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It is not uncommon for expectant mothers to treat at medical practices that employ multiple providers. If the care offered at such facilities is inadequate and causes the mother or her child to suffer harm, the mother may be able to pursue malpractice claims against more than one party. Only those individuals that have a doctor-patient relationship with the mother will be deemed directly liable, however. This was illustrated in a recent ruling issued by a New York Court in a medical malpractice case. If you or your child sustained injuries because of the negligence of a doctor, you may be owed damages, and it is smart to consult a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to discuss your potential causes of action.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, a nurse, midwife practice, and collaborating doctor, arguing that their failure to abide by the accepted practice of medicine resulted in her child being born prematurely, which caused him to suffer brain damage and develop cerebral palsy. The defendant each moved for summary judgment; the defendant doctor argued, in part, that he did not have a treatment relationship with the plaintiff and therefore could not be held liable for medical malpractice. The trial court denied the defendant’s motions, and they appealed.

Establishing the Existence of a Doctor-Patient Relationship

The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s ruling on appeal. One of the primary issues discussed on appeal was whether the collaborating doctor had a treatment relationship with the plaintiff. The appellate court explained that a physician only owes a duty of care to their patient. Further, the duty may be limited to the medical functions the doctor undertakes, and the patient relies upon. Continue reading

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Parties in medical malpractice cases typically rely on documentary evidence to support their claims or defenses, like medical records. In many instances, they will assert that the records show, as a matter of law, that their position is correct and, therefore, summary judgment should be granted in their favor. When the parties present conflicting evidence, though, a lawsuit will most likely have to proceed to trial. This was the case in a recent opinion issued in a New York medical malpractice matter in which the court reversed a trial court’s ruling granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant. If you suffered harm due to your doctor’s failure to provide you with competent care, it is wise to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to discuss what evidence you must produce to present a winning case.

The History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff presented to the defendant emergency center with complaints of a lump in her breast. She was examined by the defendant nurse practitioner and discharged. The parties disagreed as to what discharge instructions or information the defendants provided the plaintiff; the plaintiff asserted she was advised the lump was a cyst, and the defendants argued they advised her to follow up with a mammogram and ultrasound.

It is reported that approximately thirteen months later, the plaintiff was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. She filed a lawsuit against the defendants, asserting medical malpractice claims. The defendants moved to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed via summary judgment. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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In New York, the party that files a lawsuit generally has the right to select the forum. The privilege is not boundless, though, and if the court determines that venue is improper, it can transfer a case to another court. Recently, a New York court issued a ruling in a medical malpractice case in which it discussed the factors for determining if venue is proper and the remedies for when it is not. If you sustained losses due to inadequate medical care, it is advisable to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to determine your options for seeking damages.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff, who lived in Westchester County, New York, treated with the defendants, who were located in Greenwich, Connecticut, for unspecified health concerns. The plaintiff ultimately suffered harm because of the carelessness of the defendants and filed a lawsuit asserting claims of medical negligence, medical malpractice, and lack of informed consent, among other things. The plaintiff instituted her case in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, asserting diversity jurisdiction.

Factors for Determining if Venue is Proper

Upon review of the plaintiff’s complaint, the court decided, sua sponte, that venue was improper and transferred the matter to the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. The court explained that all of the defendants were residents of Greenwich, Connecticut, and most of the acts or omissions that gave rise to the plaintiff’s claims happened there as well. While the plaintiff asserted that venue was proper in the Southern District of New York because she lived in Westchester County, the court disagreed. Continue reading

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Whether a New York medical malpractice matter resolves in favor of the plaintiff or defendant generally depends on which party offers a more compelling expert report. As such, the failure to hire a competent expert that can provide a persuasive opinion is often fatal to a plaintiff’s case, as illustrated in a recent ruling issued in a surgical malpractice matter in which the court denied the plaintiff’s request to reargue the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. If you were harmed by a carelessly performed surgical procedure, you may be owed compensation, and you should speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer regarding what evidence you must offer to present a winning case.

Factual Background of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disease and a hiatal hernia, which caused her to experience pain, abdominal bloating, and problems swallowing. She subsequently underwent three surgical procedures, which were performed by the defendant to mitigate her symptoms. Unfortunately, she suffered unspecified complications after the surgery. As such, she filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging he negligently performed the surgery, which constituted medical malpractice. The defendant asked the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims via summary judgment. The court granted the defendant’s request, and the plaintiff appealed.

Expert Testimony in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

Under New York law, when a defendant makes a prima facie showing in a motion for summary judgment, the burden of proof shifts to the plaintiff, who must then produce materials or evidentiary facts sufficient to rebut the prima facie showing by the defendant. The appellate court explained that conclusory or general allegations of medical malpractice that are not supported by competent evidence that tends to establish the essential elements of a medical malpractice claim are not sufficient to defeat a defendant’s motion for summary judgment. Continue reading

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People who visit hospitals are often suffering from acute issues. Like all other physicians, doctors providing emergency treatment must abide by the applicable standard of care, and if they fail to do so, it can lead to grave harm. Many doctors will attempt to have medical malpractice claims asserted against them dismissed, despite the evidence in favor of the imposition of liability. Recently, a New York court issued a ruling in a medical malpractice matter discussing what proof a defendant must offer to support the argument that judgment should be granted in their favor as a matter of law. If you sustained injuries due to incompetent medical care, it is advisable to consult a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to assess your rights.

The Decedent’s Harm

Reportedly, the decedent presented to the defendant hospital for emergency surgery due to a polyp on her vocal cords that was obstructing almost 85% of her airway. The defendant doctor determined that the plaintiff would either need to be intubated or undergo a tracheostomy while awake to secure her airway. The defendant doctor was unable to intubate the decedent after several failed attempts, after which he performed an awake tracheostomy.

Allegedly, the decedent’s airway was lost during the procedure, and despite attempts to re-establish it, her heart rate dropped, causing her to suffer swelling of the brain. She was transferred to palliative care and died a few days later. The plaintiff instituted a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, alleging their negligence caused the decedent’s death. The defendants moved for summary judgment, but the court denied their motion. As such, they appealed. Continue reading

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Typically, the treatments offered for chronic back pain carry some degree of risk. While the benefits of such care often exceed the potential side effects, a patient must be adequately advised of the complications that may arise following a treatment in order to make a fully educated decision. If a doctor fails to obtain a patient’s informed consent before administering care and the patient suffers harm as a result of the omission, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice. Recently, in a ruling issued in a New York surgical malpractice case, the court explained what evidence a plaintiff must offer to sustain a lack of informed consent claim. If you were harmed by a physician’s failure to advise you of the risks associated with a procedure, you may be owed damages, and you should speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Care

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered from chronic back pain. She sought treatment from the defendant, who recommended that she undergo the surgical implantation of a paddle lead stimulator in her spine to alleviate her symptoms. The defendant performed the procedure, but it did not diminish the plaintiff’s pain; instead, her symptoms increased after the surgery.

It is reported that the plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant asserting claims of medical malpractice and lack of informed consent. The defendant moved for summary judgment on both claims. The court initially granted the motion as to the medical malpractice claim but denied it as to the lack of informed consent claim. Following additional discovery, the defendant renewed his motion to dismiss the lack of informed consent claim. The court granted his motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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In the context of medical care, a treatment that is intended to help a patient will sometimes cause them harm instead. In such instances, the patient may be able to seek compensation through medical malpractice claims against the provider responsible for their injuries. Merely demonstrating that they sustained damages is insufficient to establish liability, however. Instead, they must prove that the defendant violated the standard of care and that by doing so, they caused their losses. If a plaintiff cannot meet this evidentiary burden, their claim will be dismissed, as illustrated recently in a ruling issued in a New York medical malpractice case. If you suffered harm due to incompetent medical care, you could be owed damages, and it is prudent to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Assertions

It is reported that the plaintiff presented to the defendant with complaints of blood in his urine. The defendant inserted a Foley catheter in the plaintiff, which reportedly caused him to suffer significant pain, incontinence, and injuries to his bladder. The plaintiff subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging their negligent insertion of the catheter caused him to suffer harm. The defendant moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s action via summary judgment. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Burdens of Proof in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

Under New York law, to establish the liability of a doctor for medical malpractice, a plaintiff must prove that the doctor departed from the standards of practice accepted in the community and that the deviation proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer injuries. Thus, a defendant moving for summary judgment must prove, prima facie, that there either was no deviation from the applicable standard of care or that any deviation that occurred did not injure the plaintiff. Continue reading

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Under New York law, there are strict deadlines that people who wish to pursue medical malpractice claims must abide by, and the failure to file necessary documents or pleadings within the specified time frame can be fatal to a plaintiff’s claim. For example, if a plaintiff wants to pursue medical malpractice claims against a hospital run by a municipality, they must provide the municipality with notice of their claim shortly after their harm occurs. As shown in a recent New York opinion, the courts take the notice requirement seriously and will dismiss a plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim for lack of timely notice. If you were injured by a negligent health care provider, it is important to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to avoid waiving your right to recover damages.

The Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff underwent unspecified treatment at a health care facility operated by the defendant municipal corporation and subsequently sustained harm as a result of the defendant’s negligence. She later filed a petition for leave to file a late notice of claim. The trial court denied her petition, and she appealed. She then filed a motion to renew the petition. The court denied her motion, and she once again appealed.

Notice Requirements in Medical Malpractice Claims Against Public Corporations

On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the trial court’s ruling. The appellate court noted that the plaintiff failed to show that the defendant had actual knowledge of the facts surrounding her medical malpractice claim within ninety days of when the claim arose or within a reasonable time after the ninety-day deadline had passed. Further, the defendant’s medical records did not demonstrate that any of the medical staff that treated the plaintiff caused her to suffer harm, either via act or omission. Continue reading

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In New York, the courts will decide many medical malpractice cases prior to trial. The New York courts have clearly defined what each party must prove in order to garner a ruling in their favor as a matter of law, and if a court finds that one party has met its burden while the other has not, it will most likely grant summary judgment. This was illustrated in a recent opinion delivered by a New York court in a case in which the plaintiff sought damages for medical malpractice after he developed complications following gall bladder surgery. If you were hurt by insufficient medical care, it is wise to consult a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to determine your options for seeking damages.

The Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff was diagnosed with gallstones, after which he underwent an endoscopic procedure performed by the defendant. The defendant removed the stones then converted the surgery to an open surgery during which he removed the plaintiff’s gallbladder and resected his stomach. After the procedure, the plaintiff suffered from numerous complications, including a fistula and bilious drainage. He then filed a lawsuit, alleging that the defendant committed medical malpractice. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and his motion was granted. The plaintiff then appealed.

Establishing the Right to Judgment as a Matter of Law in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the appellate court explained that the essential elements of a medical malpractice case are a departure from the accepted practice of medicine and proof that the departure proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries. If a defendant moves for summary judgment, they must make a prima facie showing that they did not deviate from the standard of care or that their deviation did not cause the plaintiff to suffer any injury. Continue reading

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During a medical malpractice trial, the parties will typically present all of the evidence in their favor and ask the jury to make decisions regarding issues like liability and damages. Juries do not always come to conclusions plaintiffs want them to, however, and plaintiffs that receive unfavorable verdicts may ask the court to vacate the juries’ rulings. Motions to vacate judgments are rarely granted, though, and plaintiffs arguing vacatur is appropriate to face a high burden of proof, as discussed by a New York court in a recent medical malpractice case. If you were injured by a negligent physician, you might be able to pursue claims for damages, and it is wise to talk to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your options.

The Procedural History

It is alleged that the defendant performed an elective plastic surgery procedure on the plaintiff. The plaintiff suffered nerve damage during the procedure and subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. The matter proceeded to trial, and the jury issued a verdict in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff moved to vacate the verdict and for a new trial. The trial court denied her motion, and she appealed.

Grounds for Seeking a Motion to Vacate a Judgment in a Medical Malpractice Case

The appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling denying the plaintiff’s motion. While the plaintiff argued that she had newly discovered evidence that necessitated a new trial, the court found that even if she established the evidence was in fact novel, she failed to show that it was not merely cumulative or that it was material to the issues in dispute. Further, she failed to prove the evidence was not merely being offered to impeach the credibility of a witness that testified for the defense, or that it was likely to change the outcome of the case.  As such, the appellate court found that the trial court’s ruling was not issued in error. Continue reading

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