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In a high percentage of New York medical malpractice cases, the defendants file motions for summary judgment, asking the courts to find in their favor as a matter of law. Summary judgment is not appropriate in every case, though. Instead, it is limited to those matters in which no material factual disputes remain. If a court grants a defendant’s motion for summary judgment without just cause, the plaintiff can seek review via an appeal. In a recent ruling set forth in a medical malpractice case, a New York court discussed when reversal of an order granting a motion for summary judgment is proper. If you sustained losses due to the carelessness of your doctor, it is in your best interest to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your options for seeking a just outcome.

The Procedural History of the Case

Few facts were provided regarding the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. It is alleged, however, that the plaintiff’s decedent sought care from the defendant cardiologist. Following his treatment, he suffered fatal complications. The plaintiff, the administrator of the decedent’s estate, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. After the parties completed discovery, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. The court granted the motion and the plaintiff appealed.

Grounds for Reversing an Order Granting Summary Judgment

Under New York law, a defendant seeking summary judgment in a medical malpractice lawsuit must show, prima facie, it did not depart from the accepted and good practice of medicine, or that any alleged departure did not result in the plaintiff’s harm. If the defendant meets this burden, it then shifts to the plaintiff, who must produce evidence sufficient to show that there is a material issue of fact in dispute, as to the elements for which the defendant has met its burden of proof. Continue reading

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Most treatments carry some degree of risk, and doctors will typically advise patients of the benefits and detriments of a chosen course of care prior to administering it. The dangers associated with treatment can be exacerbated by medical mistakes as well, and seemingly harmless procedures can result in fatal injuries. People who lose loved ones due to medical errors can pursue claims against the providers that cause their harm, but proving causation can be challenging. Recently, a New York court discussed the causation element of medical malpractice cases in a matter in which it ruled that the disputed issues must be presented to the jury. If you lost a loved one due to negligent medical care, it is smart to consult a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what evidence you must produce to establish liability.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s decedent underwent a liver biopsy that was performed by the defendant. The decedent subsequently died as a result of internal bleeding, which the plaintiff attributed to a laceration of the abdominal wall caused by the negligence of the defendant. Thus, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, setting forth claims of medical negligence and wrongful death. After discovery was closed, the defendant moved for summary judgment. The court denied the motion, and the defendant appealed.

Proving Causation in Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the court explained that the only point of contention is whether the defendant was responsible for the lacerations that caused the plaintiff’s death. The court noted that the parties’ experts disagree on the distance between the biopsied section of the liver and the lacerations on the stomach and whether the lacerations were consistent with an injury from a biopsy needle. Continue reading

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Many hospitals and health care facilities throughout New York are public corporations. While such entities may be liable for medical malpractice, parties pursuing claims against them have to comply with certain pleading requirements, like providing a notice of a claim within a certain time frame. Generally, such notices must set forth the plaintiff’s theory of liability and can only be amended in certain circumstances, as illustrated in a recent ruling issued in a New York medical malpractice case. If you suffered losses due to inadequate medical care, you might be able to pursue claims against your treating provider, and it is smart to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff served a notice of claim against the defendant public health care corporation, alleging that it committed medical malpractice and was negligent. Specifically, the notice asserted that the defendant failed to diagnose the plaintiff’s decedent’s colon cancer, which subsequently spread throughout her body and caused her death. The notice further asserted that the claim arose in July 2018 through September 2018 at a hospital in Brooklyn.

Allegedly, after a hearing was conducted in the matter, the plaintiff served the defendant with an amended notice of claim, the enlarged the dates when the alleged malpractice occurred from January 2014 through September 2018. She then sought the subject lawsuit and sought leave to amend the notice of the claim. The trial court granted her petition, and the defendant appealed. Continue reading

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In medical malpractice cases, the parties typically rely on the judge to rule in accordance with the law. Unfortunately, judges do not always interpret facts or the law properly and may issue orders that are clearly erroneous. Fortunately, there is an appeals process parties can employ if they feel a court’s ruling is improper. Recently, a New York court discussed what issues may be considered on appeal in a medical malpractice case, in a matter in which the plaintiff’s claims were unjustly dismissed. If you were harmed by an incompetent doctor, it is in your best interest to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what damages you may be owed.

Facts of the Case

Allegedly, after suffering a fall, the plaintiff was transported by EMS to the defendant hospital’s emergency department. The plaintiff, who was purportedly complaining of acute pain in her lower back, was examined by the defendant doctor. He ultimately advised her to take pain medication and sent her home. She returned to the hospital shortly thereafter, complaining of significant discomfort. The defendant  doctor examined the plaintiff once again, after which he admitted her to the hospital.

It is reported that diagnostic testing was ordered a few hours later, and it was discovered that the plaintiff had suffered a rib fracture by her left kidney. It was determined that her left kidney was bleeding, and she ultimately had to undergo surgery to remove the kidney.  The plaintiff filed the subject lawsuit, asserting medical malpractice claims against the defendants. The case went to trial, and the defendant doctor tried to limit the plaintiff’s damages by excluding any claim for pain and suffering that she endured before her kidney was removed. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the court ultimately entered a judgment as a matter of law in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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Accidents that occur in the context of medical care may give rise to negligence claims. In many instances, though, such incidents arise out of a medical professional’s failure to comply with the standard of care, and therefore, any claims seeking damages for harm suffered in such incidents sound in medical malpractice. Recently, a New York court discussed the differences between negligence and medical malpractice claims asserted against health care providers in a matter in which the nature of the plaintiff’s claims was disputed. If you were injured by the carelessness of a medical professional, you have the right to seek damages, and it is in your best interest to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the decedent, who was 85 years old, was admitted to the defendant rehabilitation center after he underwent the surgical implantation of a pacemaker. He left briefly to undergo another surgery but returned to the defendant center. A short time later, he collapsed while walking from the bathroom to his bed. He ultimately died due to injuries sustained in the fall. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, seeking damages for medical malpractice and negligence. Following the conclusion of discovery, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. The court ultimately denied the motion to the extent it sought to dismiss the portion of the claim asserting liability for the failure to provide the decedent with a bed alarm, which the court determined sounded in ordinary negligence. The defendant then appealed.

Negligence Versus Medical Malpractice

The appellate court explained that the core component of the claim that the defendant failed to provide the decedent with a bed alarm that would have prevented him from falling is that it misjudged his condition and the level of supervision required to keep him from falling, which constitutes medical malpractice. As such, the defendant bore the initial burden of proving either that no deviation from good and established medical practice occurred or that such deviation was not a proximate cause of the decedent’s injuries. The appellate court found that the defendant met this burden, but in response, the plaintiff failed to illustrate the presence of a triable question of fact. As such, the appellate court found that the trial court should have granted the defendant’s motion dismissing that portion of the lawsuit alleging a failure to equip the decedent with a bed alarm. Continue reading

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Medical malpractice cases are complex, and even if either party believes their evidence is compelling, there is always a risk the jury could rule against them at trial. As such, parties often try to resolve medical malpractice cases via summary judgment prior to proceeding to trial. As discussed in a recent New York ruling, however, summary judgment is only appropriate in medical malpractice cases when there is no disputed issue of fact. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of a health care provider, you might be owed compensation, and you should contact a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant doctor treated the decedent for an unspecified medical concern. The decedent’s condition failed to improve, however, and he ultimately passed away from complications of his illness. The plaintiff then commenced a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, averring that his negligence led to the decedent’s harm. The parties exchange discovery, after which the defendant moved for summary judgment. The court found that the plaintiff’s expert affidavit filed in opposition to the motion raised triable issues of fact. Thus, the court denied his motion. The defendant then appealed.

Summary Judgment in Medical Malpractice Cases

After reviewing the evidence, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling. The appellate court explained that it is well established under New York law that a defendant moving for summary judgment in a medical malpractice case bears the burden of establishing the lack of any departure from the accepted and good practice of medicine. Alternatively, the defendant can show that the plaintiff did not suffer harm due to any such departure. Continue reading

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While many psychiatric illnesses do not cause physical symptoms, they can nonetheless result in significant injuries if they are not properly treated. For example, if a doctor fails to observe a patient is harboring suicidal thoughts, it can have devastating consequences. Merely, because a patient who treated with a psychiatrist dies by suicide does not necessarily mean the psychiatrist committed malpractice, however. Rather, the deceased person’s estate must still prove all of the elements of a medical malpractice claim to recover damages, as demonstrated in a recent New York ruling. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to the negligence of a psychiatrist, you might be able to recover damages, and it is smart to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to assess what evidence you must produce to establish liability.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the decedent treated with the defendant due to chronic depression. The defendant primarily treated people with depression that was not mitigated by traditional medications by administering ketamine. He subsequently treated the decedent with a ketamine infusion, which caused an immediate short-term worsening of his symptoms. There is no evidence that the defendant was aware of this, however.

Allegedly, the decedent returned for additional infusions and subsequently responded in a similar manner. The defendant evaluated the decedent as being at his chronic baseline despite the treatments but did not believe he was acutely at risk. Shortly thereafter, the decedent took his own life by overdosing on narcotics. The decedent’s spouse filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting medical malpractice claim and other causes of action. The defendant moved for summary judgment. The court ultimately granted the motion. Continue reading

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A missed diagnosis can cause irreparable damages, and in many instances, the harm suffered is fatal. Simply because a patient dies after being improperly diagnosed does not automatically mean their family can recover compensation, however. Rather, the survivors must prove the doctor in question committed medical malpractice, and if they cannot, their claims may be dismissed. This was illustrated in a recent New York opinion issued in a hospital malpractice case. If you sustained losses after you received an incorrect diagnosis l, you could be owed compensation, and you should meet with a Syracuse failure to diagnose malpractice lawyer to discuss your options.

The Decedent’s Harm

It is reported that the decedent, who was a minor, was taken to the emergency department of a hospital with complaints of a persistent cough with blood. Doctors at the hospital diagnosed him with bronchitis, gave him a prescription, and discharged him. Three days later, he was transported via ambulance to a second hospital due to difficulty breathing, and he was assessed as having a viral infection.

Allegedly, he was directed to finish his prescription and follow up with his primary care physician. Tragically, he died one day later. The cause of death was determined to be pulmonary embolisms.  His mother commenced a medical malpractice lawsuit against both hospitals, alleging their failure to properly diagnose the decedent caused his death. The defendants moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted the motion. The plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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Many people suffering from acute or chronic issues receive medical treatment from a provider working for a hospital or health care facility. As such, if they subsequently suffer harm due to incompetent care, they may not only be able to pursue medical malpractice claims against the doctor but also against the entity that employed them. A plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit must demonstrate the defendant doctor’s negligence, however; otherwise, their claims against both the doctor and the hospital may be dismissed. This was demonstrated in a recent opinion issued by a New York court in a case alleging medical malpractice and vicarious liability claims. If you suffered harm due to incompetent care rendered in a hospital, you might be owed damages, and you should speak to a Syracuse hospital malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is alleged that the plaintiff was treated with the defendant doctor at the defendant hospital for an unspecified condition. She later suffered harm, which she alleged arose out of the defendant doctor’s negligent care. As such, she filed a medical malpractice lawsuit, asserting that the defendant doctor was directly liable for her injuries, and the defendant hospital was vicariously liable. The defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to meet her burden of proof. The court agreed with the defendants and issued an order dismissing the plaintiff’s claims. The plaintiff appealed.

Proving Direct and Vicarious Liability in Medical Malpractice Cases

The appellate court found the trial court’s reasoning to be sound and affirmed the ruling. The court explained that the defendant doctor satisfied his initial burden of proof with regard to both the deviation and causation aspect of the plaintiff’s claim by submitting an affidavit opining that he did not depart from the good and accepted practice of medicine and that the treatment he offered the plaintiff did not proximately cause her to suffer harm. Continue reading

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Incompetent medical treatment can cause significant injuries, and many people harmed by incompetent medical care can recover compensation. While typically, the damages awarded in medical malpractice cases aims to compensate the injured party for the non-economic and economic losses suffered due to negligent healthcare, in some instances, a judge or jury may find it appropriate to impose punitive damages as well. Recently, a New York court issued an opinion discussing when such damages are appropriate in an emergency room malpractice matter in which it ultimately denied the plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages. If you suffered harm because of careless treatment for an acute condition, it is prudent to consult a Syracuse emergency room malpractice lawyer to discuss what damages you may be owed.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff visited the emergency room of the defendant hospital, where she was treated by the defendant doctor for a wound on her abdomen. Her condition worsened, and she subsequently had to undergo surgery. She filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants seeking, among other things, punitive damages. The defendants moved for summary judgment as to the punitive damages claims, and the court denied the motion. The defendants then appealed.

Punitive Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the appellate court reversed the trial court ruling. The appellate court explained that the standard for imposing punitive damages is strict, and therefore, they will only be awarded in exceptional cases. The appellate court elaborated that the conduct justifying the award must manifest malice or spite, or an evil or fraudulent motive on behalf of the defendant, or such a deliberate and knowing disregard of the interests of other people that the conduct can be considered wanton or willful. Continue reading

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