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The majority of medical malpractice cases filed in New York never reach trial. While most cases that resolve before trial are settled, others are dismissed via summary judgment. It is difficult for either party to obtain judgment in their favor as a matter of law, though, as demonstrated in a recent New York ruling in which the court reversed a trial court order dismissing the plaintiff’s claims against the defendant. If you suffered harm due to the carelessness of a physician, you have the right to seek compensation, and you should speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about what evidence you must produce to recover damages.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant treated the plaintiff for unspecified injuries. The plaintiff suffered a stroke shortly thereafter. He then filed a medical malpractice case against the defendant, alleging that he failed to take the steps necessary to prevent him from having a stroke, including administering certain medication. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to show that he deviated from the standard of care. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Obtaining Summary Judgment in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the trial court ruling was reversed. The court explained that on a motion for summary judgment in a medical malpractice case, the defendant has the burden of proving they did not depart from the accepted and good practice of medicine or that if they did, any such departure did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s harm. Continue reading

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People who visit hospitals are often suffering from acute issues. Like all other physicians, doctors providing emergency treatment must abide by the applicable standard of care, and if they fail to do so, it can lead to grave harm. Many doctors will attempt to have medical malpractice claims asserted against them dismissed, despite the evidence in favor of the imposition of liability. Recently, a New York court issued a ruling in a medical malpractice matter discussing what proof a defendant must offer to support the argument that judgment should be granted in their favor as a matter of law. If you sustained injuries due to incompetent medical care, it is advisable to consult a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to assess your rights.

The Decedent’s Harm

Reportedly, the decedent presented to the defendant hospital for emergency surgery due to a polyp on her vocal cords that was obstructing almost 85% of her airway. The defendant doctor determined that the plaintiff would either need to be intubated or undergo a tracheostomy while awake to secure her airway. The defendant doctor was unable to intubate the decedent after several failed attempts, after which he performed an awake tracheostomy.

Allegedly, the decedent’s airway was lost during the procedure, and despite attempts to re-establish it, her heart rate dropped, causing her to suffer swelling of the brain. She was transferred to palliative care and died a few days later. The plaintiff instituted a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, alleging their negligence caused the decedent’s death. The defendants moved for summary judgment, but the court denied their motion. As such, they appealed. Continue reading

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Oftentimes, patients admitted to hospitals are treated by a number of doctors. As such, if they suffer harm due to medical negligence, the identity of each of the responsible treatment providers may not immediately be ascertainable, and the plaintiff will name the unknown provider as John Doe in the complaint. Once a plaintiff determines a John Doe defendant’s identity, though, they must amend the complaint and serve it on the named defendant within the time provided for under the relevant statute. If they do not, they may waive the right to pursue claims against them, as illustrated in a recent ruling issued in a New York hospital malpractice case. If you were injured due to negligent care rendered in a hospital, you could be owed damages, and you should confer with a Syracuse hospital malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Facts of the Case

Reportedly, the decedent was admitted to the defendant hospital for unspecified concerns. During his admission, he underwent a surgical procedure that was supposedly performed incorrectly. He passed away due to complications from the procedure, and the plaintiff subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit, naming the hospital and the doctors who performed the procedure as defendants. As she did not know the identity of the anesthesiologist involved in the surgery, she named him as John Doe.

Allegedly, the plaintiff learned of the defendant anesthesiologist’s identity six months after he filed the complaint, but he neglected to amend the complaint or file a supplemental summons until a month later. At that time, more than 120 days had passed since the filing of the complaint, and as such the time to serve the defendant anesthesiologist had expired. He sought an extension to serve the defendant, which was granted. The defendant anesthesiologist subsequently moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim as time barred. The court granted the motion and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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In a high percentage of New York medical malpractice cases, the defendants file motions for summary judgment, asking the courts to find in their favor as a matter of law. Summary judgment is not appropriate in every case, though. Instead, it is limited to those matters in which no material factual disputes remain. If a court grants a defendant’s motion for summary judgment without just cause, the plaintiff can seek review via an appeal. In a recent ruling set forth in a medical malpractice case, a New York court discussed when reversal of an order granting a motion for summary judgment is proper. If you sustained losses due to the carelessness of your doctor, it is in your best interest to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your options for seeking a just outcome.

The Procedural History of the Case

Few facts were provided regarding the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. It is alleged, however, that the plaintiff’s decedent sought care from the defendant cardiologist. Following his treatment, he suffered fatal complications. The plaintiff, the administrator of the decedent’s estate, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. After the parties completed discovery, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. The court granted the motion and the plaintiff appealed.

Grounds for Reversing an Order Granting Summary Judgment

Under New York law, a defendant seeking summary judgment in a medical malpractice lawsuit must show, prima facie, it did not depart from the accepted and good practice of medicine, or that any alleged departure did not result in the plaintiff’s harm. If the defendant meets this burden, it then shifts to the plaintiff, who must produce evidence sufficient to show that there is a material issue of fact in dispute, as to the elements for which the defendant has met its burden of proof. Continue reading

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Medical malpractice cases filed in federal court are often subject to levels of review not present at the state level. For example, if a party files a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment, the motion may be referred to a magistrate judge, who will make a recommendation to the court regarding whether to grant or deny the motion. While a magistrate’s recommendation is not binding, they are often adopted by the courts. Parties have the opportunity to object to such recommendations, however, if they are unfavorable. Recently, the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York discussed the standard of review employed when evaluating objections to magistrate recommendations in a case in which it ultimately dismissed the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims. If you sustained damages due to incompetent medical care, it is smart to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to determine your possible claims.

The Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, who lived in a facility operated by the federal government, sought treatment for symptoms affecting his eye. He visited a doctor who worked for the facility and underwent an examination. The doctor then prescribed the plaintiff medication. The drug caused severe harm to the plaintiff’s eye.

It is alleged that the doctor also failed to treat the plaintiff’s subsequent harm in a timely manner. Thus, he filed a lawsuit against the federal government, alleging the doctor’s failure to warn the plaintiff of the potential risks associated with the medication and the failure to provide prompt treatment for his resulting harm constituted medical malpractice. Following discovery, the government moved for summary judgment. The motion was reviewed by a magistrate judge, who issued a report and recommendation that the court grant the motion. The plaintiff then objected. Continue reading

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In many instances, parties that suffer harm due to medical negligence will sustain other damages as well, such as losses caused by violations of their civil rights. Thus, they will often choose to pursue claims for damages in federal court. While federal courts can exercise supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims in certain circumstances, if the basis for such jurisdiction is removed, the courts will typically decline to exercise jurisdiction over such claims. This was demonstrated in a ruling recently issued in a New York case in a matter arising out of physical therapy malpractice. If you sustained injuries due to the negligence of a physical therapist, it is smart to speak to a skillful Syracuse physical therapy malpractice lawyer regarding your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff, who is a paraplegic, underwent a physical therapy session with the defendant. During the session, the defendant placed a hot pack on the plaintiff’s lower back and advised him to leave it there. The plaintiff subsequently suffered second-degree burns, which he alleged caused emotional trauma and mental distress in addition to physical pain. He filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting medical malpractice claims as well as claims arising under federal law. The defendant moved to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed in their entirety. The court ultimately ruled in favor of the defendant and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Supplemental Jurisdiction Over State Law Claims Filed in Federal Court

The court concluded that the plaintiff failed to assert viable federal claims. Thus, it dismissed the counts in his complaint that arose under federal law. The court also declined to exercise jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim, which arose under state law, unless the plaintiff was able to amend his complaint to assert a viable federal claim. Continue reading

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In New York, medical malpractice cases differ from other civil claims in multiple ways. For example, there are numerous additional pleading and evidentiary requirements imposed on plaintiffs that they must meet in order to pursue damages. If plaintiffs fail to abide by the statutory obligations, it may adversely affect their claims. For example, in a recent New York nursing malpractice case, the court discussed the implications of the failure to include a certificate of merit with an initial pleading. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of a nurse, it is prudent to consult a Syracuse nursing malpractice lawyer to discuss what evidence you must produce to recover damages.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent presented to the county courthouse in response to a warrant. As part of a routine screening, the decedent reported that he had consumed numerous illicit and prescription drugs prior to arriving at the courthouse, and during his hearing, a drug treatment coordinator advised she was concerned for his safety and he needed immediate medical care. Regardless, the judge ordered him to confinement in the county jail.

Allegedly, the defendant nurses were both working at the county jail that day and observed the decedent, who was having difficulty standing, speaking, and walking. At one point, the plaintiff spoke with one of the nurses and stated she was concerned the decedent would die if he did not receive prompt care, and the defendant nurse stated the decedent was fine. The decedent passed away to form an accidental drug overdose, and the plaintiff filed numerous claims, including medical malpractice claims against the defendants. The defendants moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, arguing she failed to comply with the required procedure. Continue reading

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