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Health care practitioners accused of medical malpractice will often seek dismissal of the claims against them though a motion for summary judgment. In most cases, the courts will only grant a motion for summary judgment if the defendant submits an expert report sufficient to meet their burden of proof. As discussed in a recent New York opinion, this means that the opinion must assert that the defendant did not diverge from the accepted standard of care or that any divergence did not cause the harm suffered by the plaintiff. If you were hurt by incompetent care offered by a physician, it is advisable to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your potential claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the decedent received care at a medical center operated by the federal government. He ultimately suffered injuries due to mistakes made when he was intubated. He later died from unrelated causes. Following his death, his estate filed medical malpractice claims against the federal government. After discovery closed, the defendant moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims through summary judgment.

Expert Reports Sufficient to Meet a Defendant’s Burden of Proof

Although the claims were pursued in federal court, they arose out of New York law. As such, the court applied New York law to the claims. In New York, a defendant seeking dismissal of medical malpractice claims must establish their entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by proving that they did not depart from the accepted and good practice of medicine when treating the plaintiff and that any alleged departure did not cause the plaintiff harm. Typically, this is demonstrated via an expert opinion. Continue reading

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Under New York law, medical malpractice claims are comprised of two elements. In other words, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit must not only show that the defendant departed from the customary practice of medicine but also that the departure caused the plaintiff to suffer harm. If the plaintiff fails to establish either element, their claim will be dismissed; however, if they introduce evidence sufficient to demonstrate an issue of fact with regard to both elements, their case will likely proceed to trial. The evidence needed to support medical malpractice claims was the topic of a recent New York opinion. If you were harmed by inadequate medical care, it is advisable for you to confer with a  Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your potential claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered injuries when his ring finger struck a ceiling fan. He treated with the defendant doctor at the defendant hospital and was diagnosed with a fracture of the left finger. He underwent a surgical repair of the fracture and later underwent a second procedure to remove the pins from his finger. He subsequently needed additional surgeries to address issues with mobility and stability.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit in which he asserted, among other things, medical malpractice claims against the defendants. The defendants ultimately moved for summary judgment. After reviewing the evidence submitted, the court denied the motion. Continue reading

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When a doctor recommends a treatment to a patient, they must not only inform the patient of its benefits but also of any potential complications or side effects that may arise. Additionally, the doctor must advise the patient of other treatment options that are available. If a physician fails to do so and a patient subsequently suffers harm, the patient may be able to establish liability for lack of informed consent. If the plaintiff fails to introduce evidence establishing a material factual issue as to whether the defendant obtained valid consent prior to treating the plaintiff, however, the plaintiff’s lack of informed consent claims may be dismissed. This was demonstrated in a recent opinion issued in a New York cardiology malpractice case. If you sustained losses due to your heart doctor’s carelessness, it is in your best interest to speak to a Syracuse cardiology malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was treated with the defendant cardiologist for heart issues. The defendant recommended that the plaintiff undergo surgical repair of his mitral valve and an aortic aneurysm. The plaintiff suffered complications following the surgery and filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. Among other things, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant failed to obtain his informed consent prior to operating on his heart. The defendant moved for dismissal via summary judgment, and the court granted his motion. The plaintiff then appealed.

Elements of a Lack of Informed Consent Claim

On appeal, the appellate court explained that the defendant made a prima facie showing of informed consent via medical records and testimony that demonstrated that he advised the plaintiff of the relatively foreseeable risks associated with the treatment, and the plaintiff signed two different consent forms acknowledging his understanding of those risks. Continue reading

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Oftentimes, patients admitted to hospitals are treated by a number of doctors. As such, if they suffer harm due to medical negligence, the identity of each of the responsible treatment providers may not immediately be ascertainable, and the plaintiff will name the unknown provider as John Doe in the complaint. Once a plaintiff determines a John Doe defendant’s identity, though, they must amend the complaint and serve it on the named defendant within the time provided for under the relevant statute. If they do not, they may waive the right to pursue claims against them, as illustrated in a recent ruling issued in a New York hospital malpractice case. If you were injured due to negligent care rendered in a hospital, you could be owed damages, and you should confer with a Syracuse hospital malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Facts of the Case

Reportedly, the decedent was admitted to the defendant hospital for unspecified concerns. During his admission, he underwent a surgical procedure that was supposedly performed incorrectly. He passed away due to complications from the procedure, and the plaintiff subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit, naming the hospital and the doctors who performed the procedure as defendants. As she did not know the identity of the anesthesiologist involved in the surgery, she named him as John Doe.

Allegedly, the plaintiff learned of the defendant anesthesiologist’s identity six months after he filed the complaint, but he neglected to amend the complaint or file a supplemental summons until a month later. At that time, more than 120 days had passed since the filing of the complaint, and as such the time to serve the defendant anesthesiologist had expired. He sought an extension to serve the defendant, which was granted. The defendant anesthesiologist subsequently moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim as time barred. The court granted the motion and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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It is not uncommon for a defendant in a medical malpractice case to ask the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims in their entirety. While the courts should only grant such a request if it is clear that there is no factual dispute as to whether the defendant violated the standard of care, in some instances, the courts rule incorrectly. Fortunately, plaintiffs who believe a trial court erred in granting a motion for summary judgment can file appeals. Recently, a New York court explained when summary judgment motions should be denied in a psychiatric malpractice case. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of a mental health professional, it is smart to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney regarding what you must prove to recover compensation.

The History of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff treated the defendants for mental health issues. In July of 2014, he suffered injuries when he attempted suicide by jumping off of the roof of his house. He subsequently instituted a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, arguing that they negligently failed to refer him for psychiatric care, conduct an assessment of his suicide risk, schedule him for follow-up care, properly treat his anxiety and depression, or monitor his mental health.

It is reported that the plaintiff alleges the defendants’ negligent care caused his mental health issues to worsen, ultimately leading to his suicide. Following discovery, the defendants moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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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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