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Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

People who rely on long-term facilities to look after their loved ones expect that they will be treated with competent care. Sadly, however, it is not uncommon for people in long-term care facilities to suffer fatal harm due to negligence and oversights. In such instances, their loved ones may have grounds for recovering damages via medical malpractice claims. Not all fatalities that occur in a long-term care facility are the result of incompetence, though, as demonstrated in a recent New York medical malpractice case in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims. If you believe your loved one’s death was caused by a healthcare provider’s recklessness, it is in your best interest to talk to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer promptly.

Facts of the Case and Procedural History

It is alleged that the decedent, a resident of the defendant’s facility, passed away shortly after eating lunch on day. The plaintiff alleged that the decedent choked on food. As such, the plaintiff, both individually and as the administrator of the decedent’s estate, filed a lawsuit against the defendant, seeking damages for medical malpractice and wrongful death. After completing discovery, the defendant moved for summary judgment, asserting that the decedent did not choke on food and the care provided adhered to the accepted medical standards. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, prompting the plaintiff to appeal.

Establishing Medical Malpractice Liability Under New York Law

On appeal, the court initially noted that the right of direct appeal from the order denying the plaintiff’s motion terminated with the entry of the judgment in the action. However, the court considered the issues raised in the appeal from the order on the appeal from the judgment. Continue Reading ›

Many people living in residential facilities receive both medical care and assistance with general tasks of daily living, such as feeding and grooming. As such, if they suffer harm in such facilities, it can be challenging to determine whether negligence or medical malpractice is the root cause. As discussed in a recent New York opinion, it is important for anyone seeking damages to distinguish between the two to ensure their interests are protected. If you were harmed by a careless healthcare provider, it is smart to consult a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your rights.

Case Setting

It is alleged that the decedent was transferred to a residential facility operated by the defendants in September 2015 after a hospital admission. Upon admission, the decedent was diagnosed with generalized weakness and a history of multiple falls. The medical history indicated a high risk for falls, leading to the discontinuation of her blood thinner prescription.

It is reported that the decedent experienced multiple falls at the facility, leading to a diagnosis of dementia. She was eventually transferred to another facility, where she passed away. The plaintiff, as the executor of the decedent’s estate, filed a lawsuit against the defendants, asserting claims of breach of contract, violation of New York Public Health Law, and negligence. The defendants moved for summary judgment, but the court denied their motion. The defendants then appealed. Continue Reading ›

In New York medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff typically must name the parties allegedly responsible for their losses and must assert all of their claims against them within the timeframe dictated by the applicable statute of limitations. There are exceptions to the rule, though, such as when the identity of the healthcare provider that caused the plaintiff’s harm is unknown. In such instances, the relation-back doctrine, which allows for an amendment of a complaint to identify the proper defendant, may apply. In a recent opinion, a court explained the relation-back doctrine in the context of medical malpractice cases, ultimately determining that the trial court properly found that the doctrine applied. If you suffered harm by the carelessness of a physician, it is smart to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate what claims you may be able to assert.

Factual and Procedural Setting

It is alleged that the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit contending that the decedent, who had undergone treatment for lung cancer, experienced a lack of timely diagnosis and treatment, resulting in metastasis. The initial complaint, filed on January 31, 2020, named “John Doe, M.D.” as the attending physician in May 2016. The plaintiff later moved to substitute the defendant for “John Doe, M.D.,” the plaintiff invoked the relation-back doctrine. The trial court granted the plaintiff’s motion, allowing for the substation of the defendant for the previously named “John Doe, M.D.” The defendant then appealed.

The Relation-Back Doctrine in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. In doing so, it explained that the plaintiff invoked the relation-back doctrine, which allows the addition of a party after the statute of limitations has lapsed. The court explained that for the doctrine to apply, three conditions must be met: the claim must arise from the same occurrence, conduct, or transaction; there must be unity of interest between the original party and the party to be substituted; and the substituted party must have knowledge or awareness that plaintiff would have asserted claims against them as well, but for the plaintiff’s mistake in identity.

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Typically, doctors perform surgical procedures in hospitals or other medical facilities. If a patient subsequently suffers harm due to complications during the procedure, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice. Whether the facility where the procedure was performed bears responsibility as well depends on numerous factors, as discussed in a recent New York opinion issued in a medical malpractice case. If you were hurt by an improperly performed procedure and you have questions about your rights it is advisable to talk to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer.

Factual and Procedural History

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent surgery performed by the defendant surgeon at the defendant medical facility. The plaintiff subsequently commenced a medical malpractice case against the defendants. The defendants filed respective motions for summary judgment seeking to dismiss the cause of action for medical malpractice asserted against each of them. The trial court denied both motions, and the defendants appealed.

Vicarious Liability in Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. The court explained that in a medical malpractice case, the defendant initially bears the burden of demonstrating the absence of a deviation from accepted medical practice or that any purported deviation did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s injuries. The court elaborated that conflicting medical expert opinions preclude the grant of summary judgment in medical malpractice actions. Continue Reading ›

Incompetent medical care often causes significant injuries and, in some instances, can tragically lead to fatal harm. While the surviving family members can pursue claims against the responsible physicians, they must act promptly; otherwise, they may lose the right to recover damages, as illustrated in a recent New York opinion. If you lost a loved one due to negligent medical care, it is smart to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your rights.

Case Background

Allegedly, the plaintiff initiated legal action as the proposed administratrix of the estate of the decedent. However, at the time of filing on February 1, 2023, the plaintiff had not yet obtained letters of administration, rendering her without the standing to sue, as required under New York law. The complaint alleged negligence and violations of the Public Health Law, specifically referencing personal injuries, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life resulting from the defendant’s acts or omissions. The defendant raised the statute of limitations defense, asserting that the action was time-barred.

Statute of Limitations in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

Upon reviewing the complaint, the court acknowledged that it adequately alleged a cause of action for negligence and a violation of a statutorily conferred right in the Public Health Law. However, the court addressed the statute of limitations defense, noting that the causes of action for wrongful death and medical malpractice were time-barred. The court noted that the relevant statutes provide a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death and a two-year and six-month statute of limitations for medical malpractice. Continue Reading ›

Catastrophic events can expose people to toxins that cause skin cancer, lung disease, and other health concerns. Regardless of whether a person develops an illness due to environmental factors or such illnesses are about by other issues, though, it is anticipated that a doctor will be able to identify and treat the illness in a timely manner. Doctors who fail to do so may be liable for malpractice. As discussed in a recent New York case, though, if a person harmed by medical malpractice recovers compensation from a Victim Compensation fund for the same harm, it may compromise their civil claims. If you sustained injuries due to a delayed diagnosis, it is in your best interest to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer promptly.

History of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff initiated an action on October 12, 2021, alleging medical malpractice and lack of informed consent against the defendants. The plaintiff, a Train Operator for MTA New York City Transit, claimed exposure to toxic dust during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks caused malignant skin cancer diagnosed in January 2021. The plaintiff filed a compensation application with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), stating exposure to the toxic dust during the attacks and later when train service resumed.

It is reported that the plaintiff argued that the defendant’s failure to biopsy a cheek lesion resulted in a delayed diagnosis and treatment, which was distinct from the VCF claim. The defendants moved to dismiss, asserting the plaintiff’s VCF application waived the right to civil litigation due to the attack-related injuries. Continue Reading ›

Many medical procedures carry some degree of risk, but the benefits often outweigh the potential for harm. In some instances, though, complications arise due to errors during a surgical procedure that fall outside of the known risks, and in such cases, they often constitute grounds for pursuing medical malpractice claims. In a recent New York ruling issued in a medical malpractice case, the court explained what evidence is necessary to demonstrate a genuine factual dispute as to whether the defendant deviated from the standard of care. If you were injured during a negligently performed procedure, it is wise to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney about your rights.

Factual and Procedural Background

Reportedly, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants inadvertently perforated the decedent’s artery during a peripheral arterial procedure, which subsequently resulted in the decedent experiencing a cardiac arrest, seizure, and stroke. As such, the plaintiffs filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants. While the defendants’ expert acknowledged that they had inadvertently passed a wire through the decedent’s renal artery, puncturing the kidney, the parties’ experts disagreed on whether this perforation of the renal artery constituted a departure from the standard of medical care. The defendants moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted their motion. The plaintiff then appealed.

Demonstrating a Departure from the Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice Cases

The court reversed the trial court’s ruling on appeal. In doing so, it explained that in a medical malpractice case, the burden falls on the plaintiff to demonstrate that the defendant deviated from accepted medical practice and that this deviation proximately caused the plaintiff’s injury. Continue Reading ›

When people suffer harm due to incompetent medical care, it is often the result of negligence. In some instances, the failings of more than one party contributed to the injured patients’ harm, and each negligent party may be deemed responsible. For example, a hospital may be liable for the carelessness of its physician under a theory of respondeat superior. A hospital will only be deemed liable for the acts of a doctor under certain circumstances, however, as discussed in a recent New York ruling. If you sustained losses due to the careless acts of a medical professional, you may be owed compensation, and you should speak with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer.

Procedural and Factual History of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff husband suffered complications following a prostate surgery performed at the defendant hospital by the defendant doctor. The plaintiffs then filed an action against the defendants, seeking damages for medical malpractice and lack of informed consent. The defendant hospital moved for summary judgment, seeking to dismiss the part of the complaint, alleging that it was vicariously liable for the medical malpractice of the defendant doctor. The trial court denied the motion, after which the defendant hospital moved for leave to reargue the motion.

It is reported that the plaintiffs opposed the motion for leave and renewed their original opposition to the defendant hospital’s motion for summary judgment. Regardless, the court granted the defendant hospital leave to reargue. Following reargument, the court effectively reversed its prior decision and granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant hospital. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue Reading ›

The law affords people harmed by the incompetence of their doctors the right to seek compensation in medical malpractice claims. Pursuant to New York law, though, they must do so within a certain time frame; otherwise, they will waive their right to recover damages. In a recent New York case, the court explained what the statute of limitations requires for medical malpractice claims. If you were harmed by incompetent medical care and you want to learn more about your rights, it is smart to consult a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney.

Case History

It is reported that in June 2021, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging claims of medical malpractice and wrongful death. The complaint alleged that the decedent had been a patient at the hospital in 2015 and 2016 and passed away on June 23, 2018. The defendant moved to dismiss the complaint, asserting that it was time-barred. In support of its motion, the hospital presented unchallenged evidence indicating that the plaintiff’s family member was last admitted to the hospital in December 2017. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

The Statute of Limitations in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. In doing so, it explained that in cases where the statute of limitations is at issue, the defendant must first establish, prima facie, that the time for commencing the action has expired. If this burden is met, it then shifts to the plaintiff to raise a question of fact regarding whether the statute of limitations was tolled or otherwise inapplicable or if the action was genuinely initiated within the applicable limitations period. Continue Reading ›

In medical malpractice cases, the parties will often disagree regarding the circumstances surrounding the plaintiff’s harm. Factual disputes typically must be resolved via trial. In other words, if a party asks the court to grant judgment in their favor as a matter of law based on a disputed fact, it is likely that their request will be denied, as shown in a recent New York ruling. If you or someone you love suffered losses due to inadequate medical care, you may be able to recover damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, and you should speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney.

Factual and Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the decedent called 911 due to suspected stroke symptoms and was transported to the defendant hospital. During the ambulance ride, EMS providers noted a worsening of his symptoms and issued a stroke alert to the defendant hospital. Upon arrival at the hospital, the decedent underwent a CT scan and was assessed by the defendant emergency room physician and the defendant neurologist. Both doctors found that his symptoms did not warrant the administration of a medication used to dissolve clots.

Allegedly, the decedent’s condition deteriorated, and he was eventually admitted to the hospital. Tragically, he was found unresponsive early the next morning and was diagnosed with a pontine stroke, leading to locked-in syndrome. Brennan passed away three years later. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant asserting medical malpractice and wrongful death claims, arguing that the defendant’s failure to administer the drug to dissolve clots led to the decedent’s death. The defendants moved for summary judgment, which the court granted. The plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading ›

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