The birth of a child is a joyous event, but sometimes it can be marred by injuries that arise due to medical negligence. While parties can seek compensation for harm suffered during birth, they must abide by any applicable procedural rules, and if they do not, they may waive the right to recover damages. This was discussed in a recent New York opinion, in which an appellate court affirmed a trial court order granting a plaintiff leave to provide late notice of a birth injury claim. If your child suffered harm at birth, it is advisable to speak to a skilled Syracuse birth injury lawyer as soon as possible.
The Plaintiff’s Claims
It is alleged that the plaintiff delivered her son at the defendant hospital in June 2015. The child suffered a brain injury during the delivery, which the plaintiff alleged was caused by medical negligence. Thus, in May 2018, she filed a medical malpractice case against the defendant. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint on the grounds that the plaintiff neglected to serve a timely notice of the claim. The court denied the motion, and the defendant then filed an appeal.
Notice Required in Medical Malpractice Actions Against Public Corporations
New York law requires that a plaintiff who wishes to pursue claims against a public corporation must provide the corporation with notice of the claim within 90 days of when it arises. The notice is a prerequisite to filing a tort action. The courts may extend the time to serve notice if they deem it appropriate. The court will consider factors such as whether the corporation or its insurers had actual notice of the claim, whether the claimant was an infant, whether the delay was reasonable and whether any prejudice was caused by the delay.
In order to establish actual notice via medical records, the records must do more than merely suggest that an injury occurred due to malpractice. Specifically, for a provider to have actual notice, the medical records must show that the medical staff, through its omissions or acts, inflicted harm on the plaintiff.
In the subject case, the court found that the records in question indicated that there was a delay in performing a c-section after there was evidence the plaintiff’s fetus was in distress. Thus, the appellate court found that the defendant had actual notice of the claim and affirmed the trial court ruling.
Meet with a Dedicated Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney
Expectant parents generally anticipate that their children will be delivered without issue and are often devastated when their children suffer harmed at birth due to medical malpractice. If your child suffered a birth injury, it is advisable to meet with a lawyer about your options for seeking damages. The dedicated Syracuse attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are mindful of the overwhelming losses caused by birth injuries, and if you hire us, we will diligently pursue the best outcome possible under the facts of your case. You can contact us via our online form or at 315-479-9000 to set up a consultation.