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Medical malpractice cases are complicated, and most people harmed by medical incompetence who wish to pursue claims against their healthcare providers would benefit from the assistance of a skilled attorney. Regardless, for various reasons, some people choose to proceed pro se. Doing so frequently results in the dismissal of their claims. Recently, a New York court discussed the liberal interpretation standards applied to pro se complaints in a case where it ultimately dismissed the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims. If you intend to pursue claims against your treatment providers, it is wise to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to discuss your options.

Case Setting

It is alleged that the plaintiff, without the assistance of an attorney, initiated legal action against the defendant doctors, medical centers, and other entities. The complaint set forth medical malpractice and civil rights violations related to surgeries the plaintiff received in 2008 and 2020. After granting the plaintiff’s request to proceed in forma pauperis, the court dismissed most of his claims but allowed him to amend his claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”).

It is reported that the plaintiff filed an amended complaint, adding additional defendants and allegations. The court dismissed various claims with prejudice, including those related to negligence, medical malpractice, Section 1983 claims, and Privacy Act claims, among others. The plaintiff was given leave to amend his RICO claims but ultimately did not assert any in the amended complaint. Instead, he included new claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA“), alleging negligence and wrongful acts by federal government employees. The court then reviewed the complaint for sufficiency. Continue Reading ›

Doctors accused of medical malpractice will rarely admit fault. In fact, in many cases, they will move to dismiss the claims against them in their entirety. A plaintiff in a medical malpractice case can defeat such motions by demonstrating via expert evidence that a factual dispute exists as to whether the defendant caused the plaintiff’s harm. Courts do not always assess such evidence properly, however, and may unjustly dismiss a plaintiff’s claim regardless of the evidentiary support. As demonstrated in a recent New York case, though, such decisions may be reversible. If you were hurt by inadequate medical care, it is advisable to talk to a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

Factual and Procedural Setting of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, a child suffering from cerebral palsy, underwent surgery on both legs, including hamstring lengthening. The procedure was performed by the defendants, two orthopedic surgeons. Following the surgery, the plaintiff experienced postoperative complications, including bilateral weakness and sensory loss in the lower extremities. Subsequent examinations revealed a nerve stretch injury that caused the plaintiff to have significant difficulties walking. As such, the plaintiff initiated a medical malpractice action against the defendants, alleging negligence in performing the surgery and failing to timely diagnose the nerve stretch injury.

Allegedly, the defendants moved for summary judgment to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. In support of their motion, the defendants offered an expert affidavit and medical records. The plaintiff opposed the motion, presenting a redacted affidavit from another expert physician. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue Reading ›

People who witness others experiencing serious health issues will often call 911, after which an emergency response team will typically respond. Unfortunately, EMS teams are not always able to provide people in critical condition with the care that they need, and in some instances, people succumb to their illnesses. The evidence needed to establish an EMS team’s fault for a patient’s death depends, in part, on whether their actions constituted mere negligence or medical malpractice, as demonstrated in a recent New York opinion. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to the carelessness of an emergency care provider, it is wise to talk to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your possible claims.

Case Background

It is reported that the decedent, a registrant at the defendant’s adult day health facility, began choking during lunch. The defendant’s employee, a registered nurse, responded to an intercom announcement and found the decedent pale and showing signs of choking. Despite efforts to help her, the decedent lost consciousness, which prompted a 911 call. The defendant emergency medical services (EMS) team arrived at the scene, provided treatment, and transported the decedent to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed an action against the defendants to recover damages for medical malpractice and wrongful death. The defendant EMS team sought summary judgment, arguing that it did not depart from accepted medical standards and that its actions were not the proximate cause of the decedent’s death. Continue Reading ›

Sadly, it is not uncommon for doctors and medical facilities to make mistakes when treating patients suffering from critical health concerns. Even if a provider makes a mistake, however, they will most likely not be deemed liable for medical malpractice unless their patient can establish that the error in question proximately caused them to suffer harm. This was demonstrated in a recent New York medical malpractice case in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims against a medical facility. If you were injured by an improperly performed procedure, it is advisable to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent heart surgery and the installation of a catheter that was performed by the defendant doctor at the defendant medical facility. The plaintiff subsequently suffered complications, after which he filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants. In sum, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants delayed in performing the surgery and that the surgery was negligently performed.

It is alleged that the defendant medical center moved for dismissal via summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to establish proximate cause. The trial court denied the defendant medical center’s motion initially, after which the defendant filed a motion for reargument. Following the second hearing, however, the court upheld its original ruling. The defendant appealed. Continue Reading ›

People who rely on long-term facilities to look after their loved ones expect that they will be treated with competent care. Sadly, however, it is not uncommon for people in long-term care facilities to suffer fatal harm due to negligence and oversights. In such instances, their loved ones may have grounds for recovering damages via medical malpractice claims. Not all fatalities that occur in a long-term care facility are the result of incompetence, though, as demonstrated in a recent New York medical malpractice case in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims. If you believe your loved one’s death was caused by a healthcare provider’s recklessness, it is in your best interest to talk to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer promptly.

Facts of the Case and Procedural History

It is alleged that the decedent, a resident of the defendant’s facility, passed away shortly after eating lunch on day. The plaintiff alleged that the decedent choked on food. As such, the plaintiff, both individually and as the administrator of the decedent’s estate, filed a lawsuit against the defendant, seeking damages for medical malpractice and wrongful death. After completing discovery, the defendant moved for summary judgment, asserting that the decedent did not choke on food and the care provided adhered to the accepted medical standards. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, prompting the plaintiff to appeal.

Establishing Medical Malpractice Liability Under New York Law

On appeal, the court initially noted that the right of direct appeal from the order denying the plaintiff’s motion terminated with the entry of the judgment in the action. However, the court considered the issues raised in the appeal from the order on the appeal from the judgment. Continue Reading ›

Many people living in residential facilities receive both medical care and assistance with general tasks of daily living, such as feeding and grooming. As such, if they suffer harm in such facilities, it can be challenging to determine whether negligence or medical malpractice is the root cause. As discussed in a recent New York opinion, it is important for anyone seeking damages to distinguish between the two to ensure their interests are protected. If you were harmed by a careless healthcare provider, it is smart to consult a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your rights.

Case Setting

It is alleged that the decedent was transferred to a residential facility operated by the defendants in September 2015 after a hospital admission. Upon admission, the decedent was diagnosed with generalized weakness and a history of multiple falls. The medical history indicated a high risk for falls, leading to the discontinuation of her blood thinner prescription.

It is reported that the decedent experienced multiple falls at the facility, leading to a diagnosis of dementia. She was eventually transferred to another facility, where she passed away. The plaintiff, as the executor of the decedent’s estate, filed a lawsuit against the defendants, asserting claims of breach of contract, violation of New York Public Health Law, and negligence. The defendants moved for summary judgment, but the court denied their motion. The defendants then appealed. Continue Reading ›

In New York medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff typically must name the parties allegedly responsible for their losses and must assert all of their claims against them within the timeframe dictated by the applicable statute of limitations. There are exceptions to the rule, though, such as when the identity of the healthcare provider that caused the plaintiff’s harm is unknown. In such instances, the relation-back doctrine, which allows for an amendment of a complaint to identify the proper defendant, may apply. In a recent opinion, a court explained the relation-back doctrine in the context of medical malpractice cases, ultimately determining that the trial court properly found that the doctrine applied. If you suffered harm by the carelessness of a physician, it is smart to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate what claims you may be able to assert.

Factual and Procedural Setting

It is alleged that the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit contending that the decedent, who had undergone treatment for lung cancer, experienced a lack of timely diagnosis and treatment, resulting in metastasis. The initial complaint, filed on January 31, 2020, named “John Doe, M.D.” as the attending physician in May 2016. The plaintiff later moved to substitute the defendant for “John Doe, M.D.,” the plaintiff invoked the relation-back doctrine. The trial court granted the plaintiff’s motion, allowing for the substation of the defendant for the previously named “John Doe, M.D.” The defendant then appealed.

The Relation-Back Doctrine in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. In doing so, it explained that the plaintiff invoked the relation-back doctrine, which allows the addition of a party after the statute of limitations has lapsed. The court explained that for the doctrine to apply, three conditions must be met: the claim must arise from the same occurrence, conduct, or transaction; there must be unity of interest between the original party and the party to be substituted; and the substituted party must have knowledge or awareness that plaintiff would have asserted claims against them as well, but for the plaintiff’s mistake in identity.

Continue Reading ›

Typically, doctors perform surgical procedures in hospitals or other medical facilities. If a patient subsequently suffers harm due to complications during the procedure, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice. Whether the facility where the procedure was performed bears responsibility as well depends on numerous factors, as discussed in a recent New York opinion issued in a medical malpractice case. If you were hurt by an improperly performed procedure and you have questions about your rights it is advisable to talk to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer.

Factual and Procedural History

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent surgery performed by the defendant surgeon at the defendant medical facility. The plaintiff subsequently commenced a medical malpractice case against the defendants. The defendants filed respective motions for summary judgment seeking to dismiss the cause of action for medical malpractice asserted against each of them. The trial court denied both motions, and the defendants appealed.

Vicarious Liability in Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. The court explained that in a medical malpractice case, the defendant initially bears the burden of demonstrating the absence of a deviation from accepted medical practice or that any purported deviation did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s injuries. The court elaborated that conflicting medical expert opinions preclude the grant of summary judgment in medical malpractice actions. Continue Reading ›

Incompetent medical care often causes significant injuries and, in some instances, can tragically lead to fatal harm. While the surviving family members can pursue claims against the responsible physicians, they must act promptly; otherwise, they may lose the right to recover damages, as illustrated in a recent New York opinion. If you lost a loved one due to negligent medical care, it is smart to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your rights.

Case Background

Allegedly, the plaintiff initiated legal action as the proposed administratrix of the estate of the decedent. However, at the time of filing on February 1, 2023, the plaintiff had not yet obtained letters of administration, rendering her without the standing to sue, as required under New York law. The complaint alleged negligence and violations of the Public Health Law, specifically referencing personal injuries, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life resulting from the defendant’s acts or omissions. The defendant raised the statute of limitations defense, asserting that the action was time-barred.

Statute of Limitations in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

Upon reviewing the complaint, the court acknowledged that it adequately alleged a cause of action for negligence and a violation of a statutorily conferred right in the Public Health Law. However, the court addressed the statute of limitations defense, noting that the causes of action for wrongful death and medical malpractice were time-barred. The court noted that the relevant statutes provide a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death and a two-year and six-month statute of limitations for medical malpractice. Continue Reading ›

Catastrophic events can expose people to toxins that cause skin cancer, lung disease, and other health concerns. Regardless of whether a person develops an illness due to environmental factors or such illnesses are about by other issues, though, it is anticipated that a doctor will be able to identify and treat the illness in a timely manner. Doctors who fail to do so may be liable for malpractice. As discussed in a recent New York case, though, if a person harmed by medical malpractice recovers compensation from a Victim Compensation fund for the same harm, it may compromise their civil claims. If you sustained injuries due to a delayed diagnosis, it is in your best interest to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer promptly.

History of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff initiated an action on October 12, 2021, alleging medical malpractice and lack of informed consent against the defendants. The plaintiff, a Train Operator for MTA New York City Transit, claimed exposure to toxic dust during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks caused malignant skin cancer diagnosed in January 2021. The plaintiff filed a compensation application with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), stating exposure to the toxic dust during the attacks and later when train service resumed.

It is reported that the plaintiff argued that the defendant’s failure to biopsy a cheek lesion resulted in a delayed diagnosis and treatment, which was distinct from the VCF claim. The defendants moved to dismiss, asserting the plaintiff’s VCF application waived the right to civil litigation due to the attack-related injuries. Continue Reading ›

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