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New York Court Denies Petition to Serve Late Notice of Medical Malpractice Claim

While delays may greatly impair a patient’s health, they may also impair the patient’s right to pursue damages for negligent treatment. For example, a patient harmed by a doctor’s delay in prescribing diagnostic testing may lead to a delayed diagnosis, which can cause irreparable harm to the patient’s health. Similarly, if a patient that has been harmed by a doctor’s failure to provide a timely diagnosis does not provide the defendant with the proper notice of a potential claim or pursue claims against the defendant in a timely manner, it may permanently impair the plaintiff’s ability to recover damages, as demonstrated in a recent hospital malpractice case. If you were harmed by the careless acts of hospital employees, it is advisable to confer with a talented Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney as soon as possible to avoid waiving your right to pursue compensation.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff visited the defendant hospital with complaints of breast symptoms. While she was there, she was examined by the defendant gynecologist and released. The plaintiff was ultimately diagnosed with breast cancer four months later. She then proceeded to file a medical malpractice claim against the defendants, arguing they caused her to suffer significant harm by failing to diagnose her in a timely manner and failing to refer her to obtain the diagnostic testing required to assess an accurate diagnosis.

Allegedly, however, the plaintiff did not file her lawsuit until approximately nine months after the alleged harm. As such, she petitioned the court for leave to serve late notice of her claim. The trial court granted the plaintiff’s petition, after which the defendants appealed. On appeal, the court reversed the trial court ruling and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Proper Notice of a Potential Malpractice Claim

Under the applicable New York laws for pursuing a claim against a hospital that is a public corporation, the plaintiff was required to provide the defendants with notice of the claim within 90 days of the alleged harm. The plaintiff failed to demonstrate that she provided such notice, however, or that the defendant had actual notice of the claim, or learned of it shortly after the 90-day period.

The court noted that the mere possession of medical records does not establish notice of a claim when the records, standing alone, do not demonstrate that any harm was inflicted on the plaintiff by the defendant or any of its staff members. In the subject case, none of the records pertaining to the plaintiff’s treatment were sufficient to demonstrate notice. Further, the plaintiff failed to show that the defendant would not be prejudiced by the late notice of the claim. Based on the foregoing, the court denied the plaintiff’s motion.

Speak to a Trusted Syracuse Attorney

If you were injured by a doctor’s failure to provide you with a diagnosis or treatment in a prompt manner, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney regarding your potential claims. The trusted Syracuse hospital malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP Personal Injury Lawyers are skilled at aiding parties harmed by medical negligence in the pursuit of damages, and if you hire us to advocate on your behalf, we will fight tirelessly to help you seek a just outcome. You can contact us to set up a consultation via the form online or by calling 315-479-9000.

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