Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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Health care practitioners accused of medical malpractice will often seek dismissal of the claims against them though a motion for summary judgment. In most cases, the courts will only grant a motion for summary judgment if the defendant submits an expert report sufficient to meet their burden of proof. As discussed in a recent New York opinion, this means that the opinion must assert that the defendant did not diverge from the accepted standard of care or that any divergence did not cause the harm suffered by the plaintiff. If you were hurt by incompetent care offered by a physician, it is advisable to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your potential claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the decedent received care at a medical center operated by the federal government. He ultimately suffered injuries due to mistakes made when he was intubated. He later died from unrelated causes. Following his death, his estate filed medical malpractice claims against the federal government. After discovery closed, the defendant moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims through summary judgment.

Expert Reports Sufficient to Meet a Defendant’s Burden of Proof

Although the claims were pursued in federal court, they arose out of New York law. As such, the court applied New York law to the claims. In New York, a defendant seeking dismissal of medical malpractice claims must establish their entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by proving that they did not depart from the accepted and good practice of medicine when treating the plaintiff and that any alleged departure did not cause the plaintiff harm. Typically, this is demonstrated via an expert opinion. Continue reading

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Under New York law, medical malpractice claims are comprised of two elements. In other words, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit must not only show that the defendant departed from the customary practice of medicine but also that the departure caused the plaintiff to suffer harm. If the plaintiff fails to establish either element, their claim will be dismissed; however, if they introduce evidence sufficient to demonstrate an issue of fact with regard to both elements, their case will likely proceed to trial. The evidence needed to support medical malpractice claims was the topic of a recent New York opinion. If you were harmed by inadequate medical care, it is advisable for you to confer with a  Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your potential claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered injuries when his ring finger struck a ceiling fan. He treated with the defendant doctor at the defendant hospital and was diagnosed with a fracture of the left finger. He underwent a surgical repair of the fracture and later underwent a second procedure to remove the pins from his finger. He subsequently needed additional surgeries to address issues with mobility and stability.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit in which he asserted, among other things, medical malpractice claims against the defendants. The defendants ultimately moved for summary judgment. After reviewing the evidence submitted, the court denied the motion. Continue reading

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It is not uncommon for a defendant in a medical malpractice case to ask the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims in their entirety. While the courts should only grant such a request if it is clear that there is no factual dispute as to whether the defendant violated the standard of care, in some instances, the courts rule incorrectly. Fortunately, plaintiffs who believe a trial court erred in granting a motion for summary judgment can file appeals. Recently, a New York court explained when summary judgment motions should be denied in a psychiatric malpractice case. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of a mental health professional, it is smart to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney regarding what you must prove to recover compensation.

The History of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff treated the defendants for mental health issues. In July of 2014, he suffered injuries when he attempted suicide by jumping off of the roof of his house. He subsequently instituted a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, arguing that they negligently failed to refer him for psychiatric care, conduct an assessment of his suicide risk, schedule him for follow-up care, properly treat his anxiety and depression, or monitor his mental health.

It is reported that the plaintiff alleges the defendants’ negligent care caused his mental health issues to worsen, ultimately leading to his suicide. Following discovery, the defendants moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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Most treatments carry some degree of risk, and doctors will typically advise patients of the benefits and detriments of a chosen course of care prior to administering it. The dangers associated with treatment can be exacerbated by medical mistakes as well, and seemingly harmless procedures can result in fatal injuries. People who lose loved ones due to medical errors can pursue claims against the providers that cause their harm, but proving causation can be challenging. Recently, a New York court discussed the causation element of medical malpractice cases in a matter in which it ruled that the disputed issues must be presented to the jury. If you lost a loved one due to negligent medical care, it is smart to consult a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what evidence you must produce to establish liability.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s decedent underwent a liver biopsy that was performed by the defendant. The decedent subsequently died as a result of internal bleeding, which the plaintiff attributed to a laceration of the abdominal wall caused by the negligence of the defendant. Thus, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, setting forth claims of medical negligence and wrongful death. After discovery was closed, the defendant moved for summary judgment. The court denied the motion, and the defendant appealed.

Proving Causation in Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the court explained that the only point of contention is whether the defendant was responsible for the lacerations that caused the plaintiff’s death. The court noted that the parties’ experts disagree on the distance between the biopsied section of the liver and the lacerations on the stomach and whether the lacerations were consistent with an injury from a biopsy needle. Continue reading

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Many hospitals and health care facilities throughout New York are public corporations. While such entities may be liable for medical malpractice, parties pursuing claims against them have to comply with certain pleading requirements, like providing a notice of a claim within a certain time frame. Generally, such notices must set forth the plaintiff’s theory of liability and can only be amended in certain circumstances, as illustrated in a recent ruling issued in a New York medical malpractice case. If you suffered losses due to inadequate medical care, you might be able to pursue claims against your treating provider, and it is smart to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff served a notice of claim against the defendant public health care corporation, alleging that it committed medical malpractice and was negligent. Specifically, the notice asserted that the defendant failed to diagnose the plaintiff’s decedent’s colon cancer, which subsequently spread throughout her body and caused her death. The notice further asserted that the claim arose in July 2018 through September 2018 at a hospital in Brooklyn.

Allegedly, after a hearing was conducted in the matter, the plaintiff served the defendant with an amended notice of claim, the enlarged the dates when the alleged malpractice occurred from January 2014 through September 2018. She then sought the subject lawsuit and sought leave to amend the notice of the claim. The trial court granted her petition, and the defendant appealed. Continue reading

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Accidents that occur in the context of medical care may give rise to negligence claims. In many instances, though, such incidents arise out of a medical professional’s failure to comply with the standard of care, and therefore, any claims seeking damages for harm suffered in such incidents sound in medical malpractice. Recently, a New York court discussed the differences between negligence and medical malpractice claims asserted against health care providers in a matter in which the nature of the plaintiff’s claims was disputed. If you were injured by the carelessness of a medical professional, you have the right to seek damages, and it is in your best interest to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the decedent, who was 85 years old, was admitted to the defendant rehabilitation center after he underwent the surgical implantation of a pacemaker. He left briefly to undergo another surgery but returned to the defendant center. A short time later, he collapsed while walking from the bathroom to his bed. He ultimately died due to injuries sustained in the fall. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, seeking damages for medical malpractice and negligence. Following the conclusion of discovery, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. The court ultimately denied the motion to the extent it sought to dismiss the portion of the claim asserting liability for the failure to provide the decedent with a bed alarm, which the court determined sounded in ordinary negligence. The defendant then appealed.

Negligence Versus Medical Malpractice

The appellate court explained that the core component of the claim that the defendant failed to provide the decedent with a bed alarm that would have prevented him from falling is that it misjudged his condition and the level of supervision required to keep him from falling, which constitutes medical malpractice. As such, the defendant bore the initial burden of proving either that no deviation from good and established medical practice occurred or that such deviation was not a proximate cause of the decedent’s injuries. The appellate court found that the defendant met this burden, but in response, the plaintiff failed to illustrate the presence of a triable question of fact. As such, the appellate court found that the trial court should have granted the defendant’s motion dismissing that portion of the lawsuit alleging a failure to equip the decedent with a bed alarm. Continue reading

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Medical malpractice cases are complex, and even if either party believes their evidence is compelling, there is always a risk the jury could rule against them at trial. As such, parties often try to resolve medical malpractice cases via summary judgment prior to proceeding to trial. As discussed in a recent New York ruling, however, summary judgment is only appropriate in medical malpractice cases when there is no disputed issue of fact. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of a health care provider, you might be owed compensation, and you should contact a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant doctor treated the decedent for an unspecified medical concern. The decedent’s condition failed to improve, however, and he ultimately passed away from complications of his illness. The plaintiff then commenced a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, averring that his negligence led to the decedent’s harm. The parties exchange discovery, after which the defendant moved for summary judgment. The court found that the plaintiff’s expert affidavit filed in opposition to the motion raised triable issues of fact. Thus, the court denied his motion. The defendant then appealed.

Summary Judgment in Medical Malpractice Cases

After reviewing the evidence, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling. The appellate court explained that it is well established under New York law that a defendant moving for summary judgment in a medical malpractice case bears the burden of establishing the lack of any departure from the accepted and good practice of medicine. Alternatively, the defendant can show that the plaintiff did not suffer harm due to any such departure. Continue reading

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While many psychiatric illnesses do not cause physical symptoms, they can nonetheless result in significant injuries if they are not properly treated. For example, if a doctor fails to observe a patient is harboring suicidal thoughts, it can have devastating consequences. Merely, because a patient who treated with a psychiatrist dies by suicide does not necessarily mean the psychiatrist committed malpractice, however. Rather, the deceased person’s estate must still prove all of the elements of a medical malpractice claim to recover damages, as demonstrated in a recent New York ruling. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to the negligence of a psychiatrist, you might be able to recover damages, and it is smart to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to assess what evidence you must produce to establish liability.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the decedent treated with the defendant due to chronic depression. The defendant primarily treated people with depression that was not mitigated by traditional medications by administering ketamine. He subsequently treated the decedent with a ketamine infusion, which caused an immediate short-term worsening of his symptoms. There is no evidence that the defendant was aware of this, however.

Allegedly, the decedent returned for additional infusions and subsequently responded in a similar manner. The defendant evaluated the decedent as being at his chronic baseline despite the treatments but did not believe he was acutely at risk. Shortly thereafter, the decedent took his own life by overdosing on narcotics. The decedent’s spouse filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting medical malpractice claim and other causes of action. The defendant moved for summary judgment. The court ultimately granted the motion. Continue reading

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It is well-established that people harmed by medical malpractice have the right to seek compensation from the parties responsible for their injuries. While it is not required for a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case to be represented by an attorney, it is prudent, as most people outside of the legal arena do not understand the requirements imposed by procedural rules and are likely to make mistakes that can adversely impact their claims. This was illustrated in a recent ruling in which a New York court dismissed a plaintiff’s claims seeking damages for medical malpractice due to lack of jurisdiction over the matter. If you were hurt by negligent medical care, you could be owed damages, and you should engage the services of a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to aid you in pursuing your claims.

Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a lawsuit in federal court against the state, asserting numerous claims, including medical malpractice. She filed the complaint without the assistance of an attorney. The precise nature of the medical treatment she received and the harm that arose from such care was not disclosed in the court’s opinion. She moved to proceed in forma pauperis; as such, the court conducted its two-part analysis, first determining if she qualified for in forma pauperis status and then screening her complaint to evaluate if it was within the court’s jurisdiction.

It is alleged that while the court granted her motion to proceed in forma pauperis, it found that the complaint did not provide grounds for federal jurisdiction. It provided the plaintiff leave to amend her complaint, which she did. The court determined her amended complaint to be devoid of grounds for jurisdiction as well and subsequently dismissed her claims. Continue reading

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Typically, medical malpractice cases arising out of incompetent medical care rendered in New York are filed in state court. Plaintiffs are not precluded from pursuing claims in federal court, but if they do so they must establish that jurisdiction is proper; otherwise, their claims may be dismissed. Recently, a New York court discussed federal diversity jurisdiction over medical malpractice cases in a matter in which the plaintiff asserted numerous claims against multiple defendants. If you suffered harm because of incompetent medical care, it is critical to retain a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to assist you in pursuing any compensation you may be owed.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is alleged that the plaintiff filed a federal lawsuit asserting numerous claims against multiple parties, including a medical malpractice claim against the defendant hospital. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged the defendant hospital unjustly discharged him and unlawfully shared his confidential health records with third parties. The defendant hospital moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims on the grounds that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over them. After reviewing the pleadings, the court agreed and dismissed the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims without prejudice.

Federal Diversity Jurisdiction in Medical Malpractice Cases

Pursuant to federal law, district courts have jurisdiction over civil claims if the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, and the dispute is between citizens of different states. The courts strictly construe the law against finding jurisdiction. Further, the law requires that, in federal actions in which jurisdiction is premised on diversity, complete diversity of citizenship must exist when the plaintiff institutes the action. Continue reading

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