Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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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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Generally, plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases allege that the defendant doctors failed to provide them with proper care, thereby causing their harm. In some instances, though, the plaintiff will not allege the defendant negligently caused the plaintiff to suffer physical injuries but will instead seek to hold the defendant accountable for medical malpractice for failing to prevent the plaintiff from harming others. This was demonstrated in a recent case in which the plaintiff argued his treating psychiatrists committed medical malpractice by failing to recognize he posed a risk of injury to other individuals.  If you suffered losses due to a negligent psychiatrist, it is prudent to confer with an experienced Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff was arrested and taken to the defendant hospital after he threatened to kill his family and abused and killed an animal. When he was at the hospital, he was examined by the defendant psychiatrist, who failed to diagnose him with any mental disease or ongoing condition and discharged him without notifying the police.

Allegedly, after he was discharged, the defendant killed the three members of his family he previously threatened. He subsequently was arrested and charged with numerous crimes. The State accepted his plea that he was not guilty by reason of insanity, and he was placed in an institution. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. The defendant moved for dismissal, arguing that the plaintiff failed to set forth a legally cognizable claim. The court denied the motion, and the defendant appealed. Continue reading

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In most medical malpractice cases, both parties will retain medical experts to testify on issues like the applicable standard of care and causation. While experts typically practice in the same field as the parties named as defendants, they do not have to work in the same specialty to be qualified to offer testimony. This was explained in a recent New  York opinion issued in a case arising out of the defendant’s mismanagement of a patient’s diabetes, which ultimately resulted in his death. If you lost a loved one due to the negligence of a primary care physician, you should speak to a Syracuse primary care malpractice attorney regarding your right to pursue damages.

The Decedent’s Harm

It is reported that the decedent was transferred from a hospital to the defendant rehabilitation facility. During his admission at the facility, he was cared for by the defendant physician. The decedent, who suffered from type II diabetes, soon began to experience significant symptoms due to his illness. The defendant physician failed to properly manage the decedent’s diabetes, however, and the decedent’s condition worsened.

Allegedly, the decedent ultimately died due to complications caused by his diabetes. The plaintiff, the decedent’s son, filed a medical malpractice case against the defendants, alleging their negligent treatment of the decedent caused his death. The defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff’s expert was not qualified to testify regarding the defendant physician’s management of the decedent’s diabetes. The trial court agreed and granted the motion. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue reading

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In New York, people harmed by medical malpractice have the right to seek compensation from the providers that caused their harm. They must abide by any applicable laws regarding notice and timeliness, though, otherwise they may waive the right to recover damages. For example, if the defendant is a municipal entity, a plaintiff must provide notice of a potential claim within 90 days of the date of harm. While in some cases, a court will grant leave to provide late notice, such permission is not always provided. Rather, as explained in a recent New York opinion, a plaintiff must show such leave is warranted. If you suffered harm because of medical malpractice, it is smart to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney about your options.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered a hand injury, which was treated at a health clinic run by the defendant municipal corporation. He suffered complications during the healing process and subsequently had to undergo surgery. He asserted that his treatment did not meet the accepted standard of care but failed to serve the defendant with notice of the claim within 90 days as required by New York law. Approximately ten months later, he moved for leave to serve late notice of his claim. The trial court granted the plaintiff’s motion, and the defendant appealed. Upon review, the appellate court reversed the trial court ruling.

Grounds for Leave to Provide Late Notice of a Claim

On appeal, the court noted that the plaintiff did not offer any first-hand account of the incident or of any investigation that occurred thereafter. Further, he did not offer proof that any records of the incident existed, let alone evidence that the content of such records would show that the city had actual notice of his intention to file a civil lawsuit based on allegations of negligence within 90 days of the date of his harm or within a reasonable time after, as required to establish grounds for granting late notice under New York law. Continue reading

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Medical malpractice cases are typically complex and require the retention of multiple experts, extensive discovery, analysis of complicated issues, and understanding of statutes and procedural rules. As such, while some people may be tempted to pursue such claims without the assistance of an attorney, it is generally ill-advised, as they make commit errors that could result in the dismissal of their case. This was explained in a recent New York matter in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawsuit due to his failure to pursue his claims in the proper manner. If you sustained damages due to negligent treatment from a health care provider, it is in your best interest to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your options for seeking damages.

The Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff treated with the defendant doctors due to issues with his back. He ultimately underwent spinal surgery, which was performed by the defendants. He subsequently suffered unspecified complications. As such, he filed a pro se lawsuit against the defendants in federal court, asserting negligence per se and medical malpractice claims. The defendants moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) on the grounds that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the case. After a review of the pleadings, the court granted the defendants’ motion.

Jurisdiction over Medical Malpractice Claims

The court explained that while the plaintiff, as a pro se litigant, was entitled to special consideration and would be held to less stringent standards than parties represented by attorneys, his claims must nonetheless be dismissed. The court noted that pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution, federal courts may exercise limited jurisdiction. Specifically, they can wield subject matter jurisdiction over claims that present federal questions, which are those in which a colorable claim arises under the Constitution, treaties, or laws of the United States. Continue reading

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Older people are especially vulnerable to the injuries that arise out of incompetent medical care, and in many instances, the harm they sustain is insurmountable, and they ultimately succumb to their illnesses. In such instances, the deceased person’s family members often can seek compensation from the negligent care providers via a wrongful death claim. In a recent New York ruling, a court discussed a dispute over verdict slips in a case in which it was alleged that medical negligence led to a person’s death. If you suffered the loss of a loved one due to incompetent medical care, you have the right to pursue claims, and you should speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to determine what compensation you may be able to recover.

The Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s decedent was admitted to the defendant hospital. One evening during his stay, he vomited and then was noted to have blue lips and nailbeds. His oxygen saturation level dropped to 55%, and he died later that evening. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging medical negligence and wrongful death claims. Prior to trial, the parties submitted proposed verdict sheets. The defendant then filed a motion asking the court to reject the plaintiff’s verdict sheet to the extent it sought damages for emotional or physical harm or death, and conscious pain and suffering caused by the defendant’s violation of New York health laws. The court denied the defendant’s motion, after which the defendant filed a motion for leave to reargue the issues.

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Many people have advanced directives that indicate that they do not want to receive life-sustaining treatment in the event they contract a terminal illness or suffer an acute medical event. Thus, if a doctor in a hospital prolongs the life of a person with a living will, it may go against the person’s ultimate wishes. It likely does not constitute medical malpractice, however, as discussed in a recent New York ruling in which the court stated that New York does not recognize a cause of action for wrongful life and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims against a hospital. If you or a loved one sustained losses because of negligent care in a hospital, it is prudent to meet with a Syracuse hospital malpractice lawyer to assess your rights.

The Decedent’s Care

It is reported that in 1993, the decedent drafted a living will that stated he did not want to receive life-sustaining treatment if he was terminally ill. In 2017, the decedent’s health had deteriorated to the point that he would likely soon die. The defendant hospital, which was tasked with caring for the defendant, was notified of the living will by the decedent’s health care agent. The defendant nonetheless provided the decedent with antibiotics and intravenous treatment, prolonging his life by twenty days.

Allegedly, after the decedent passed away, the plaintiff instituted a malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging it unnecessarily prolonged the decedent’s pain and suffering. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff was asserting a wrongful life claim which was not a valid cause of action under New York law. The court agreed, granting the defendant’s motion. Continue reading

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Tragically, many people suffer devastating complications following routine surgical procedures. In some instances, the complications are the result of medical malpractice and could have been avoided by the exercise of due care, but in others, they are merely unfortunate and unexpected side effects. Recently, a New York court discussed the burden of proof imposed on a plaintiff in an opinion delivered in a cardiology malpractice case where the plaintiff’s decedent died following a routine eye procedure. If you suffered harm due to a careless cardiologist, you might be owed damages, and it would benefit you to meet with a trusted Syracuse cardiology malpractice attorney to discuss your options.

The Plaintiff’s Losses and Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent underwent eye surgery, which was performed at the defendant outpatient facility. Prior to the procedure, he underwent a physical examination with the defendant primary care physician. Sadly, the decedent suffered unexpected complications and died shortly after the procedure. The plaintiff then commenced a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant facility and primary care physician, as well as the decedent’s cardiologist. The defendants moved to have the claims against them dismissed via summary judgment, but the court denied their motions. They then appealed.

Establishing Liability in a Medical Malpractice Case

On appeal, the court reversed the trial court rulings. The court noted that to prove the liability of a doctor, a plaintiff must prove that the doctor departed from the accepted standard of practice and that the departure directly caused the plaintiff’s losses. A defendant that wishes to have medical malpractice claims dismissed via summary judgment must produce prima facie evidence that he or she did not depart from the accepted practice of medicine or that the departure did not proximately lead to the plaintiff’s harm.

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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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