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While most people choose to hire a competent attorney to represent them in medical malpractice cases, some decide to represent themselves to avoid the cost of attorneys’ fees. Medical malpractice cases are usually intricate, though, and handling them typically requires extensive knowledge and skill. As such, plaintiffs that represent themselves often end up with adverse outcomes, as demonstrated in a recent medical malpractice case in New York in which the pro se plaintiff’s claims were dismissed. If you were hurt by the incompetence of a medical professional, it is advisable to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to assess the best manner to proceed in your case.

Background of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was treated at the defendant hospital in 2017 and 2018 for breast cancer. She subsequently suffered unspecified harm, after which she filed a medical malpractice case against the defendant in federal court. The plaintiff, who filed the case without the assistance of an attorney, filed a request to proceed in forma pauperis, which was granted. The defendant then filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s case due to a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The court granted the defendant’s motion but allowed the plaintiff leave to replead her case.

Jurisdiction Over Medical Malpractice Cases

The court explained that under the relevant federal law, an in forma pauperis action should be dismissed if it is frivolous, seeks compensation from a defendant that is immune from such relief, or fails to set forth a claim upon which relief may be granted. Thus, to avoid dismissal, a plaintiff must plead sufficient facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.

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In many instances in which a person dies due to a devastating medical issue, the person’s loved ones will pursue medical malpractice claims. Simply because a person dies due to the sudden progression of an illness does not necessarily mean that malpractice has occurred, however, and even in cases involving death, a plaintiff must nonetheless produce evidence sufficient to prove liability. This was illustrated in a recent medical malpractice case in New York in which the plaintiff’s medical malpractice and wrongful death claims were dismissed due to a lack of evidence that the defendants breached the standard of care. If you lost a loved one due to negligent medical care, it is prudent to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to discuss your possible claims.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent sought treatment for back pain on three occasions in January 2012. First, he visited his primary care physician with complaints of extreme back pain and was directed to visit the emergency room. He then went to the defendant medical center, where he was examined by the defendant doctor, who ruled out an aneurysm or tracheal deviation. Two days later, he returned to the defendant primary care physician and was directed to undergo an MRI. Following the MRI, he was directed to go to the emergency room.

Allegedly, the decedent then visited the defendant hospital, where he was diagnosed with an epidural abscess. Soon after, he became paralyzed from the waist down and ultimately died due to respiratory failure. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against each of the treating providers, who, in turn, filed motions for summary judgment. The court largely granted the motions, and the plaintiff appealed.

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In most medical malpractice cases, the primary focus is on whether the defendant health care provider breached the standard of care and thereby caused the plaintiff harm. In some instances, though, a defendant seeking to refute liability will argue that an intervening cause, such as the plaintiff’s own negligence, was the actual cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Recently, a New York court discussed comparative negligence in a case in which the plaintiff’s decedent lost her life to breast cancer due to a delayed diagnosis. If a doctor failed to diagnose you or someone you love with breast cancer in a timely manner, it is wise to speak to a capable Syracuse delayed diagnosis malpractice attorney regarding your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Decedent’s Treatment

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent presented to the defendant health clinic in December 2014, February 2015, and August 2015 with complaints of right breast pain. She was also treated at another hospital for breast pain in between May 2015 and December 2017. She was eventually diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2017. She underwent a double mastectomy in April 2017, after which there was no detectable cancer. In December 2017, however, she was informed her breast cancer had metastasized. She ultimately died of cancer at the age of 30 in 2019.

The plaintiff, who was the decedent’s partner, filed a medical malpractice case against the defendant, averring that its failure to properly diagnose and treat the decedent greatly decreased her chance of survival. A bench trial was held during which the court was asked to assess the issues of whether the defendant breached the standard of care in treating the decedent and whether any breach proximately caused her death.

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Medical malpractice cases are unusual in that a plaintiff will often have to rely on medical records obtained from the defendant to demonstrate the defendant’s liability. Thus, if a defendant loses or destroys a plaintiff’s treatment records prior to producing them, it can impair the plaintiff’s ability to prove the defendant was negligent. In such instances, a court may issue a sanction against the defendant. In a recent neurology malpractice case in New York, the court discussed spoliation and what a defendant must prove to avoid sanctions. If you were harmed by a negligent neurologist, you should speak to a capable Syracuse neurology malpractice attorney as soon as possible to avoid waiving your right to pursue damages.

Factual and Procedural History

It is alleged that the plaintiff was treated by the defendant neurologist at a medical center, and the defendant’s private office. The plaintiff ultimately suffered harm due to the progression of an epidural lipomatosis that the defendant failed to diagnose in a timely manner. Thus, the plaintiff instituted a lawsuit against the defendant, setting forth claims of medical malpractice and lack of informed consent.

It is reported that during the course of discovery, the plaintiff requested her treatment records from the defendant. The defendant produced a copy of the plaintiff’s chart but advised the plaintiff that she could not find the original chart. The plaintiff then filed a motion for sanctions for spoliation of evidence. The court granted the motion. The defendant later found the chart and moved for leave to renew her opposition to the plaintiff’s motion for sanctions. The motion was denied, however, and the defendant appealed.

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In New York, a plaintiff who wishes to seek damages in a civil lawsuit may file claims in either state or federal court. Generally, a plaintiff will rely on the advice of an attorney in determining where a case should be filed and what facts and claims should be alleged in the initial pleading. When plaintiffs choose to represent themselves, though, they often lack the knowledge necessary to accurately determine the proper procedure, which can result in a dismissal of their claims regardless of the strength of their evidence. This was demonstrated in a recent case alleging ophthalmology malpractice, in which the court noted the plaintiff had set forth claims that elicited great sympathy but dismissed the plaintiff’s case regardless due to lack of jurisdiction. If you sustained injuries or loss of vision due to the careless acts of an eye doctor, you should engage a diligent ophthalmology malpractice attorney to assist you in your pursuit of damages.

Facts and Procedural History

It is reported that the plaintiff was treated with the defendant eye doctor for complaints of eye pain and vision disturbances. Throughout the course of his care, the plaintiff underwent a surgical procedure and over fifteen hundred laser shots. The plaintiff ultimately suffered a complete loss of vision in one eye and a substantial loss of vision in the other eye, which he alleged was due to harm to his retinas caused by the shots. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant in federal court without the assistance of counsel.

Allegedly, in response to an order from the court, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint. The court reviewed the amended complaint, and upon finding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the case, asked the plaintiff to show why the matter should not be dismissed. In the plaintiff’s response, he primarily restated his prior claims. Thus, the court dismissed the case.

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Generally, in medical malpractice cases in the state of New York, the plaintiff will file a complaint and a bill of particulars setting forth the alleged wrongdoings of the defendant, and then the parties will engage in discovery. In many instances, after discovery is closed, the defendant will ask the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims via a motion for summary judgment. If the plaintiff can demonstrate the existence of a valid factual dispute as to whether the defendant committed malpractice, though, the plaintiff’s case may proceed to trial. Recently, a New York court discussed the evidence needed to demonstrate a triable issue of fact, in a case in which the plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s negligence led to the plaintiff’s mother’s death. If you or a loved one suffered harm at the hands of a primary care doctor, it is wise to meet with a trusted Syracuse primary care malpractice attorney to evaluate whether you have a viable claim.

Factual and Procedural History

It is reported that the plaintiff’s mother, who was 70-years-old, suffered a fall at home. She was then admitted to the hospital by the defendant primary care physician, who had been caring for her for eight years. Approximately two weeks later, the defendant transferred the mother to the defendant nursing and rehabilitation center to undergo physical therapy and strengthening. While she was admitted to the center, the mother’s condition deteriorated, and after three weeks, she was transferred back into the hospital.

Allegedly, she died one week later from cardiopulmonary arrest, with urosepsis as a significant factor that contributed to her demise. The plaintiff then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, alleging that her mother was injured during her admission to the defendant center. The defendants each filed motions for summary judgment, which were denied. The defendant primary care physician then appealed. Continue reading

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Even if patients suffer devastating losses as a result of incompetent medical care, they may be denied the recovery of compensation if they do not abide by their duties under the law. For example, if a patient suffers harm in a facility that is considered a State actor, the patient must provide the State with notice of his or her claims within a certain time frame, or they may waive the right to pursue claims against the State. In some instances, though, a court may grant an exception to the notice requirement, as demonstrated in a recent New York birth injury case. If your child suffered harm during delivery, it is wise to confer with a skillful Syracuse birth injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights and duties.

Factual and Procedural History

Allegedly, the plaintiff-mother visited the defendant hospital, which is owned by the State, to give birth. During the delivery of the plaintiff-mother’s son, the doctors employed by the defendant used forceps, which caused injuries that ultimately led to the infant’s death. The plaintiff-mother and plaintiff-father then filed a motion for leave seeking permission to file a late claim, pursuant to the Court of Claims Act, which dictates the manner in which claims against the State must proceed. The trial court denied the motion, after which the plaintiffs appealed. On review, the appellate court reversed the trial court ruling, granting the plaintiffs leave.

Notice Requirements Under the Court of Claims Act

Pursuant to the Court of Claims Act, a court has the discretion to permit a plaintiff to file a late claim. In determining whether to grant such permission, the court will weigh several factors, including whether the State had notice of the key facts of the claim, whether the claim seems to have merit, whether the Plaintiff has any other remedy, and whether the State had a reasonable opportunity to investigate the circumstances out of which the claim arose. The court will also look at whether the failure to serve a timely notice of the claim upon the State caused substantial prejudice, and whether the plaintiff’s delay in filing the claim was reasonable. There is no one factor that is controlling, and the absence or presence of any factor is not determinative.

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While it is uncommon, men can be diagnosed with breast cancer. Regardless of whether a person diagnosed with breast cancer is male or female, it is a serious disease that requires aggressive treatment. As such, it is critical to obtain an accurate diagnosis as promptly as possible. Thus, a doctor that fails to diagnose a male patient with breast cancer in a timely manner may be sued for medical malpractice. Recently, a New York appellate court discussed the standards imposed on expert affidavits in support of and in opposition to a motion for summary judgment in a case in which the plaintiff sued his primary care physician for failing to diagnose his breast cancer. If you sustained an injury or suffered the worsening of illness due to your doctor’s failure to provide you with the correct diagnosis, it is prudent to speak to a dedicated Syracuse primary care malpractice lawyer to assess your case.

Factual History

It is alleged that the plaintiff was a patient of the defendant primary care physician and regularly treated with her at the defendant practice. The plaintiff, who is male, regularly complained of breast pain and other breast-related symptoms. The defendant did not order diagnostic imaging or any other tests,  however. Ultimately, the plaintiff was diagnosed with breast cancer. He then filed a medical malpractice case against the defendants due to their failure to diagnose him when his symptoms first presented. Following discovery, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss, which the plaintiff opposed. The trial court denied the motion, and the defendants appealed. Following a review, the appellate court affirmed the denial.

Sufficiency of Expert Reports in Medical Malpractice Cases in New York

In seeking a dismissal of a plaintiff’s case via summary judgment, a defendant bears the burden of proving, prima facie, that she or he did not depart from the standard of care or that if a departure did occur, it did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s harm. In the subject case, the court found that the defendants’ expert affidavit only addressed the issue of whether the defendants deviated from the applicable standard. In other words, it only briefly mentioned causation in a conclusory manner. Continue reading

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In medical malpractice cases, even if plaintiffs believe they were harmed by negligent medical care, they need evidence to support their claims. In many instances, the evidence sought is testimony from the parties that cared for or observed the care of the plaintiff. Thus, if a person with information regarding the plaintiff’s treatment and symptoms refuses to testify, it can frustrate the plaintiff’s attempts to obtain relevant information. Recently, a New York appellate court discussed the scope of permissible discovery in a hospital malpractice case in which a non-defendant physician refused to answer certain questions during his deposition. If you were injured because of inadequate care in a hospital, you might be owed compensation and should contact a capable Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney to evaluate your possible claims.

History of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff was a patient at the defendant hospital. Due to the negligence of the defendant and numerous staff members, who were also named as defendants, he suffered significant injuries, including pressure ulcers and an amputation of his left leg above the knee. As such, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants.

It is reported that during the discovery phase of the case, the plaintiff deposed a doctor who worked in the division of wound healing at the defendant hospital. The doctor, however, refused to answer certain questions. The plaintiff’s attorney then obtained an order from the court, allowing him to continue the deposition of the witness. The witness then sought a protective order asking the court to limit the scope of the deposition, which the court granted as well. The plaintiff then appealed the second order.

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In New York, there are many acts and omissions that may constitute grounds for a medical malpractice claim. For example, if a doctor neglects to adequately inform a patient regarding the risks and potential consequences of a procedure, he or she may be liable for failing to obtain the patient’s informed consent. In some instances, though, the complete failure to get permission from a patient prior to performing surgery may constitute a tort other than malpractice. This was shown in a recent New York surgical malpractice case in which the court discussed the elements of a lack of informed consent claim as opposed to a claim for assault and battery. If you suffered harm because of a surgical error, you should speak to a committed Syracuse surgical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate what claims you may be able to assert in a civil lawsuit.

Factual and Procedural History

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent a surgical repair of a hernia that was performed by the defendant doctor at the defendant hospital. After the procedure, the plaintiff suffered injuries and complications. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants alleging, in part, that the defendant doctor failed to obtain his informed consent by failing to advise him of the potential consequences of the surgery, and performing procedures that the plaintiff did not agree to undergo. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff’s claims sounded in assault and battery rather than medical negligence. The trial court denied the defendant’s motion, and he appealed.

Elements of a Lack of Informed Consent Claim

Pursuant to New York law, a medical professional may be deemed liable for an intentional act of battery, instead of medical malpractice, if the professional performs a procedure for which the plaintiff did not provide any consent at all. If a surgeon merely exceeds the scope of the consent provided by a plaintiff, however, any acts that fall outside of the permission granted by the plaintiff may form the basis of a valid lack of informed consent claim.

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