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Yearly Archives: 2014

Prince William and Princess Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, attended the 600th Anniversary Fundraising Campaign charity event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the anniversary of Scotland’s University of St. Andrews, which they had both attended and where they had originally met. They were the guests of honor at the December 9, 2014 event and helped raise £2.2 million for their alma mater, not a huge stretch considering it was a £1,600-£6,400-a-plate dinner.

It was a celebrity-studded event, including comedian Seth Meyers, child-star-turned-fashionista Mary-Kate Olsen and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. The couple lauded the university as a place for “first-class” education.

Aside from the gala, the royal couple also paid a visit to the 9/11 memorial and Prince William was taken on a tour of the Empire State Building by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. They also stopped by the Creativity is GREAT reception and met other celebrities including Sir Patrick Stewart, creative director Jenna Lyons, “The Good Wife” actress Archie Panjabi, Harvey Weinstein, and Georgina Chapman.

They managed to cram in a Mets basketball game where they schmoozed with singer-actress Beyonce Knowles and rapper husband Jay-Z.

Altogether, the royal couple stayed three days in The Big Apple.

A breath of hope is sweeping across New York City as Condé Nast, the mass media publishing division of Advance Publications, announces that it has contracted a significant area of the 104-story skyscraper that was built in the space formerly occupied by the World Trade Center. Aptly named One World Trade Center, the building is the tallest one in the Western Hemisphere, and houses the National September 11 Memorial Museum.

Condé Nast moved in about 175 of its employees on November 1, the first wave of the more than 2,300 employees that will eventually occupy 1,100 million square feet of real estate. The announcement symbolized the recovery of the city from the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center was targeted for terrorist attacks, resulting in the deaths of about 2,800 people, most of whom were in the building at the time of the attack, or who succumbed in the aftermath including firefighters and law enforcement officers.

It is hoped that the initiative shown by the publishing company will inspire others to do the same and revitalize the area. Because of the associations with the site, many had believed that the community would never recover. Hopefully, Condé Nast will be only the first of many to step on the road to healing.

New York's Central ParkMany strange and unexplained things happen in New York City, and this is no exception. A 3-foot-tall black bear cub was found under a bush in Central Park by two women walking their dog. Black bears are native to the state and their population is growing, but none are known to live in the middle of New York City.

It was highly unlikely that the bear cub on its own had wandered into the city from the wild, and there were no reports of a missing black bear cub from any of the city’s zoos. Bears are not allowed to be kept as pets in the city, so if it was privately-owned it was brought in illegally.

Police and investigators are at a loss to explain the presence of the animal, and as of now, the cause of death is undetermined. When it was discovered, its head was resting on a bicycle.

Some suspect that the cub was a victim of animal cruelty and dumped in the park to avoid prosecution. The bicycle is being dusted for prints in an attempt to find the owner and perhaps an answer to the mystery of the black bear cub in Central Park. The remains were sent to the Department of Environmental Conservation in Albany for a necropsy.

Several rulings with significant impact have recently been made with regard to how maritime injury lawsuits are handled in court. One of these deals with the question of punitive damages, and when they may be awarded in maritime injury lawsuits.

Punitive damages are not always awarded in standard personal injury cases because they are not meant to compensate the victim; rather, they are designed to punish the defendant, hence “punitive.” It is appropriate in some cases but not in others, depending on the nature of the defendant’s behavior that led to the civil action in the first place. In most cases, punitive damages are levied against defendants that willfully and recklessly acted without regard for others i.e. speeding through a busy intersection.

A seaman who has sustained a work-related injury due to the negligence of the employer is entitled to sue for the usual economic and non-economic damages typical in standard personal injury cases, but it was only recently that the Supreme Court deemed that punitive damages may also be appropriate in some maritime injury cases, specifically claims for the willful nonpayment or inadequate provision of maintenance and cure benefits. Maritime employers are required by law to pay maintenance and cure benefits to employees who acquire work-related injury or illness regardless of fault. Failure to do so according to the law renders them liable for a maintenance and cure lawsuit, which may include punitive damages.

However, the issue is less clear cut for cases involving a claim of negligence or unseaworthiness. Different judges have interpreted the law in inconsistent ways therefore making conflicting decisions regarding punitive damages. No two cases are exactly the same, and this is definitely applicable when it comes to awarding punitive damages in maritime injury cases.

If you have incurred a serious work-related injury or illness, make sure that you consult with an experienced maritime lawyer. You will have a better chance of getting what is rightfully yours.

hospital bedCelebrity and outspoken host of television show Fashion Police Joan Rivers is currently a patient at Mount Sinai Hospital, and her condition is said to be critical but stable. She was rushed there from at Yorkville Endoscopy on E. 93rd Street in New York City after she stopped breathing in the middle of a procedure for her vocal chords.

The news was first spread by TMZ and was quickly followed up. The latest news quotes an unidentified family source that there is some concern about the outcome, and any decisions will have to be made when daughter Melissa Rivers arrives, who was then on her way to the hospital. Joan Rivers was reported to be unconscious but the hospital has not yet released any official information as to her condition.

Joan Rivers, born Joan Alexandra Molinsky, turned 81 last June but showed no signs of slowing down. She hosts several shows, including one in YouTube called In Bed with Joan. Famed for her outrageous comments and no-holds-barred criticisms, she has sometimes been criticized for stepping over the line when dealing with sensitive topics. Nevertheless, she has been a notable success in many fields, including her incursions into publishing. Her twelfth book, Diary of a Mad Diva, was released just this year.

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ebolaA man who came into a New York hospital with suspicious symptoms was screened for a deadly virus, but was unlikely to have it. Two earlier patients in other hospitals have also been screened and were negative for the disease.

In the latest case, the man, whose identity was not revealed, had flown into the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York from West Africa and was detained for a minor transgression. While waiting, he started complaining of fever and a headache and was brought to the emergency room of Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was put in isolation to see if he developed more definite symptoms of an Ebola virus infection. Results are not yet in but doctors believe that he does not carry the virus.

A recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in various parts of West Africa that claimed more than 800 lives and counting has sparked worldwide concern, and airports are especially keeping a sharp eye out for anyone coming from the affected areas who may be symptomatic. The infection manifests within 21 days of contact, and is only considered contagious when symptoms appear.

Two other patients who had recently been in West Africa and who were admitted to NYU Langone Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital Center for fever were observed for 24 hours but were released when it was apparent they had not been infected.

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It seems that the patented New York no-eye-contact attitude is being carried over to nursing homes, resulting in worsening conditions for the state’s most vulnerable citizens: the elderly. Nursing home abuse is a problem all over the U.S., but New York is notably lackluster in addressing the issue despite being the state with the most number of nursing home residents in the country.

According to advocacy groups, the state funds provided to the agency running the required long term care ombudsman program in New York is less than one-fifteenth that of California, which has fewer nursing home residents. As a result, the capacity of the agency to monitor the performance and standards of care in long-term care facilities for the elderly in New York is severely compromised. This has significant consequences for the well-being of those who are unable or afraid to report nursing home abuse.

Some family members of residents who suspect some type of abuse have taken to installing hidden cameras in the room. These so-called granny cams have been instrumental in bringing to justice staff members that were recorded being abusive or neglectful. However, legal and civil rights issues have prevented legislation from passing that would make video monitoring a requirement in nursing homes despite the growing abuse and neglect problems in New York as well as the rest of the country.

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Nowadays, kids are told growing up that the only way to find success in life is to go to college and become professional. While having an education is crucial and everyone should strive to learn, kids should be taught that perhaps going to a vocational school could also offer the potential for a successful, lucrative career.

vocationAs a matter of fact, the line of thinking that everyone should become a professional has become so prolific that there will soon be a shortage of people trained in vocations such as plumbing and masonry. Even though the world is moving more towards technological professions, mankind is still a long way from replacing these specialized vocational types of professions with robots.

With this in mind, people should certainly consider undertaking a vocation. There is no shame in it. After all, dozens of surnames are simply old vocations.

Septic Shock is one of the most devastating and unnecessary conditions that residents of nursing homes can experience. Sepsis is a condition that can cause extremely low blood pressure which, in turn, inhibits blood from circulating properly. Residents at nursing homes are often more likely to develop conditions like sepsis since their immune systems are more easily compromised. Patients are considered to be in septic shock when, after being treated with antibiotics and intravenous fluids, their condition doesn’t improve. The outcome of septic shock can have fatal consequences, such as organ failure. Additionally, the mortality rate for septic shock is 25%-50%.

Some symptoms of sepsis are chills, high heart rate, fever, or hypothermia. Residents of nursing facilities can develop sepsis when their caretakers aren’t attentive to their needs. Sepsis can develop from something as small as a bed sore. If the patient is bed-ridden and the caretaker doesn’t shift the resident’s body weight enough, the constant stagnant weight will cause sores to develop on the affected skin. Infection can develop from bed sores that aren’t tended to. Caretakers that neglect to move patients around are likely to neglect patients with bed sores, and thus the patient could develop a case of sepsis.

Fortunately, ailments like bed sores and sepsis are easily avoided if the caretakers are vigilant. Constant care nursing homes have a difficult time staffing a crew of certified and well-trained nurses. Because of this, nursing homes usually resort to hiring less educated candidates that aren’t equipped to handle the arduous task of caring for multiple high-needs patients. When nursing homes don’t hire qualified people the consequences are devastating for the residents, families, and employers alike. Many advocacy groups and legal practices try to keep nursing facilities accountable for damages experienced by residents. Until nursing homes can figure out a way to attract and keep qualified caretakers, they will find themselves under legal and moral scrutiny.