case. A pivotal moment arose when a deposition was taken at an upstate prison where the driver responsible for the accident was located.

The insurance policy in question had a coverage limit of $1 million. Through relentless effort and legal acumen, we achieved a momentous victory by securing a settlement of $950,000, nearly the full extent of the policy. The resolution of this case is a testament to the perseverance of Mr. Sim, the dedication of our personal injury team, and the pursuit of justice that underpins our legal practice.

If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury accident, you don’t have to go it alone. At Belluck & Fox, our award-winning personal injury lawyers are dedicated to fighting for the compensation you need to get your life back in order after an accident. Reach out today for a free consultation.

Belluck & Fox Settles Car Accident Injury Lawsuit on Jersey Shore

She was on vacation with her friends over Memorial Day Weekend. Everything was going great on their trip to the Jersey Shore. They were in a cab when, out of nowhere, an elderly driver crossed into oncoming traffic.

That car hit two vehicles, one of which was the cab. The client was injured badly, fracturing her nose which required her to undergo surgery.

That car hit two vehicles, one of which being the cab. The client was injured badly, fracturing her nose and having to undergo surgery.

Even in the face of complications, like the (subsequent and unrelated) death of the driver and a limited insurance policy, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Belluck & Fox were able to bring the case to a successful settlement. When all was said and done, the client walked away with two and half times the original offer.

Serious car accident injuries can leave a victim with staggering medical bills, a sudden drop in income, and months or years of pain and suffering. That’s why it is so important to reach out to top-rated car accident lawyers like Belluck & Fox. Decades of experience allow us to know how to:

  • Manage all communication with insurance companies and the at-fault party.

  • Gather extensive documentation of your motor vehicle accident to support your claim for maximum compensation.

  • Identify all possible sources of compensation.

  • Build a strong case with in-depth understanding of local accident laws.

  • Ensure time doesn’t run out on your car accident claims.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you don’t have to go it alone. At Belluck & Fox, our award-winning personal injury lawyers are dedicated to fighting for the compensation you need to get your life back in order after an accident. Reach out today for a free consultation.

Belluck & Fox Wins Personal Injury Settlement for Pedestrian Accident

She was just trying to cross the street. After pushing the button on the traffic light at the intersection of Broadway and Hudson Avenue in Albany, New York, she waited for the light to change and began to walk.

When she was more than halfway across, her legs were suddenly swept out from under her as she was hit by a car that was making a left turn. 

She sustained soft tissue injuries to her knee, lower back, and shoulder, none of which required surgery. While her ultimate recovery went well, there were many gaps in her treatment due to extenuating circumstances and COVID-19.

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Belluck & Fox knew the victim had a strong case and deserved compensation for the treatments and suffering she had to endure as a result of the accident. Our team was able to win a settlement worth six and a half times the initial offer made to her as compensation.

A pedestrian accident victim is subject to New York’s “no-fault” insurance laws, but being on foot makes a difference:

  • An injured pedestrian can tap the insurance of the at-fault motorist or motorists involved in the accident to recoup medical expenses, lost wages, and other reasonable costs.
  • The injured pedestrian can also use the “no-fault” laws to tap their own auto insurance policy.
  • If the pedestrian does not have access to the motorist’s insurance information, such as in a hit-and-run, and if the pedestrian cannot tap into his or her own policy, they can file a claim with the state’s Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corp.
  • If the accident was caused by public or private infrastructure problems such as potholes that should not have existed, the injured party can seek damages from the responsible government body or property owner.

Filing claims for compensation after a serious pedestrian accident can be extremely complicated in New York, and having the best attorney on your side can make all the difference. 

Belluck & Fox has secured more than $1 billion in compensation for clients and their families. We are here to answer any questions you may have. Reach out today if you or a loved one has been injured to learn about the process for pursuing compensation and the various time limits that may affect your case.

Joseph Belluck Quoted in New York Post Article “Revel riders allege they were injured by sketchy scooters”

On January 11, 2021, Joseph Belluck was quoted regarding his client and the potential dangers of riding Revel Scooters in the New York Post article “Revel riders allege they were injured by sketchy scooters.” Click here to read more.

The New York Child Victims Act Has Been Extended

If you or a loved one suffered childhood sexual abuse, regardless of when it happened, call the committed, top-rated attorneys at Belluck & Fox today.

The New York State Child Victims Act, signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, changes the state’s previously strict statute of limitations on child sex abuse. It extends the previous restrictive periods for civil cases.

Additionally, it also provided a special window for all victims to file civil lawsuits regardless of their age. This window has now been extended for a second year through August 2021.

Since the bill passed, several churches and organizations have declared bankruptcy due to the influx of lawsuits. Even though the law has been extended, we recommend you take action quickly.

When did it take effect?

The new law is now in effect. Abuse survivors have until August 2021 to file civil cases no matter how long ago the abuse happened. You should not wait to contact a lawyer.

How is this different?

Previously, criminal charges against sexual abusers of children could only be filed up until victims turned 23. Now, that age has been raised to 28. For civil cases against abusers and the organizations they worked for, a special two-year window is meant to provide an opportunity for all those who have never had a chance under the old laws to act now.

Who does it help?

Anyone who has been affected by child sexual abuse, or knows someone who has, should consider learning more about their options under the new law. You and your loved ones are not alone. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in seven children have experienced child abuse or neglect in the last year.

What can I do now?

It’s undeniable that these cases are difficult to cope with for victims and their families. But this law represents new hope for getting justice. The Catholic Church and insurance companies fearing an influx of lawsuits opposed the passage of the bill, but now they will have to face their victims.

Belluck & Fox has been standing up for New Yorkers that suffered from sexual abuse crimes for over 20 years. We want to help you too. With offices across the state, we’ll talk to you about your case, with no obligation, at any of our locations or even at your home. We will fight for you and your family as if they were our own, because we believe no one should have to go through this alone.

We are currently representing many victims of child sex abuse. We want to help you. Act now – you have limited time to pursue your case.

Trip or Treat?

Halloween is a big deal for children and families all across the United States, giving children (and many adults!) the opportunity to dress up and collect some great candy while they’re at it.

With a massive number of people participating each year, there is always a need to pause and think about how to stay safe and enjoy the holiday. We’ve compiled just a few tips to keep in mind as you head out this year.

  1. Costumes should be bright and preferably reflective to ensure trick or treaters can be seen by drivers and the people around them.
  2. When decorating your home, try to avoid things on the ground that trick or treaters could trip or injure themselves on. It also helps to keep your walkways well lit!
  3. Children should always be accompanied by an adult. Try to ensure some sort of way to communicate while you’re out – either a cell phone or walkie talkie – to avoid separating.
  4. It’s rare, but it is still a risk. Be sure to check candy before eating it, just in case someone had the wrong intentions. Always better to be safe than sorry.
  5. If you see any suspicious activity while you’re out around the neighborhood, report it. Halloween tends to be a reason for people to play pranks or worse, and we all need to look out for one another.

Lastly, have fun! While there are plenty of safety concerns to take into account, Halloween is meant to be an exciting, entertaining, and rewardingly sweet day. We hope you enjoy it this year. Feel free to share some of your best costume photos with us on social media!