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New York Court Discusses Amendments to Notice of Claims in Medical Malpractice Matters

Many hospitals and health care facilities throughout New York are public corporations. While such entities may be liable for medical malpractice, parties pursuing claims against them have to comply with certain pleading requirements, like providing a notice of a claim within a certain time frame. Generally, such notices must set forth the plaintiff’s theory of liability and can only be amended in certain circumstances, as illustrated in a recent ruling issued in a New York medical malpractice case. If you suffered losses due to inadequate medical care, you might be able to pursue claims against your treating provider, and it is smart to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff served a notice of claim against the defendant public health care corporation, alleging that it committed medical malpractice and was negligent. Specifically, the notice asserted that the defendant failed to diagnose the plaintiff’s decedent’s colon cancer, which subsequently spread throughout her body and caused her death. The notice further asserted that the claim arose in July 2018 through September 2018 at a hospital in Brooklyn.

Allegedly, after a hearing was conducted in the matter, the plaintiff served the defendant with an amended notice of claim, the enlarged the dates when the alleged malpractice occurred from January 2014 through September 2018. She then sought the subject lawsuit and sought leave to amend the notice of the claim. The trial court granted her petition, and the defendant appealed.

Amendments to Notice of Claims in Medical Malpractice Matters

On appeal, the appellate court reversed the trial court ruling. The court explained that a notice of claim might only be modified to remedy non-prejudicial technical errors, omissions, or deficiencies, not to substantively modify the form of the claim or the theory of responsibility. In other words, a court may permit a plaintiff to serve an amended notice of claim if the error in the initial notice of claim was made in good faith, the municipality is not disadvantaged, and the amendment does not substantively modify the substance of the claim. While evidence produced at a hearing can be used to address a technical mistake, omission, irregularity, or flaw in the notice of claim, it cannot be used to affect the basis of the claim or the theory of culpability. In the subject case, because the proposed alteration to the notice of claim involved a substantive change to the facts and established a new theory of liability, it was not allowed as a late-filed amendment to a notice of claim.

Discuss your Harm with an Experienced Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical oversights and errors may constitute negligence, but in most instances, they are grounds for pursuing medical malpractice claims. If you were harmed by the inattentiveness of a healthcare provider, you could be owed compensation, and you should speak to a lawyer regarding your potential claims. The dedicated attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are adept at proving incompetent medical professionals should be held accountable for the harm they cause, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can reach us through our online form or by calling us at 833-200-2000 to set up a meeting.





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