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People pursuing medical malpractice claims in New York will typically wish to have their case tried before a jury. While the expectation is that jurors will issue a fair verdict based on the evidence, that is not always the case. Parties can appeal jury verdicts, but they can be difficult to overturn, as demonstrated in a recent New York ruling issued in a medical malpractice case. If you want to learn more about your rights with regard to pursuing claims against negligent healthcare providers, it is in your best interest to consult a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer.

Case Background

It is alleged that the plaintiff was admitted to a medical center for treatment of gastrointestinal conditions in January 2005. During her admission, she experienced hallucinations. Subsequently, two psychiatrists recommended her involuntary psychiatric hospitalization and the medical center initiated the process. However, the plaintiff was transferred to the defendant medical center the following day for psychiatric care as an involuntary patient.

It is reported that despite being assessed by a psychiatric nurse upon arrival, the plaintiff was not examined by a psychiatrist until approximately 21 hours later. In 2007, the plaintiff initiated a medical malpractice action against the defendant medical center, alleging improper admission and treatment. The case proceeded to a jury trial, focusing solely on the cause of action for medical malpractice. The plaintiff moved for judgment as a matter of law on the issue of liability, contending that the defendant medical center failed to comply with the requirements of Mental Hygiene Law § 9.27. The trial court denied the motion, and the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant on the issue of liability, prompting the plaintiff’s appeal. Continue Reading ›

Did you know you are not required to accept the first medical diagnosis you receive? You shouldn’t. According to one study, only 12% of second-opinion patients left with confirmation that the original diagnosis was correct. This means that nearly 90% of patients have a new or improved diagnosis.   Call our office today if you or someone you care about has been injured as a result of a healthcare provider’s misdiagnosis.  Our highly experienced medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve.  We serve clients throughout Upstate New York and have offices in several convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice is reflected in the results we have obtained for our clients.

It’s a common misconception that doctors know everything there is to know about all diseases and can treat anyone who walks into their office. Even the best doctors would find it impossible to be experts in the treatment and care of every disease. As a result, seeking a second opinion is the most practical way to locate a doctor who can provide an alternative viewpoint on your diagnosis and treatment.

When making major life decisions, such as purchasing a new home or selecting a college, we weigh several options, compare risks and benefits, and conduct extensive research before making a final decision. It’s no different when it comes to choosing a doctor.

Necrotizing fasciitis (NECK-re-tie-zing FASH-e-i-tis) is a fatal bacterial infection that spreads quickly. The term “necrotizing” refers to something that causes the death of another. The term “fasciitis” refers to inflammation of the fascia, which is the subcutaneous (under the skin) tissue that surrounds muscles and nerves and holds everything in place, including fat and blood vessels. Necrotizing fasciitis, also known as “Flesh-Eating Disease,” causes gangrenous changes, tissue death, and systemic disease, and frequently results in the patient’s death. Every year, between 600 and 700 cases are diagnosed in the United States. About 25% to 30% of those cases result in death. Necrotizing fasciitis kills about one in every three people.

If necrotizing fasciitis is detected and treated early, the chances of survival without more severe consequences are significantly higher than if the necrotizing fasciitis is not detected and treated until it has progressed to a more advanced stage. Any unnecessary delay in diagnosing or treating necrotizing fasciitis can have tragic consequences. Unfortunately, warning signs are often ignored, and treatment is delayed. The most common forms of negligence or medical malpractice by physicians in diagnosing and/or treating patients with necrotizing fasciitis include failing to test for necrotizing fasciitis when a patient reports warning signs or symptoms that can be caused by necrotizing fasciitis, delaying necrotizing fasciitis diagnosis, failing to order appropriate treatment for a patient with necrotizing fasciitis, and failing to follow up with the patient. A doctor may violate his or her professional duty of care by performing an incorrect differential diagnosis. A healthcare provider creates a list of potential diagnoses and then tests each one to rule out all but the correct diagnosis. Doctors can also violate the professional standard of care by misreading test results, failing to treat necrotizing fasciitis with antibiotics quickly, or administering an incorrect antibiotic or dose. If you or someone you care about has suffered from serious complications of necrotizing fasciitis as a result of a physician’s or another health care provider’s negligence, you should contact an attorney right away to see if you can file a medical malpractice or, in some cases, wrongful death lawsuit. Contact DeFrancisco & Falgiatano for a free case evaluation. We serve clients throughout Upstate New York, with offices in several convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice is reflected in the results we have obtained for our clients.

A common misconception about necrotizing fasciitis is that the condition is caused by only ONE type of bacteria. Several types of bacteria can cause the condition, the most common of which is Group A Streptococcus, the same bacteria that causes strep throat. While Group A strep bacteria are the most common cause of necrotizing fasciitis, it can also be caused by bacteria found in water. Other bacteria that cause necrotizing fasciitis include Escherichia coli (“E Coli”), Clostridium, Aeromonas hydrophila, Pseudomonas, Prevotella, Klebsiella, Vibrio vulnificus, and Staphylococcus aureus. This type of deep tissue infection can overwhelm the immune system, resulting in sepsis and/or sepsis shock. Sepsis is a complication caused by an infection. When we have sepsis, our bodies release chemicals into our bloodstream to fight infection. However, the sudden injection of chemicals can cause inflammation, which can lead to other dangerous conditions and symptoms such as multiple organ failure, fever, difficulty breathing, mental confusion, low blood pressure, and even death.

Generally, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit has the right to designate the venue for the case in the initial pleading. The right is not boundless, however, and there are several grounds upon which a defendant can seek a change of venue. Recently, in an opinion delivered by a New York court in a matter arising out of medical malpractice, the court explained the basis for granting a motion for a change of venue. If you suffered harm because of inadequate medical care, it is smart to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your rights.

The History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff sought treatment from the defendant optometrist for a detached retina in the left eye. The defendant performed an attachment procedure but according to the plaintiff, failed to do so properly. The procedure occurred in the Bronx, at the office of the defendant practice.

It is reported that the plaintiff subsequently filed a medical malpractice claim against the defendants in Bronx County. The defendant practice was dismissed from the case. The defendant optometrist then moved to transfer venue to New York County. Continue Reading ›

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 ›

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 ›

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 ›

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 ›

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 ›

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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