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
$13,000,000Verdict for a personal injury case.Schedule Your FREE Consultation Today
$10,500,000Verdict for failure to diagnose cancer.Schedule Your FREE Consultation Today
$3,500,000Settlement for medical malpractice against an ob/gyn for birth injury.Schedule Your FREE Consultation Today
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car crashA car accident can change one’s life instantly. While some rear-end accidents result in minor damage and injuries, in other cases, rear-end accidents can be deadly. If you or a loved one has been injured in a rear-end accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights in New York car accident cases at every step of the way.

A rear-end collision takes place when one vehicle crashes into the vehicle in front of it. These accidents typically happen when a driver is stopped for some reason (i.e., at a red light or in heavy traffic). Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of automobile accidents in the United States. In fact, there are approximately 2.5 million rear-end collisions each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 28 percent of all crashes are rear-end collisions. Rear-end accidents can be caused by a variety of negligent acts. Some common causes include but are not limited to:

  • Aggressive driving;
  • Distracted driving;
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • Excessive speeding;
  • Faulty brakes or automotive defects;
  • Tailgating or following too closely;
  • Poor weather conditions;
  • Sudden or unexpected stops; or
  • Improper lane changes.

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hospitalMedical professionals at hospitals are expected to provide competent care to each patient. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If you or someone close to you was injured due to hospital negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our seasoned Syracuse hospital negligence attorneys can thoroughly examine the facts of your case and determine the viability of your claim. For many years, we have helped New York clients resolve their medical malpractice claims, and we can help you as well.

Hospital negligence is much more common than you may think. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine reported that up to 98,000 people a year die because of mistakes in hospitals. In 2010, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services found that inadequate hospital care contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients in Medicare alone in a given year. A study by the Journal of Patient Safety estimated that in 2014, between 210,000 and 440,000 patients who went to the hospital for care suffered some type of preventable harm that contributed to their death.

Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals at a hospital play a critical role in a patient’s treatment and recovery. Any medical professional working at a hospital may be responsible for a hospital error. Some examples of these errors include but are not limited to:

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christmas treeIt is a festive time of year when millions of people across the country are putting up Christmas trees and decorations in their homes. A fire from faulty Christmas tree lights or defective holiday decorations can spread through a space at a terrifying speed. In a moment, flames can engulf a room and destroy furniture as well as other property. In the most serious cases, these fires can cause serious injuries and even death to individuals in the home. If you or a loved one is injured as a result of a defective Christmas product, you need to reach out to a skilled Syracuse product liability attorney without delay. Our firm can examine the facts of your case and help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your harm.

The American Red Cross reports that about 47,000 fires take place during winter holidays across the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Christmas trees account for more than 200 home fires, on average, each year. These fires are responsible for $17.3 million in property damage each holiday season. The NFPA report also found that one out of every 34 Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, compared to the overall average of one death out of every 142 home fires.

New York law requires the manufacturers and sellers of products to make sure that their products are not in any way defective or dangerous to a user. Companies are obligated to provide warnings if any part of their product may be unsafe or if using the product in a certain way could cause injuries. If you have been hurt by a defective product (i.e., defective Christmas lights catching on fire), you may be able to recover compensation through a product liability claim. Product liability refers to a manufacturer or seller being held liable for placing a defective product into the stream of commerce, and ultimately into the hands of a consumer. The only thing a plaintiff needs to establish in such cases is that the product was dangerous when it left the manufacturer’s control, and there was no warning to indicate the risk of unreasonable danger.

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LacrosseAthletes are more at risk for certain types of injuries to muscles, ligaments, and joints because of the nature of their sports. Orthopedic surgeons are often tasked with repairing those types of athletic injuries. Unfortunately, doctors don’t always perform these surgeries within the requisite standard of care, and as a result, injuries may occur. New York orthopedic malpractice lawsuits arise out of the perception of malpractice, as do malpractice claims in other states. For instance, a recent lawsuit, case number 1:17-cv-00532, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island was filed by a college lacrosse player who allegedly suffered long-term knee damage because of a botched surgical procedure.

The patient’s lawsuit against her orthopedic surgeon alleged that she experienced injuries after an operation on her knee. The damages include continued injuries and pain; although a specific amount of damages is not stated, the complaint states that the damages exceed $75,000.

The plaintiff was a member of a women’s Division I lacrosse team. She suffered a left knee injury while playing the sport and received care from the eventual defendant. The purpose of the procedure was to cure, relieve, and rehabilitate the plaintiff from the effects of her injuries. This did not occur, and in fact, her condition worsened, as the plaintiff alleged in the lawsuit. In addition to the orthopedic surgeon, the complaint names the medical clinic as a defendant as being vicariously liable for the surgeon’s malpractice under the doctrine of respondeat superior.

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Email MessageMedical malpractice lawsuits require that hospitals, medical professionals, and other named defendants disclose their medical records so that a plaintiff can make a case for negligence. This most frequently occurs during the pre-trial stages of litigation. Although courts prefer that litigants navigate this process without judicial intervention, sometimes litigation disputes emerge as to what should be disclosed to the plaintiff. This is happening in a medical negligence case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, in which the court compelled the hospital to disclose emails related to an experimental surgery performed on the plaintiff. While this case does not affect New York hospital malpractice cases, it illustrates some of the practical issues that may arise.

The plaintiff alleged in the original lawsuit that a hospital surgeon performed an experimental bariatric surgery on a mentally disabled patient without his consent. The complaint alleged that the defendant surgeon performed bariatric surgery on the plaintiff in 2009, causing the plaintiff to begin experiencing respiratory issues. He began experiencing other complications and underwent a subsequent surgery to reverse the bariatric surgery procedure. During this reversal surgery, the surgeons allegedly discovered that the defendant surgeon had not properly performed a bariatric procedure. The complaint that was actually performed was an experimental one, which was conducted, according to the complaint, without the patient’s consent. The plaintiff’s claims survived a pre-trial motion for dismissal earlier in the month. However, after this ruling, the judge was asked to rule on the admissibility of several emails into evidence.

The emails in question were between hospital personnel. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff and admitted the emails into evidence because they were not, as the defendant claimed, protected by the work-product doctrine or attorney-client privilege. Another string of emails, however, was ruled to be protected and inadmissible.

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InfantInjuries to infants are common. Some injuries are results of unpreventable incidents. However, other injuries occur because of the negligence of medical professionals. Physicians are tasked with performing medical actions that can prevent these types of injuries from occurring. A birth injury case, case number 17-cv-06133, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, has implications for New York birth injury claims.

The plaintiff went into labor and was admitted to a medical center, where the medical staff determined that the child was in a breech position. The plaintiff, however, alleged that the doctor did not perform an ultrasound to confirm this guess, and the failure to order an ultrasound was a substantial factor in causing the newborn baby’s death, according to the plaintiff’s complaint. The doctors medically induced the plaintiff’s labor, and the plaintiff’s obstetrician delivered the baby. The obstetrician was unable to determine the baby’s orientation in the birth canal. Therefore, he delivered the plaintiff’s child in a breech position. The defendant doctor made at least five failed attempts at intubation while the baby’s heart rate fell and attempted resuscitation for a half-hour before the baby was pronounced dead, due to respiratory failure.

The United States government was named as a defendant in the lawsuit because the doctor named as a defendant was a Public Health Service doctor. The United State government is seeking indemnification from the defendant doctor for any liability that attaches from the underlying medical malpractice claim. The United States government alleged that the defendant doctor had a duty to exercise the degree of skill and care that is required of health care, medical, and nursing professionals under similar circumstances in making all diagnoses, examinations, tests, and treatments, and not to abandon the plaintiff in any way.

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Lung X-RayLung cancer symptoms may manifest themselves in a variety of ways, including regular coughing fits. The consequences of failing to timely diagnose cancer can have severe consequences, which include death. Sometimes people may seek the treatment of their physician because they know something is wrong, but the physician fails to truly appreciate the severity of their condition. In a 2017 New York cancer misdiagnosis decision, the plaintiff alleged, on behalf of the decedent, that the decedent’s physician failed to timely diagnose his lung cancer.

The defendant, a New York doctor, acted as the decedent’s doctor since 1989. The decedent came to her doctor several times in 2010 because of a cough she was experiencing. However, she was not diagnosed with lung cancer until she received an X-ray, which returned a grossly abnormal result. The decedent went to another hospital, which was not named as a defendant in the case, and was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.

The plaintiff filed the lawsuit in 2010, but the defendant argued that the claim was time-barred by the statute of limitations. The court acknowledged that the defendant established a prima facie case for judgment as a matter of law because the lawsuit was filed more than two and one-half years from the alleged acts and omissions that formed the basis of the failure to diagnose claim against the defendant. In response, the plaintiff argued that the claim should be allowed to proceed under the continuous treatment doctrine.

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Spinal CordCar accidents can cause life-changing injuries, or even fatalities, for those involved. The causes of car accidents are highly situational. Sometimes inclement weather can create hazardous road conditions, while at other times the negligence of the driver or other drivers on the road can be the cause of an accident. A recent New York car accident case involving a young Brooklyn woman centered around whether the driver of the vehicle, in which she was the passenger, was negligent when he fell asleep while driving.

As mentioned above, the plaintiff was injured in a 2012 car accident when the driver of the vehicle, a Chevrolet Equinox, fell asleep at the wheel. He swerved into oncoming traffic and collided with a mini-van, killing a passenger, an elderly woman. The driver of that vehicle survived the crash.  The plaintiff allegedly suffered severe, lifelong spinal injuries. Her symptoms included losing feeling in her legs. She also requires the use of leg braces for mobility purposes. Moreover, her physicians allegedly advised her that as she progresses in age, her condition will grow worse, and eventually she will completely lose the ability to walk as a result of her injuries. Following the car accident, she was forced to withdraw from college, where she was receiving an Ivy League education, and see a therapist about depression issues.

The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the driver for falling asleep at the wheel, likely alleging negligence under New York law. Her case went to trial in Manhattan Supreme Court, where a jury of six, following a three-week trial, awarded the plaintiff $71 million in damages for future medical expenses, future pain and suffering, and past pain and suffering.

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Medical malpractice has no place in any health care system, yet it still happens commonly. Fortunately, there are many things you can do as a patient to prevent medical malpractice and protect yourself and your loved ones. What kinds of things should medical providers do to prevent cases against them? What can they do to make you feel more at ease?

There are dozens of steps to follow. For example, you should seek information about the procedure ahead of time and talk to the provider about risks. The provider should provide an informed consent document to you after you learn about the treatment, so he or she knows you had your questions answered.

Beyond that, there are many things you can do to keep yourself safer. Here are three.

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From semi truck crashes to pedestrian collisions, traffic accidents of all kinds can be devastating. However, motorcyclists often face particularly perilous outcomes when they are struck by a vehicle. Unfortunately, far too many motorcyclists have had their lives shattered because of the negligent behavior of drivers in Syracuse and other New York cities. For motorcyclists, recognizing the prevalence of these crashes could help. Sadly, even the most responsible of motorcyclists could find themselves in the middle of a serious accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published statistics on motorcycle accidents which show that an estimated 88,000 motorcyclists suffered an injury and over 4,660 motorcyclist fatalities took place during 2013. In comparison to the year before, these figures represent a slight decrease in the number of motorcyclists who were hurt and killed. However, the numbers are still staggering and far more people have had their lives shattered because of motorcycle crashes in the years since.

For victims of these crashes and the family members of motorcycle wreck victims, it is crucial to understand some of the other challenges that can arise from an accident, in addition to the loss of life and physical injuries. For example, a victim may lose his or her mobility, interfering with their quality of life and keeping them from earning a living. Moreover, funeral expenses, health care costs, and rehabilitation expenses can create even more financial problems. Because these wrecks are so serious, negligent drivers who fail to drive safely and watch out for motorcyclists must be held liable when they cause a crash.

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