Attorneys Jeff D. DeFrancisco and Charles L. Falgiatano
Experienced. Proven. Results-Oriented.We fight for the rights of clients who have sustained serious injuries or suffered harmful accidents. Our goal is to help each client achieve the best possible outcome.Schedule Your FREE Consultation Today
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$10,500,000Verdict for failure to diagnose cancer.Schedule Your FREE Consultation Today
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Under New York law, those who operate businesses that have parking lots, sidewalks, or steps attached to their premises have certain duties to those who use those areas to walk into the owner’s shop, store, or other establishment in order to conduct business. As is typical in personal injury lawsuits, the burden of proof in a Syracuse premises liability lawsuit is on the plaintiff to prove his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence. In many cases, however, the defendant will attempt to have the plaintiff’s case dismissed prior to trial via a motion for summary judgment. In cases involving snow and ice, the defendant may argue that the accident happened during a storm and that, thus, it should not be held liable for the accident. In such a situation, it is up to the defendant to provide credible evidence of the weather conditions at the time of the plaintiff’s slip and fall accident.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman who allegedly slipped and fell in a snowy parking lot owned by the defendant convenience store. She filed suit in the Supreme Court of Niagara County, seeking compensation for her injuries. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that it had no duty to clear the snow and ice upon which the plaintiff fell because there was still a storm in progress at the time of the plaintiff’s fall. The trial court denied the defendant’s motion, and the defendant filed an appeal.

Decision of the Court

The New York Appellate Division, Fourth Department, affirmed the lower court’s denial of the defendant’s summary judgment motion. In so holding, the court noted that the defendant relied  primarily upon a meteorologist’s affidavit to the effect that it was still snowing in the town in which the accident occurred at the time of the plaintiff’s fall. In reviewing this affidavit, the appellate division pointed out that the records upon which the defendant’s expert relied were taken from three other towns – not the town in which the plaintiff fell. In opposition to the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff offered a different meteorologist’s report, in which the meteorologist opined that there was no way to state within a reasonable degree of professional certainty whether or not it was snowing at the time in question in the town in which the plaintiff fell.

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Like other types of personal injury and wrongful death cases, claims for medical malpractice must be filed within a certain period of time (called the “statute of limitations”), or else the claimant forfeits his or her right to pursue fair compensation. While there a few exceptions to this general rule, these exceptions apply only to very limited situations. In all other circumstances, a would-be plaintiff’s claim will be dismissed as time-barred if not filed within the limitations period. Hence, it is very important to talk to Syracuse medical malpractice attorney sooner, rather than later, if you or a loved one has been the victim of medical negligence.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff in a malpractice lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of Orange County was a woman who had a mammogram at the defendant medical facility in April 2015. The defendant radiologist reviewed the plaintiff’s mammogram and prepared a report recommending that the plaintiff have a biopsy, but, apparently due to some miscommunication or a lack of communication, the plaintiff did not actually undergo a biopsy until November 2015. The biopsy indicated the presence of cancer.

The plaintiff’s suit sought monetary compensation for lack of informed consent and medical malpractice; more particularly, the plaintiff asserted that the defendants had been negligent in failing to diagnose her with breast cancer and in failing to give her timely notification of the results of the radiologist’s report recommending a biopsy. The defendants’ filed a motion for summary judgment, which was granted by the trial court. The plaintiff filed an appeal, seeking review from the appellate tribunal.

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Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuits often come down to a “battle of the experts.” Sometimes this happens during the pre-trial phase, in which the parties submit their respective expert witnesses’ statements in support of, or in opposition to, a motion by the defendant(s) for judgment as a matter of law. Unless the plaintiff’s expert opinion is such that it can effectively refute the defendant’s motion and the defendant’s evidence in support thereof, the plaintiff’s case may end before it reaches the trial phase.

In other situations, the case proceeds to a jury trial, and multiple experts testify. Each will likely offer a different opinion, and it will be up to the jury to resolve any conflicts in the testimony of these witnesses. If you believe that you have a claim for medical malpractice against a doctor or other health care provider, you should talk to an attorney who can assist you in the process of finding an appropriate expert witness to review your medical records and, if necessary, testify at trial.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiffs in a recent medical malpractice case arising in the Supreme Court of Kings County were the statutory wrongful death claimants of a 51-year-old man who died after being treated by the defendant medical providers several times over a multi-day period in 2009. The man had suffered with high blood pressure since his teens but had stopped taking his medication for hypertension about 6 months prior to his treatment by the defendants. When he first presented to the emergency room, he complained of a mild cough, chest pain, fever, chills, and malaise.  He was admitted to the hospital and released three days later, returned the same day that he was released only to return the next day, and died about a week later after having experienced both a stroke and a heart attack.

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In a Syracuse medical malpractice case, there are many steps between the act of negligence and a settlement or judgment in favor of the patient (or, if the patient died as a result of the malpractice, his or her family). One of the first steps is a review of the patient’s medical records by an expert witness. Under New York law, an expert’s opinion to the effect that the defendant medical provider failed to act in accordance with the acceptable standard of care is required in order for most medical negligence cases to be successful. If such an opinion is not forthcoming once the case proceeds to a certain point in the litigation, it is likely that the matter will be dismissed as to any defendants against whom the requisite expert’s opinion has been submitted.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff in a recent case was the administrator of the estate of a person who allegedly died as a result of the negligence of the defendants, a doctor and patient care facility. The plaintiff filed a wrongful death lawsuit, acting both individually and as the administrator of the decedent’s estate, seeking to recover monetary damages for the decedent’s death. The Supreme Court of Bronx County dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint against the doctor after ruling that the doctor was entitled to summary judgment. The plaintiff then appealed the trial court’s decision to a higher tribunal.

The Court’s Decision on the Issues

The New York Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed the lower court’s decision. In order to be granted summary judgment in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the burden was on the defendant to convince the trial court that there were no genuine issues of material fact; only in the absence of triable factual issues was one party or the other to be granted judgment as a matter of law. Applying this standard to the case at bar, the court found that the plaintiff had failed to produce sufficient evidence for the case against the doctor to proceed to trial.

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Under New York law, there are certain categories of injuries that can take a case outside the limitations of the “no fault” laws that would otherwise apply (and limit the injured person’s recovery substantially). Of course, as with everything else concerning Syracuse car accident cases, the insurance company that insured the careless driver will probably argue that the case should stay within the confines of no fault – thus saving them a payout on an injury claim caused by their negligent or reckless insured. Ultimately, these issues are resolved by a judge (and a jury if the case proceeds that far) – at least in cases in which the injured person retains counsel and fights for his or her legal rights, rather than allow the insurance adjuster to decide what is or is not due the victim.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff in a recent case were the parents of a minor child who was allegedly injured in a car accident caused by the defendant driver. The wreck happened when the car in which the child was riding was struck from behind by the defendant driver while waiting to turn left. Neither the minor child nor his mother (who was driving the car) sought medical care immediately after the accident. However, both later complained of injuries that they believed were caused by the crash. The parents filed suit against both the driver and owner of the vehicle on the minor’s behalf, and the mother sued in her own right, as well, seeking monetary compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses caused by the motor vehicle accident.

The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment dismissing the plaintiffs’ complaint. The Supreme Court of Broome County partially granted the motion, thereby dismissing the mother and the child’s claims of serious injury under the permanent consequential limitation of use category and dismissing the mother’s claim of serious injury under the significant limitation of use category. The defendants appealed the trial court’s denial of the remainder of their motion; the plaintiffs cross appealed.

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In a Syracuse product liability lawsuit, the plaintiff may have multiple theories of liability – design defect, failure to warn, negligence, etc. Because several different entities in the supply chain may be held liable, these types of cases may have multiple defendants, as well.

Often, one or more defendants will seek to have the case dismissed as to them. Depending upon how the court rules on these motions, the case may proceed to trial against a single defendant or multiple defendants, or it may be dismissed entirely. The testimony of expert witnesses is often crucial in these cases, as the plaintiff must be able to show that there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiffs in a recent case were a man who was allegedly pinned and crushed due to a malfunctioning remote control device that was used to operate a boom crane. The plaintiff, joined by his wife, filed suit against several entities that they believed were responsible for the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of the device, asserting claims for strict liability and breach of warranty. After the man died in 2016, his wife continued the action both individually and as the administratrix of his estate, adding wrongful death and conscious pain and suffering causes of actions.

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In most Syracuse medical malpractice cases, one or more healthcare provider defendants will file what is known as a “motion for summary judgment.” This procedural device may sound harmless enough, but it is often deadly to the plaintiff’s pursuit of fair compensation for an act of medical negligence.

Summary judgment can effectively end a plaintiff’s case as to certain defendants, certain claims, or in its entirety. When a trial court grants such a motion, the court is basically telling the plaintiff that, even if everything he or she says is true, there is no genuine issue of material fact in his or her case and the defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fortunately, there is an appellate process for reviewing a trial court’s granting of summary judgment. Many such appeals are successful, giving the plaintiff’s a second chance to have his or her case proceed to a trial on the merits.

Facts of the Case

In a case arising in the Supreme Court of Erie County, the plaintiff was the administratrix of the estate of a man who died from acute respiratory failure following a hypoxic brain injury that occurred as a result of an emergency tracheostomy that was performed when the man returned to the defendant medical center after he had been dismissed earlier in the day when the defendant anesthesiologist and a nurse (who was employed by the medical center) failed in their attempts to intubate the man in preparation for surgery on his shoulder.

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Sometimes a doctor or other medical provider will attempt to avoid a finding of liability in a Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuit by claiming that he or she did not exercise any independent medical judgment in the care and treatment of the patient. If a physician was truly just passing through the operating room at the time of the medical negligence, perhaps this is a justifiable defense. However, this argument is often revealed as less than truthful, once the facts begin to present themselves.

If the patient can establish that a doctor-patient relationship existed between the parties and that and the defendant doctor’s breach of the applicable standard of care was the proximate cause of the harm for which he or she seeks compensation, the patient may be entitle to payment for damages caused by the doctor’s negligent treatment or care.

The Facts of the Case

In a case appealed to the New York Appellate Division, Fourth Department the plaintiff was a mother who sought a monetary judgment for injuries that her daughter suffered when the defendant doctor allegedly failed to address certain postsurgery complications in a manner that was timely and appropriate. According to the plaintiff, the defendant’s treatment of her daughter had fallen below the applicable standard of care and this was a contributing factor for injuries for which she sought money damages.

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Most medical procedures come with some degree of risk. Patients are supposed to be informed of both the potential risks and benefits of a given procedure prior to giving their consent. When a physician fails to obtain informed consent, or if the doctor deviates from the standard of care and injures the patient by his or her mistake, a Syracuse medical malpractice claim may be possible against the negligent medical provider. Like other types of medical negligence cases, surgical malpractice cases usually require expert testimony in order to establish several elements, including the standard of care that the doctor should have followed and whether any deviation from this standard was the proximate cause of harm to the patient.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case considered on appeal by the New York Appellate Division, First Department, the plaintiff was a woman who alleged that she had suffered an injury to her brachial plexus as a result of an interscalene nerve block, which she underwent prior to having arthroscopic surgery on her shoulder. She filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York County, seeking monetary compensation from several defendants, including the anesthesiologist who performed the nerve block, an anesthesiology fellow, a medical center, and the physician who performed the plaintiff’s shoulder surgery. The trial court granted summary judgment to the anesthesiologist, the anesthesiology fellow, and the medical center, prompting the plaintiff to seek appellate review.

Outcome of the Appeal

The appellate court modified the lower court’s decision to vacate the dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint against the anesthesiologist and the medical center, thereby reinstating the medical malpractice and lack of informed consent claims against the anesthesiologist and the vicarious liability claim against the medical center (based on the doctrine of ostensible agency). According to the reviewing court, the lower tribunal had been wrong in granting summary judgment to the anesthesiologist because the plaintiff’s expert affidavits raised issues of fact on the issues of the defendants’ alleged deviation from the standard of care and causation.

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After a Syracuse motor vehicle accident, the drivers, eyewitnesses, and first responders likely have their own opinions as to who caused the crash – Driver A or Driver B, assuming it was a two-vehicle accident. However, in some situations, it is determined that the parties have shared fault in causing the wreck. Under New York law, a party’s monetary recovery in a negligence case is reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault attributed to him or her by the finder of fact. Thus, insurance companies have an incentive to blame the opposing party if at all possible, so as to pay a lesser amount of damages even if their own insured was “mostly” to blame. Thus, it is very important that a person who has been hurt in a car, truck, or motorcycle collision talk to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible so that his or her legal rights may be protected.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case filed in the Supreme Court of Steuben County, the plaintiff was a woman who was riding as a passenger on a motorcycle when it collided with a dump truck that allegedly ignored a traffic control device. She filed suit against the owner and operator of the dump truck, as well as the driver of the motorcycle. The dump truck owner and operator filed a cross claim against the motorcycle driver, alleging that he was to blame for the accident and seeking indemnification and contribution. The motorcycle driver passed away while the lawsuit was pending, and the administratrix of his estate was substituted. The trial court granted the administratrix’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the cross claim asserted against her.

The Court’s Ruling on the Issues

The Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department reversed the trial court’s order granting the administratrix’s motion for summary judgment on the cross claim of the remaining defendants. The court noted that, in moving for summary judgment, the administratrix had the initial burden of showing, as a matter of law, that the motorcycle driver was operating his motorcycle in a lawful and prudent manner and that “there was nothing [he] could have done to avoid the collision.” In the court’s opinion, the administratrix failed in this burden.

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