Articles Posted in Failure to Diagnose

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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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There are several elements to a successful medical malpractice claim. In other words, a plaintiff must not only prove the defendant acted negligently, and in doing so, harmed the plaintiff but must also comply with the procedural rules for pursuing damages. All too often, however, the plaintiff’s claims are dismissed due to procedural defects, as illustrated in a recent New York ruling where the court dismissed the plaintiff’s psychiatric malpractice claim due to failure to prosecute. If you were harmed by a mental health professional’s failure to provide you with a proper diagnosis, you could be owed compensation and should speak to a knowledgeable Syracuse medical malpractice attorney regarding your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Harm and Allegations

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against numerous mental health providers, arguing that they departed from the standard of medical care and acted beyond the bounds of professionalism. Specifically, he alleged they failed to provide him with an accurate diagnosis, failed to take heed of his prior diagnoses, declined to speak to his treating psychiatrist, and refused to institute appropriate procedures, treatment, and care. The court ultimately dismissed his complaint due to his failure to comply with the discovery rules and orders issued by the court regarding the prosecution of the case. He then appealed.

Dismissal for Failure to Prosecute

On appeal, the court noted that Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 37 and 41(b) expressly provide for dismissals for failing to prosecute and failing to comply with discovery orders. A court reviewing dismissals pursuant to these rules will only reverse them if the trial court demonstrated an abuse of discretion. In conducting its review, the courts must be mindful that dismissal under Rule 41(b) for failure to prosecute is a harsh sanction that is only to be used in extreme situations.

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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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While delays may greatly impair a patient’s health, they may also impair the patient’s right to pursue damages for negligent treatment. For example, a patient harmed by a doctor’s delay in prescribing diagnostic testing may lead to a delayed diagnosis, which can cause irreparable harm to the patient’s health. Similarly, if a patient that has been harmed by a doctor’s failure to provide a timely diagnosis does not provide the defendant with the proper notice of a potential claim or pursue claims against the defendant in a timely manner, it may permanently impair the plaintiff’s ability to recover damages, as demonstrated in a recent hospital malpractice case. If you were harmed by the careless acts of hospital employees, it is advisable to confer with a talented Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney as soon as possible to avoid waiving your right to pursue compensation.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff visited the defendant hospital with complaints of breast symptoms. While she was there, she was examined by the defendant gynecologist and released. The plaintiff was ultimately diagnosed with breast cancer four months later. She then proceeded to file a medical malpractice claim against the defendants, arguing they caused her to suffer significant harm by failing to diagnose her in a timely manner and failing to refer her to obtain the diagnostic testing required to assess an accurate diagnosis.

Allegedly, however, the plaintiff did not file her lawsuit until approximately nine months after the alleged harm. As such, she petitioned the court for leave to serve late notice of her claim. The trial court granted the plaintiff’s petition, after which the defendants appealed. On appeal, the court reversed the trial court ruling and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

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In some instances in which a patient suffers from multiple symptoms that do not have a clear cause, a doctor will be unable to provide the patient with a prompt diagnosis. While some degree of delay in diagnosing a patient may be reasonable, a substantial delay without just cause may constitute medical malpractice. Recently, a New York appellate court explained when a delay constitutes medical malpractice in a case in which a patient alleged she suffered harm due to a physician’s delay in diagnosing the patient with endocarditis. If you suffered damages due to your doctor’s failure to diagnose you in a timely manner, it is wise to speak to a trusted Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to discuss what damages you may be able to recover.

Facts Concerning the Plaintiff’s Care

It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the defendant urgent care center with numerous complaints. The defendant ultimately diagnosed the plaintiff with endocarditis, multiple days after the plaintiff first visited the defendant urgent care center. The plaintiff then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant urgent care center and the defendant doctor who treated her at the center, alleging that the delay in diagnosing the plaintiff caused her to suffer permanent heart valve damage. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. The court denied the defendants’ motion, after which the defendants appealed. Upon review, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s ruling and dismissed the plaintiff’s case.

When a Delayed Diagnosis Constitutes Medical Malpractice  

The appellate court noted that the defendants made a prima facie showing that they were entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Specifically, the defendants met their burden of proof under New York law by producing a detailed expert affidavit that stated that the defendant’s delay in diagnosing the plaintiff did not constitute a departure from accepted and good medical practice in treating the plaintiff. The appellate court found, however, that the plaintiff did not meet her burden of proof. Specifically, the expert reports provided by the plaintiff neither demonstrated that the defendants deviated from the standard of care or that any purported deviation caused the plaintiff’s alleged harm.

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While in some cases, a patient’s symptoms are straightforward, and the cause of the symptoms are easily ascertainable, in other instances, the journey to an accurate diagnosis can be lengthy. Simply because a patient does not immediately receive a correct diagnosis does not indicate that malpractice is present, however. Instead, in some cases, it may simply take longer to determine what illness is afflicting a patient. Recently, a New York appellate court discussed the evaluation of malpractice claims arising out of delayed diagnoses in a case in which it took several months for a plaintiff to receive a cancer diagnosis. If you were injured by a delay in receiving an accurate diagnosis, you should consult a capable Syracuse medical malpractice attorney regarding your possible claims.

Factual Background

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent presented to the defendant primary care physician with complaints of puffy eyes and nasal congestion. He was treated and sent home. A month later, the decedent called the defendant primary care physician and advised he was having difficulty swallowing, after which she referred him to a gastroenterologist. She did not order any other tests. The decedent ultimately underwent diagnostic imaging, which revealed that he had a mass in his chest. The defendant oncologist ultimately diagnosed the plaintiff with a form of lymphoma. After  the decedent’s death, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, arguing that their failure to diagnose the decedent in a timely manner caused the decedent’s harm. The defendants each filed motions for summary judgment, which the court granted in part. The plaintiff appealed.

Medical Malpractice Arising Out of a Delayed Diagnosis

With regard to the claims against the defendant primary care physician, the court noted that the defendant established via her expert report that the treatment she provided the decedent with on the date of his initial visit complied with the standard of care. In return, the plaintiff’s expert failed to raise a triable issue of material fact regarding whether the defendant deviated from the standard of care. Thus, the court affirmed the order granting summary judgment with regard to that issue.

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Many times when a person presents to the emergency room of a hospital, multiple doctors will render treatment and care to the person. Thus, if the person subsequently suffers harm because the care provided was inadequate, there may be more than one care provider liable for the person’s harm. If a plaintiff cannot establish that the negligence of an individual defendant proximately caused the plaintiff’s damages, though, the plaintiff’s claims against that defendant will be dismissed. This was demonstrated in a recent case in which the court granted summary judgment to an emergency room physician, ruling that any negligence on behalf of the physician did not harm the plaintiff’s decedent. If you or a loved one sustained harm due to inadequate care in a hospital, it is prudent to consult a trusted Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney to discuss your case.

Factual Background

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s decedent presented to the emergency department of the defendant hospital with complaints of chest pain. He was initially evaluated by the first defendant emergency room physician, who ordered numerous tests. However, she did not order a CT scan, due to the fact that she felt a CT scan should not be conducted until after the decedent’s lab results were returned. The defendant emergency room doctor’s shift ended prior to her receiving the decedent’s lab results.

Reportedly, the decedent’s care was then turned over to the second defendant emergency room physician, who requested a consultation with the defendant cardiologist. The defendant cardiologist performed an aortogram to determine if the decedent had an aortic dissection. No CT scan was performed at that time. The decedent was ultimately discharged with suspected deep venous thrombosis and directed to follow up with a thrombosis clinic in two days. Three days after his discharge, the decedent died of hemopericardium due to a ruptured dissection of the aorta. The plaintiff subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendants asserting claims of medical malpractice and wrongful death. The defendants filed motions for summary judgment. Continue reading

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When dealing with any health issues it is imperative to obtain an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment in a timely manner. A doctor’s failure to promptly diagnose and treat a person’s illness or condition can result in severe detriments and may sadly lead to a person’s premature death.  In cases where a plaintiff suffers an untimely death after the lawsuit has been filed, it is critical to follow the proper procedures for preserving the claim. This was evidenced in a recent New York appellate court case in which the court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s case for the failure to properly substitute parties after the plaintiff’s death. If you suffered damages due to the loss of your treating physician’s failure to diagnose or treat you promptly it is essential to meet with a capable Syracuse failure to diagnose malpractice attorney to discuss your case and what you must prove to recover damages.

Factual and Procedural Background

It is alleged that the plaintiffs, husband and wife, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant medical center and defendant physician, claiming that the physician committed malpractice by failing to diagnose the plaintiff husband in a timely manner, and that the defendant medical center was negligent for failing to properly supervise the physician. Approximately a year after the lawsuit was filed, the plaintiff husband died.

Reportedly, two years after the plaintiff husband’s death, the plaintiff wife filed a separate wrongful death lawsuit against the defendants, as the proposed administrator of the plaintiff husband’s estate. The defendants subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the original lawsuit, due to the plaintiff wife’s failure to pursue a timely substitution of parties on behalf of the plaintiff husband. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss and the plaintiff appealed.

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If you suffered damages due to your doctor’s failure to diagnose or treat an illness, connecting your doctor’s inadequate care to your harm is essential to present a successful case. This was illustrated in a case recently ruled upon by the appellate division of the Supreme Court of New York, in which the court found that the doctor’s failure to diagnose the plaintiff did not result in her ultimate harm, and dismissed the plaintiff’s case. If you were injured by a doctor’s failure to diagnose or treat your illness it is critical to retain a trusted Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney to set forth persuasive arguments to show that your doctor should be liable for your damages.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment

Reportedly, the plaintiff presented to the emergency room of the defendant hospital where she was treated and released, with complaints of ear pain. She was later diagnosed with an ear infection by another treatment provider, and ultimately suffered hearing loss. She subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant hospital and defendant emergency room physician, alleging that the failure to diagnose her ear infection caused her to sustain hearing loss. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, which the trial court denied. The defendants appealed and on appeal, the appellate court reversed the trial court ruling.

Proximate Cause

On appeal, the court stated that the defendants established as a matter of law that they did not depart from the applicable standard of care in rendering treatment to the plaintiff. Specifically, the defendants’ expert affidavits stated that further testing or a referral to an otolaryngologist was not indicated by the results of the plaintiff’s physical examination or the symptoms she described. Further, the reports established that to the extent the defendants deviated from the standard of care in failing to diagnose the plaintiff’s ear infection, any departure did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s alleged harm. Under New York law, proximate cause is established in a medical malpractice case when it is a substantial factor in bringing about the alleged harm.

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Under New York law, a plaintiff who wishes to pursue a medical malpractice claim arising out of a doctor’s negligent failure to diagnose and treat the plaintiff in an appropriate time frame must file a lawsuit within two years and six months of the date of the alleged harm. While certain factors, such as the doctor’s ongoing treatment of the plaintiff will toll the statute of limitations, not all treatment constitutes continuous treatment for purposes of tolling the statute. A New York appellate court recently discussed what treatment is sufficient to toll the statutory period, in a case arising out of alleged ophthalmic malpractice. If you suffered harm due to your physician’s failure to provide you with a proper diagnosis in a timely manner you should consult a trusted Syracuse failure to diagnose malpractice attorney to discuss the circumstances surrounding your harm and what damages you may be able to recover.

Factual Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice action against the defendant ophthalmic practice and defendant ophthalmologist due to the failure to promptly diagnose and treat the plaintiff’s glaucoma. The alleged malpractice occurred on February 25, 2011, July 15, 2011, and December 6, 2013. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s case as time-barred. The trial court denied the defendants’ motion, and the defendants appealed.

Care Under the Continuous Treatment Doctrine

A defendant arguing that a plaintiffs’ medical malpractice lawsuit is barred by the applicable statute of limitations must set forth prima facie evidence that the time in which the plaintiff was required to commence his or her lawsuit has expired. If the defendant establishes the statutory period has passed, the burden shifts to the plaintiff to raise a material issue of fact as to whether the statute of limitations was tolled by the continuous treatment doctrine.
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