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New York Court Discusses Constitutional Claims Arising Out of Medical Malpractice

People harmed by incompetent medical care will often seek damages in a civil lawsuit. In most cases, their claims will sound in medical malpractice. In rare instances, though, people injured by careless physicians may be able to establish that their constitutional rights were violated. If you were hurt by a reckless doctor, you could be owed compensation, and it is advisable to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about what claims you may be able to pursue.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the decedent, who suffered from numerous chronic health conditions, including diabetes, was living in a federal facility. During his stay, he complained that he did not feel well. He was evaluated by a nurse practitioner, and blood tests revealed that his blood glucose levels were below the normal limit. He continued to suffer from complications throughout his stay, but his health declined.

Allegedly, the decedent ultimately died due to complications of diabetes. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting that the decedent’s constitutional rights were violated due to the fact that he was denied medical care. The defendant moved for summary judgment.

Constitutional Claims Arising Out of Medical Malpractice

After reviewing the evidence of record, the court granted the defendant’s motion. In doing so, the court explained that deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of a person in a federal facility constitutes the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain in violation of the Constitution. The standard of determining whether a person acted with deliberate indifference includes both an objective and subjective component.

The subjective component dictates that the plaintiff must show that the person accused of deliberate indifference acted with an adequately culpable state of mind. In other words, they must know of and disregard a substantial risk to the injured party’s health and safety. To fulfill the subjective element, the plaintiff has to show that the defendant had the required level of culpability as demonstrated by actions characterized as wantonness. The objective component, conversely, demands that the alleged deprivation of care is sufficiently serious in that it may cause death or an extreme injury.

The court further explained that medical malpractice is not considered a constitutional violation unless it involves culpable recklessness. In other words, unless there is an act or omission by a doctor that demonstrates a conscious disregard of a significant risk of harm. In the subject case, while the court found that there was undoubtedly evidence of negligence, it did not rise to the level of a constitutional violation. Thus, it dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Speak to an Experienced Syracuse Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Medical malpractice can cause significant and lasting harm and, in some instances, may be grounds for pursuing a constitutional rights violation claim. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of your treatment provider, it is in your best interest to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury can advise you of your options for seeking the best outcome possible under the facts of your case. You can contact us via our form online or by calling us at 315-479-9000 to set up a meeting.

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