Articles Posted in Hospital Malpractice

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If a person suffers injuries in a hospital, the hospital may be liable for the person’s harm. The standard for imposing liability against a hospital in a medical malpractice case is the same as the standard from proving the liability of an individual defendant, in that a plaintiff must show a deviation from the standard of care caused his or her harm. The failure to establish proximate cause can be fatal to a plaintiff’s claims, as illustrated in a recent hospital malpractice case decided by the appellate division of the Supreme Court of New York. If you sustained injuries in a hospital due to inadequate care, it is important to meet with a zealous Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney to discuss whether you may be able to recover damages.

Factual Background

It is alleged that the plaintiff, who was 87-years-old, visited the emergency room of the defendant hospital due to an infection in her foot. The defendant’s staff assessed the plaintiff as being at risk for falling and placed the plaintiff on fall protocol. The following morning, however, the plaintiff fell from her bed and fractured her hip. She required surgery to treat her fracture. She subsequently filed a medical malpractice claim against the defendant. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not establish liability. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Proving a Hospital’s Liability

A defendant hospital seeking to have a case dismissed via summary judgment bears the burden of proving either that there was no deviation from the applicable standard of care or that any deviation was not the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s alleged harm. If the defendant meets this burden, the plaintiff must produce evidence of a triable issue of fact in response to the defendant.

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In many medical malpractice cases filed in New York, the court dismisses the case due to procedural errors, regardless of whether the plaintiff has a valid claim. For example, in instances in which a person is deceased due to medical malpractice, the claim must be pursued by a personal representative rather than the deceased individual. An appellate court of New York recently discussed the procedural aspects of pursuing a claim following a person’s death due to medical malpractice, in a case in which the plaintiff alleged hospital malpractice caused the death of his child. If you or your child were injured by hospital malpractice it is crucial to retain an experienced Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney to provide you with a strong chance of a successful outcome under the facts of your case.

Factual and Procedural History of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff father’s child was treated at the defendant hospital. The child subsequently died, after which the plaintiff father filed a hospital malpractice case, naming the deceased child as the plaintiff. The child’s mother was named as a plaintiff as well, in her individual capacity. The plaintiff father then filed a motion to substitute himself as the administrator of the child’s estate as a plaintiff and to amend the caption. He also sought leave to amend the complaint to include a wrongful death claim. The defendant hospital filed a cross-motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds the motion for substitution was untimely. The court denied the plaintiff father’s motion and granted the defendant’s, after which the plaintiffs appealed.

Motion for Substitution Under New York Law

Under the New York Rules of Civil Procedure, a motion for substitution must be made within a reasonable time. In determining whether a motion for substitution is timely, the court will evaluate several factors, including whether the party seeking substitution was diligent, whether the claim or defense has potential merit, and whether the other party will suffer prejudice as a result of the substitution.

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Generally, a plaintiff has the right to decide where to pursue his or her medical malpractice claim. There are limitations, however, in that a court cannot render rulings in a case in which it has no jurisdiction over an entity or person who is named as a defendant. In a recent hospital malpractice case arising out of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, the court explained when the exercise of jurisdiction over an out of state defendant is valid. If you or a family member were rendered insufficient care in a hospital and suffered harm as a result it is critical to meet with a knowledgeable Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney regarding your options for seeking compensation for your harm.

Facts and Procedure of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent received treatment at the defendant hospital, which was located in Pennsylvania, where he was cared for by several physicians. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death case against the defendant hospital and numerous individually named physicians, all of whom practiced solely in Pennsylvania. The defendants collectively filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the court lacked personal jurisdiction and the case must be dismissed. The court granted the motion and the plaintiff appealed.

Exercising Jurisdiction Over Out of State Defendants

On appeal, the court rejected the plaintiff’s assertion that the defendant hospital consented to jurisdiction by registering as a foreign corporation in New York, or that the named defendants consented to jurisdiction by obtaining licenses to practice medicine in New York. Additionally, the court was not persuaded by the plaintiff’s argument that the defendants waived the right to object with regards to personal jurisdiction, due to the fact that the parent company of the defendant hospital accepted service on behalf of the defendants. The court explained that the acceptance of service, standing alone, did not constitute a waiver or an objection to personal jurisdiction. Continue reading

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In New York medical malpractice cases, if a plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of an estate, he or she must comply with the New York Rules of Civil Procedure, otherwise, the plaintiff runs the risk of having his or her case dismissed. This was demonstrated in a recent hospital malpractice case decided by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, in which the court discussed when a plaintiff’s case could be dismissed due to lack of standing to recover on behalf of the estate. If you or a loved one were injured by inadequate care rendered by a hospital it is vital to speak with a seasoned Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney to discuss what evidence you must produce to recover damages.

Factual and Procedural Background of the Case

Reportedly, in 2016, the plaintiff filed medical malpractice and wrongful death claims against the defendant hospital and defendant nursing home that cared for his mother prior to her death. The plaintiff filed the case as the proposed administrator of his mother’s estate. The defendants subsequently filed separate motions to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff lacked the capacity to sue on behalf of the estate since official letters of administration had not been granted. The court granted the defendant nursing home’s motion on June 1, 2016, and the defendant hospital’s motion on October 18, 2016.

It is alleged the plaintiff then filed a second suit that was virtually identical as a voluntary administrator of the estate. The defendant again moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s case, arguing he was not permitted to bring claims on behalf of the estate. The plaintiff was then granted letters of administration. Thus, he opposed the defendant’s motion, arguing it should be denied because he had letters of administration, and moved to amend the pleadings to recognize him as the administrator. The court ruled that the prior lawsuit was terminated by the May 26 order and granted the defendant’s motion and the plaintiff appealed.

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In many cases in which a person is injured by inadequate medical care there will be more than one entity or care provider liable for his or her harm. For example, hospitals can be held accountable for harm caused by a resident due to an improperly performed procedure. Recently, the appellate division of the Supreme Court of New York analyzed when a hospital may be deemed liable for the negligent care provided by a surgical resident. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of a hospital or any other care provider, it is essential to consult an experienced Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney regarding what you must prove to hold the hospital liable for your injuries.

Factual Background

It is alleged that the plaintiff underwent an attempted lumbar fusion surgery at the defendant hospital. The vascular part of the surgery was performed by the defendant surgeon, who was assisted by a resident. Early on in the procedure, the defendant surgeon encountered problems with the plaintiff’s iliac veins, which began profusely bleeding. The defendant surgeon attempted to repair the veins, which lead to increased tearing and blood loss. The plaintiff was then hospitalized for several months while he recovered. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. The trial court granted the motion, after which the plaintiff appealed.

A Hospital’s Liability for a Resident’s Negligence

On appeal, the court held, in part, that the hospital met its burden of proof by showing that the resident it agreed to hold harmless and defend did not exercise any independent judgment during the surgery. The court noted that, under New York law, a resident who aids a doctor during a medical procedure cannot be held liable for medical malpractice if the resident did not exercise any independent medical judgment, unless the doctor’s directions so greatly deviated from the standard of care the resident was obligated to intervene. Continue reading

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When people have critical and acute health concerns, they typically visit the emergency room of a hospital to obtain immediate treatment and prevent further harm. If the treatment providers in the emergency room provide inadequate care however, it may cause the patient further harm. A New York appellate court recently addressed what a plaintiff seeking to assert an emergency room malpractice claim must prove. If you sustained harm due to negligent care rendered in an emergency room, it is critical to consult a seasoned Syracuse emergency room malpractice attorney regarding your potential claims.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment

Reportedly, the plaintiff was taken to the emergency room of the first defendant hospital after she was found lying on the sidewalk by the police. She arrived at the hospital at 10:29 pm but left against medical advice at 1:20 am. She then arrived at the emergency room of the second defendant hospital at 1:35 am and was triaged at 1:39 am. The plaintiff was treated by the defendant physician, who ordered a CT scan of her head. The results of the scan indicated that the plaintiff suffered multiple hemorrhages and obstructive hydrocephalus.

It is alleged that upon review of the scans, the physician indicated that the plaintiff needed to undergo immediate surgery and should be transferred to a facility with a neurosurgery department. She was transferred to the third defendant hospital, where the attending physician noted he suspected the cause of her cerebral hemorrhaging was an aneurysm. She then underwent a surgical procedure that was complicated by an aneurysm rupture. She subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants. The defendants then filed a motion for summary judgment asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s lawsuit.

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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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In most cases, as the plaintiff is the party that commences a lawsuit, he or she chooses the venue in which an action will be heard. In certain instances, however, the defendant can move for a change of venue, which the court may grant if it finds that the forum chosen by the plaintiff is not appropriate. In a recent New York appellate court case in which the plaintiff alleged harm due to the failure to diagnose her husband in a timely manner, the court discussed what constitutes an appropriate forum in a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you the suffered the loss of a loved one due to a doctor’s negligent failure to diagnose an injury or illness you should speak with an experienced Syracuse failure to diagnose malpractice lawyer regarding your options for seeking damages.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s husband treated with the defendant physician at the defendant hospital. The plaintiff’s husband ultimately died due to an aneurysmal AV fistula. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendants, alleging medical malpractice due to the failure to diagnose the plaintiff’s husband in a timely manner, wrongful death, and lack of informed consent. The defendants filed a motion to change the venue from one county to another. The court denied the motion and the defendants appealed.

Appropriate Venue in a Medical Malpractice Case

Under New York law, the court can change the place of a trial in an action where the county in which the lawsuit was filed is not the proper county. For the court to grant a defendant’s motion to dismiss, the defendant must prove that the venue chosen by the plaintiff is improper and that his or her chosen venue is proper. If the defendant meets this burden, the plaintiff can oppose the motion by showing that the venue he or she selected is proper. Continue reading

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There are several elements an injured party must establish to successfully prove a hospital malpractice claim. Thus, even if a person can show a hospital breached the standard of care, the breach may not be actionable if it did not result in any harm. this was illustrated in a case recently decided by a New York appellate court, in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint due to the failure to show that the departure from the standard of care resulted in the harm alleged. If you sustained an injury or illness due to hospital malpractice it is critical to engage a proficient Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney as soon as possible to help you pursue the full amount of damages you may be owed.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment and Alleged Harm

Reportedly, the plaintiff presented to the defendant hospital when she was six weeks pregnant, with complaints of bleeding and severe pain. She underwent a blood test and an ultrasound to determine whether she had an intrauterine pregnancy, an ectopic pregnancy, or was suffering a miscarriage. The radiologist who interpreted the ultrasound determined that the plaintiff had a single intrauterine pregnancy. She was discharged from the hospital and directed to follow-up with her gynecologist.

It is alleged that the following day the plaintiff visited the defendant obstetrician, who ran additional bloodwork and advised the plaintiff that based on her bloodwork and the preliminary report from the radiologist that she was having a miscarriage.  That same day, the defendant hospital issued an amended radiology report in which it stated that it was not certain whether there was a gestational sac in the uterus. The amended report was not sent to the defendant obstetrician. Approximately six weeks later, the plaintiff was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy and underwent surgery to remove her left fallopian tube.
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In almost all medical malpractice cases both the plaintiff and the defendant will need to engage experts to prove their claims. Just as medical malpractice cases are not limited to claims against doctors, the experts in medical malpractice cases are not required to be doctors. Rather, any medical care provider qualified to offer an opinion on the disputed issue can be an expert.

This was illustrated in a case heard by a New York appellate court, in which the court affirmed that a nurse’s expert testimony was properly admitted.  If you suffered harm due to inadequate medical care, you should meet with a skilled Syracuse medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to discuss the facts of your case and your options for seeking compensation from the parties responsible for your harm.

Facts Regarding the Decedent’s Care

It is alleged that the decedent was admitted to the defendant hospital and diagnosed with cancer. For the next two months, he was treated as an inpatient, with the exception of ten days when he was discharged to his home. He ultimately died of cancer, after which his wife filed a lawsuit against the defendant hospital, alleging malpractice due to the hospital’s failure to properly prevent and treat the decedent’s pressure ulcers while he was admitted at the hospital. The case proceeded to trial, after which a jury found in favor of the plaintiff, awarding her $500,000 for the defendant’s conscious pain and suffering prior to his death. The defendant moved to set aside the verdict or for a new trial, which the trial court denied. The defendant then appealed.

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