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Court Discusses Jurisdiction Over Out-of-State Defendants in Medical Malpractice Cases in New York

It is not uncommon for a person seeking medical treatment to travel to another state or for a care provider to treat patients in more than one state. In a patient is harmed by treatment rendered by an out of state care provider, though, it can be difficult to determine the proper jurisdiction for pursuing a medical malpractice claim. Recently, a New York appellate court discussed a plaintiff’s burden of proof in establishing that a medical malpractice case was filed in the appropriate jurisdiction, in a case in which the plaintiff alleged she suffered harm due to treatment from a New Jersey oncologist. If you were injured by inadequate care provided by an oncologist, it is advisable to consult a capable Syracuse oncology malpractice attorney to discuss the proper procedure for pursuing a claim for damages.

The Plaintiff’s Treatment

Allegedly, the plaintiff was referred by the defendant New York hospital, to the defendant care center in New Jersey. The defendant care center provided the plaintiff with proton therapy treatment, which caused her to go blind. As such, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant care center and the defendant providers, who specialized in radiation oncology. The New Jersey defendants filed a motion to dismiss based on lack of personal jurisdiction. The trial court denied the motion and ordered the parties to engage in jurisdictional discovery. Discovery was conducted, and the New Jersey defendants again filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, which the court again denied. The New Jersey defendants appealed.

Jurisdiction Over Out of State Providers

On appeal, the court reversed the trial court ruling, finding that the plaintiff failed to produce evidence sufficient to show that the court could properly exercise jurisdiction over the New Jersey defendants. Specifically, the plaintiff was required to prove that the defendants, on their own volition, reached into the state of New York for the purposes of engaging in sustained and substantial business transactions that were directly related to the plaintiff’s claims, in order for the court to exercise jurisdiction under the New York long-arm statute.

While the plaintiff introduced evidence that the New Jersey defendants participated in radio interviews in New York, the interviews were conducted after the plaintiff’s alleged harm and, therefore, did not relate to her claims. Further, the court found that the New Jersey defendant’s billing records were insufficient to establish that the New Jersey defendant doctors managed the plaintiff’s care in New York because any alleged participation on behalf of the New Jersey defendant doctors occurred in New Jersey.  In sum, the court found that the evidence produced by the plaintiff did not establish that the New Jersey defendants were engaged in adequate activities in New York to allow the court to exercise personal jurisdiction over them.

Meet with a Proficient Oncology Malpractice Attorney

If you suffered injuries due to incompetent care rendered by an oncologist, it is in your best interest to meet with a dedicated oncology malpractice attorney to discuss what damages you may potentially be owed. The zealous attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP Personal Injury Lawyers will aggressively advocate in your favor to help you seek the best result possible in your case. You can reach us at 315-479-9000 or through our online form to set up a confidential and free meeting.

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