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In many medical malpractice lawsuits, there will be more than one defendant. Thus, it is not uncommon for a plaintiff to settle his or her claims against one defendant but to allow the remaining claims to proceed to trial. Typically, plaintiffs will wish to keep the terms of any settlement agreement confidential to protect their rights to seek a fair resolution of any remaining claims. The Supreme Court, Bronx County, New York, assessed when a plaintiff may be required to disclose the terms of a confidential settlement agreement in a recent orthopedic malpractice case. If you sustained an injury or illness because of inadequate care provided by an orthopedic surgeon, it is important to consult a capable Syracuse orthopedic malpractice attorney regarding your potential damages.

Facts and Procedure of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant orthopedic surgeon, defendant orthopedic medical group, and defendant hospital. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants inappropriately administered an antibiotic to treat an MRSA infection that the plaintiff developed following arthroscopic knee surgery. The plaintiff subsequently settled her claims against the defendant hospital. The remaining defendants then sought to compel the plaintiff to disclose the terms of the settlement agreement, which were confidential. The plaintiff opposed the motion, stating she was only obligated to disclose the amount of her settlement with the hospital after a verdict had been issued against the remaining defendants.

Discovery of the Terms of a Confidential Settlement Agreement

Upon reviewing the defendants’ motion, the court stated that settlement agreements are favored under New York law, as they allow parties to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation and help to preserve judicial resources. Additionally, the court noted that it benefits society to allow parties to develop their own resolution to a dispute rather than relying on court intervention. The court also explained that in many cases, confidentiality is required to protect the parties involved and to encourage a just resolution.

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While in some legal matters, a person may be tempted to proceed without a lawyer, medical malpractice cases are complex and involve a juxtaposition of medical and legal issues. Thus, it generally is in the best interest of a person seeking to recover damages in a medical malpractice case to be represented by an attorney. This was demonstrated in a recent medical malpractice case arising out of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, in which the plaintiff proceeded pro se, and many of his claims were dismissed. If you sustained injuries due to a negligent care provider, it is wise to engage an experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to assist you in your pursuit of damages.

Facts Surrounding the Plaintiff’s Alleged Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff treated with the defendant physicians at the defendant mental health center. During a treatment appointment, he requested that a student physician leave the room, and the doctor refused. The plaintiff attempted to file a grievance against the doctor but was asked to return on a later date. When he returned, he was questioned by the first doctor who was named as a defendant as to whether he had ever been admitted as an inpatient. Later that day, the plaintiff was picked up by the police and involuntarily committed to the defendant mental health center with diagnoses of delusional disorder and schizophrenia.

Allegedly, on the day after the plaintiff was admitted, the second doctor who was named as a defendant mocked him and told him he would be admitted for weeks. The plaintiff produced multiple forms of identification and proof that he was not delusional, but was not released for a week. Following his release, he filed a lawsuit asserting numerous claims against the defendants, including medical malpractice claims arising out of fraud and negligence. The defendants moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims.

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In any civil lawsuit, it is essential for the plaintiff to assert the proper claims against the defendant, and the failure to do so can result in the dismissal of a case. For example, while negligence and medical malpractice claims bear many similarities, there are key distinctions between the two causes of action, and it is important for anyone seeking damages from a medical provider to ensure they are asserting the correct claim. This was evidenced in a recent case decided by a New York appellate court, in which the court reviewed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s negligence claim against a hospital due to the fact that her complaint sounded in medical malpractice.  If you were harmed by negligent care rendered in a hospital, it is critical to retain a seasoned Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney to assist you in pursuing the appropriate claims for your harm.

Facts and Procedural Background of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff donated blood at the defendant hospital’s blood donation center. After making her donation, she lost consciousness and fell and sustained injuries. She then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting a negligence claim. Specifically, she alleged the defendant was negligent for failing to follow protocols for diminishing reactions in blood donors, failing to screen for health problems and obtain a thorough medical history, and failing to provide a medical examination before drawing blood.

It is alleged that the defendant filed a motion to dismiss, asserting the plaintiff’s complaint set forth a medical malpractice claim, but the plaintiff failed to file the required certificate of merit. The plaintiff argued that no certificate of merit was required because the allegations in her complaint merely asserted a negligence claim, not a malpractice claim. The court denied the defendant’s motion, and the defendant appealed.

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It is not uncommon for a defendant in a medical malpractice case to seek to have the case dismissed via a motion for summary judgment. Typically, the defendant’s motion will rely on an expert affidavit opining that the defendant met the standard of care. Even if a defendant sets forth a sufficient expert report, however, the injured party’s claim will not be dismissed if he or she presents an expert affidavit calling the defendant’s care into question. The appellate division of the Supreme Court of New York recently discussed whether summary judgment is warranted where the parties have conflicting expert reports in an ob-gyn malpractice case in which the court affirmed that the plaintiff had set forth sufficient evidence of the defendants’ negligence. If you or your unborn child suffered harm because of inappropriate care provided by an obstetrician or gynecologist, you should meet with an assertive Syracuse ob-gyn malpractice attorney to discuss your case.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment

It is alleged that the plaintiff was treated by the defendant obstetrician-gynecologists during her pregnancy. In her third trimester, she complained of pain in her back and abdomen, which the defendants dismissed as normal pregnancy pains. At 28 weeks of gestation, however, it was revealed that the plaintiff suffered a placental abruption, which resulted in the intrauterine death of her fetus. The plaintiff then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s case. The court denied the motion, after which the defendants appealed.

Summary Judgment in Cases Involving Conflicting Expert Opinions

The court stated that the critical elements of a medical malpractice case are evidence of a departure from the accepted practice of medicine and that the departure proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm. Thus, a defendant pursuing dismissal via summary judgment must make a prima facie showing that he or she met the standard of care, or that any departure did not bring about the plaintiff’s alleged harm. The court noted, however, the summary judgment is not appropriate in cases in which the parties produce conflicting affidavits from medical experts.

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Many times when a person presents to the emergency room of a hospital, multiple doctors will render treatment and care to the person. Thus, if the person subsequently suffers harm because the care provided was inadequate, there may be more than one care provider liable for the person’s harm. If a plaintiff cannot establish that the negligence of an individual defendant proximately caused the plaintiff’s damages, though, the plaintiff’s claims against that defendant will be dismissed. This was demonstrated in a recent case in which the court granted summary judgment to an emergency room physician, ruling that any negligence on behalf of the physician did not harm the plaintiff’s decedent. If you or a loved one sustained harm due to inadequate care in a hospital, it is prudent to consult a trusted Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney to discuss your case.

Factual Background

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s decedent presented to the emergency department of the defendant hospital with complaints of chest pain. He was initially evaluated by the first defendant emergency room physician, who ordered numerous tests. However, she did not order a CT scan, due to the fact that she felt a CT scan should not be conducted until after the decedent’s lab results were returned. The defendant emergency room doctor’s shift ended prior to her receiving the decedent’s lab results.

Reportedly, the decedent’s care was then turned over to the second defendant emergency room physician, who requested a consultation with the defendant cardiologist. The defendant cardiologist performed an aortogram to determine if the decedent had an aortic dissection. No CT scan was performed at that time. The decedent was ultimately discharged with suspected deep venous thrombosis and directed to follow up with a thrombosis clinic in two days. Three days after his discharge, the decedent died of hemopericardium due to a ruptured dissection of the aorta. The plaintiff subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendants asserting claims of medical malpractice and wrongful death. The defendants filed motions for summary judgment. Continue reading

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In many medical malpractice cases, whether the defendant is found liable for the plaintiff’s alleged harm hinges on the strength of the expert opinions set forth by each party. Recently, a New York appellate court discussed the role of expert reports in medical malpractice claims and how such reports should be evaluated in a case alleging pediatric malpractice. If your child was injured by a negligent care provider, you should speak with a capable Syracuse pediatric malpractice attorney regarding your potential claims.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice case against two sets of defendants who were pediatric specialists from a medical center and from a hospital after her minor son suffered a significant brain injury due to bilateral tension pneumothoraxes. The medical center defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. The trial court denied the defendants’ motion, after which the defendants appealed. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Strength of Expert Opinions in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

In New York medical malpractice cases, a defendant seeking dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims via a motion for summary judgment must set forth factual proof that he or she complied with the applicable standard of care, or that even if the defendant departed from the standard of care, the departure did not harm the plaintiff. Typically, this is done through medical records, deposition testimony, and expert affidavits. If the defendant meets its burden, the plaintiff must then establish that a triable issue of fact exists, by setting forth an expert affidavit opining that the defendant deviated from the applicable standard of care and that the deviation caused the plaintiff’s harm.

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The law provides many safeguards that a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case can use to remedy results that are perceived to be unjust. For example, even if a judge or jury finds in favor of a defendant, a plaintiff in a malpractice case has the right to seek a new trial. A new trial will only be granted in certain circumstances, however, as recently explained by the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, in a case arising out of an alleged failure to obtain informed consent and other deviations from the standard of care during a foot surgery. If you suffered damages due to inadequate care provided by a podiatrist, you can consult with a capable Syracuse podiatry malpractice attorney regarding the compensation that you may be able to recover for your harm.

Factual and Procedural Background

The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice case against the defendant podiatrist, alleging that the defendant failed to obtain the plaintiff’s informed consent prior to a surgical procedure and that the defendant deviated from the applicable standard of care. Following a trial, the jury found in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff subsequently filed a motion for a new trial.

The Standard for Granting a New Trial

Under federal law, a new trial will only be granted if the verdict rendered by the jury or judge is against the clear weight of the evidence, the trial court acted unfairly, significant evidentiary errors occurred, the jury received improper or inadequate instructions, or the judge or jury awarded excessive damages. Thus, a new trial is only warranted in cases in which it is necessary to rectify a miscarriage of justice or a clearly erroneous result, after reviewing all the evidence of record. In other words, courts are not granted the discretion to reevaluate the evidence and vacate a jury’s verdict merely because a reasonable jury could have come to a different conclusion under the facts of the case, or because the judge believes taht another result was justified.

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While many people who suffer harm due to medical malpractice wish to resolve any lawsuit arising out of the malpractice as quickly as possible, some people delay in pressing the case forward. In cases where a delay constitutes a violation of the rules of civil procedure, it may result in the injured party’s case being dismissed altogether. Recently, a New York court discussed the ramifications of a plaintiff’s failure to prosecute a claim in a hospital malpractice case. If you or someone you loved were harmed by negligent care rendered in a hospital, it is in your best interest to speak with a diligent Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney to discuss your options for seeking damages.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s decedent was a resident of the defendant nursing home and received care at the defendant hospital prior to her death. In November 2014, after the plaintiff’s decedent passed away, the plaintiff instituted a malpractice claim against the defendants, alleging that they breached the applicable standards of care, thereby causing the decedent’s death.

Reportedly, on March 20, 2019, the defendants served a 90-day notice on the plaintiff for failing to prosecute the case. The notice advised the plaintiff’s that a default would be entered against her if she did not take action. The plaintiff then filed a motion to vacate the notice or in the alternative for an extension of time to file a note of issue.

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When a child suffers harm at birth, it is often due to the negligence of the doctor that cared for the mother during her pregnancy or the doctor that delivered the child. Thus, if it can be established that the doctors failed to provide appropriate care, the child and his or her parents may be awarded damages. If a defendant ob-gyn establishes that the care he or she provided was adequate, though, the plaintiff’s case may be dismissed. Recently, a New York appellate court discussed the shifting burdens of proof in medical malpractice cases and what the plaintiff must prove to avoid dismissal via summary judgment. If you or your child suffered harm due to the negligence of your ob-gyn doctor, it is wise to consult a capable Syracuse ob-gyn malpractice attorney regarding what you must prove to recover compensation.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice claim against two groups of defendants on behalf of her infant son. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the negligent care of the collective defendants caused the minor plaintiff to suffer injuries due to a premature birth. The parties conducted discovery, after which each group of defendants moved for summary judgment. The court granted the defendants’ motions, after which the plaintiff appealed.

Avoiding Dismissal of an Ob-Gyn Malpractice Claim

It is well established that a plaintiff seeking to recover damages in an ob-gyn malpractice case must show that the defendant deviated from the applicable standard of care and that the deviation caused the plaintiff’s harm. Thus, if a defendant sets forth prima facie evidence that he or she did not depart from the standard of care, or that any such departure did not cause the plaintiff’s harm, the burden will shift to the plaintiff to show a material issue of fact exists as to whether the defendant was negligent.

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Many hospitals and facilities not only provide medical care, but they also act as learning institutions for doctors in training. Thus, in many cases, a patient will be treated by a resident who is supervised by an attending physician. The duties imposed on supervised medical personal differ from those exercising independent judgment, as explained in a recent medical malpractice case decided by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, and in some cases, a resident may not be held liable for an injured patient’s harm. If you were injured by negligent medical care, it is advisable to speak with a dedicated Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to discuss your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Treatment

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s decedent underwent gallbladder removal surgery, during which his liver was lacerated. He subsequently died from bleeding complications. The plaintiffs then filed wrongful death and lack of informed consent claims against the defendant medical center, and defendant resident. As to the defendant resident, the plaintiffs alleged that he failed to test the decedent’s blood coagulation profile or to address the decedent’s coagulation issues prior to the surgery. The defendant resident filed a motion for summary judgment, which the court denied. The defendant appealed.

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