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New York Court Discusses Verdict Slips in Medical Malpractice Cases

Older people are especially vulnerable to the injuries that arise out of incompetent medical care, and in many instances, the harm they sustain is insurmountable, and they ultimately succumb to their illnesses. In such instances, the deceased person’s family members often can seek compensation from the negligent care providers via a wrongful death claim. In a recent New York ruling, a court discussed a dispute over verdict slips in a case in which it was alleged that medical negligence led to a person’s death. If you suffered the loss of a loved one due to incompetent medical care, you have the right to pursue claims, and you should speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to determine what compensation you may be able to recover.

The Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s decedent was admitted to the defendant hospital. One evening during his stay, he vomited and then was noted to have blue lips and nailbeds. His oxygen saturation level dropped to 55%, and he died later that evening. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging medical negligence and wrongful death claims. Prior to trial, the parties submitted proposed verdict sheets. The defendant then filed a motion asking the court to reject the plaintiff’s verdict sheet to the extent it sought damages for emotional or physical harm or death, and conscious pain and suffering caused by the defendant’s violation of New York health laws. The court denied the defendant’s motion, after which the defendant filed a motion for leave to reargue the issues.

Damages Recoverable in Wrongful Death Cases

Pursuant to New York law, to succeed on a motion requesting leave to reargue, a party must show that the court failed to consider significant facts or misapplied the law in rendering its original decision. In the subject case, the defendant argued that the court ignored pertinent information by stating that the decedent suffered from sepsis and aspiration pneumonia immediately before his death.

Specifically, the defendant argued that a primary fact in dispute in the case was whether the defendant’s actions or some other factor led to the decedent’s death. In support of its argument, the defendant attached a copy of its expert report that stated that the decedent did not have sepsis or pneumonia. Based on the information provided by the defendant, the court found that the defendant’s argument was correct, and it had overlooked the factual dispute regarding the decedent’s cause of death. As such, it rescinded its statements regarding causation and granted the defendant’s motion for leave for re-argument.

Meet with an Experienced Syracuse Attorney

When inadequate medical care causes a person’s death, the person’s family members may be able to recover significant damages via medical malpractice claims. If you lost a family member due to the negligence of a health care provider, you should meet with an attorney to discuss your rights. The experienced medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can advise you of your options for seeking damages and help you to pursue the best outcome possible under the facts of your case. You can reach us by calling 315-479-9000 or through our form online to set up a meeting.

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