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.