Articles Posted in Nursing Malpractice

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In medical malpractice cases, the task of evaluating a plaintiff’s damages is usually assigned to the jury. While assessing the cost of past and future medical care is a relatively straightforward task, determining the value of the suffering and pain endured by the plaintiff is not a clear-cut process. As such, the jury may issue a verdict that does not align with the evidence produced at trial. In such instances, either party can move to set the verdict aside, but establishing that a jury’s damages award is inappropriate can prove difficult. Recently, a New York court discussed the standards used in evaluating whether a verdict should be vacated in an opinion issued in a nursing malpractice case. If you were injured due to negligent nursing care, you could be owed damages, and it is in your best interest to meet with a Syracuse nursing malpractice lawyer to discuss your options.

The Decedent’s Harm

It is reported that the decedent was receiving care in a long-term nursing facility when he choked on a piece of food. He subsequently suffered a heart attack, lapsed into a coma, and died several weeks later. The plaintiff, the representative of the decedent’s estate, filed a malpractice lawsuit against the defendant facility. The complaint alleged that the nurse that performed CPR on the decedent failed to check his airway for an obstruction, which constituted a departure from the standard of care.

Allegedly, the complaint further asserted that the nurse’s breach of the standard was a substantial factor in bringing about the decedent’s harm. The case proceeded to trial, and the jury issued a verdict granting the plaintiff $300,000 for the decedent’s conscious pain and suffering. The plaintiff then moved to set aside the verdict on the issue of damages as against the weight of the evidence. The court denied the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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In all but the clearest of cases, a plaintiff alleging he or she suffered harm due to medical malpractice must retain an expert who will testify as to the manner in which the defendant healthcare provider caused the plaintiff’s harm. Similarly, the defendant must produce an expert report, refuting the plaintiff’s allegations. If either party fails to produce an adequate expert report, it may adversely affect their position in the case. This was demonstrated in a recent nursing malpractice case decided by a court in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims due to the speculative nature of the plaintiff’s expert report. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to negligent care provided in a nursing facility, it is in your best interest to meet with a trusted Syracuse nursing malpractice attorney who will zealously pursue an outcome in your favor.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent was admitted to the defendant rehabilitation and nursing center. During his admission, he received intravenous antibiotic therapy. He ultimately fell ill and died. The plaintiff then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant center and defendant nurse, alleging they were negligent in failing to manage the decedent’s care properly and in failing to transfer him to a hospital for treatment. After discovery was completed, the defendants filed individual motions for summary judgment. The trial court denied the defendants’ motions, and the defendants appealed. On appeal, the court reversed the trial court ruling and granted the defendants’ motions, dismissing the plaintiff’s claims.

Requirements of Expert Affirmations

It is axiomatic that in a New York medical malpractice, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant deviated from the standard of care accepted in the community in which the defendant practices and that the deviation proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer harm. If the defendant demonstrates via an expert affidavit that there is no issue of material fact as to either element, the plaintiff’s claims should be dismissed unless the plaintiff is able to establish a triable issue of fact in opposition to the defendant’s expert report.

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In nursing malpractice cases, like any other civil case, it is essential for both parties to comply with deadlines and to answer discovery requests in promptly, so that the case may be resolved in an equitable and efficient manner. Thus, if a party fails to abide by the statutory deadlines and obligations, it may waive the right to produce evidence at trial. Recently, the appellate division of the New York Supreme Court discussed what constitutes sufficient grounds to preclude  a party from introducing evidence in a nursing malpractice case. If you suffered harm due to inappropriate care rendered by a nurse, you should meet with a knowledgeable Syracuse nursing malpractice attorney regarding your harm and what compensation you may be owed.

Factual and Procedural Background

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent was a resident at the defendant’s nursing and rehabilitation facility. During her stay, she suffered a pulmonary injury and a leg injury. She was subsequently transferred to a hospital, where she died. The plaintiff asserted a nursing malpractice claim against the defendant. During discovery, the plaintiff requested information regarding the nurses that worked at the defendant facility during the time the plaintiff’s decedent was admitted. The defendant refused to provide the information, and the plaintiff filed a motion to compel.

Allegedly, the defendant then provided the plaintiff with certain identifying information pursuant to a court order. The plaintiff subsequently moved to prohibit the defendant from producing any evidence at trial and to strike the defendant’s answer due to the defendant’s refusal to comply with discovery demands. The court denied the plaintiff’s motion, after which the plaintiff appealed.

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