Attorneys Jeff D. DeFrancisco and Charles L. Falgiatano
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The standard of care imposed on medical professionals is beyond the understanding of most laypeople, and parties in medical malpractice cases will often rely on reports from medical experts to support their positions. Thus, the success of a plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim often hinges on which party’s expert offers a more compelling opinion. A plaintiff’s expert’s opinions must be based on fact and sound reasoning, however; otherwise, they will be deemed insufficient to demonstrate a defendant’s liability, as illustrated in a recent New York ruling issued in a proctology malpractice case. If you were harmed by a negligent proctologist, you should speak to a Syracuse proctologist malpractice attorney to discuss what evidence you must produce to recover damages.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered from rectal bleeding with bowel movements. He was subsequently diagnosed with hemorrhoids. He was then treated with the defendant, who ultimately recommended a hemorrhoidectomy. The defendant reported that the procedure went well, and all three of the defendant’s hemorrhoids were reduced. In the days that followed, however, the plaintiff began to experience rectal bleeding and fecal leakage. He eventually filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging he departed from the good and accepted practice of medicine, thereby causing the plaintiff to suffer harm. Following discovery, the defendant moved for summary judgment.

Establishing Liability in a Medical Malpractice Case

The court granted the defendant’s motion and dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint. The court explained that a plaintiff in a medical malpractice action must prove that the defendant deviated from the accepted community standards of the practice of medicine and that the deviation proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm. Continue reading

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In medical malpractice cases, defendants will often try to avoid the costs associated with protracted litigation by seeking dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claims prior to trial via motions for summary judgment. If the court finds that a defendant has adequately demonstrated the right to judgment in its favor as a matter of law, the court will grant the motion. If a court rules improperly, however,  a plaintiff can argue that the ruling should be reversed. Recently, a New York appellate court discussed when summary judgment is appropriate in a case arising out of primary care malpractice. If you sustained injuries due to incompetent medical care, you should speak to a knowledgeable Syracuse primary care malpractice attorney to evaluate your options for seeking compensation.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant, who was the plaintiff’s primary care physician, failed to diagnose the plaintiff’s ulcerative colitis in a timely manner. Due to the delay, he suffered a perforated colon which required a permanent ileostomy. Thus, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, asserting his negligence caused the plaintiff’s harm.  The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff failed to establish the elements of his claim. The court found in favor of the defendant and granted the motion, after which the plaintiff appealed.

Determining Whether Summary Judgment is Appropriate in a Medical Malpractice Case

The appellate court reversed the trial court ruling. It noted that a defendant that files a motion for summary judgment in medical malpractice case bears the burden of demonstrating that he or she did not depart from the accepted and good practice of medicine and that any such alleged deviation did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s harm. In order to sustain this burden, the defendant must rebut any allegations set forth in the plaintiff’s bill of particulars. Continue reading

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In many car accident cases, proving liability can be difficult.  In some collisions, though, it seems as if liability is clear. For example, in rear-often crashes, there is generally a presumption that the second driver is responsible. While that is generally true, it is not an irrefutable assumption, as demonstrated in a recent New York opinion issued in a case arising out of a rear-end collision. If you sustained harm in a car accident, it is prudent to meet with a Syracuse car accident attorney to discuss your options for seeking damages.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, a commercial truck driver, was driving a truck for his employer on a New York highway. He was stopped in traffic when he was suddenly struck from behind by another commercial truck. He did not hear brakes or tires screeching prior to the impact. After the crash, he got out and spoke with the defendant driver, who was operating a commercial truck on behalf of the defendant company.

Allegedly, the defendant driver apologized and stated it was his first year driving commercial trucks. The plaintiff felt no pain initially, but subsequently developed pain in his back and neck. He subsequently filed a lawsuit alleging the defendant driver was negligent and the defendant company was vicariously liable for his negligence. After the parties completed depositions, the plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the issue of the defendants’ negligence. Continue reading

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People who suffer injuries generally have the right to pursue claims against the parties responsible for their harm, with or without the assistance of attorneys. Some claims, like those arising out of medical malpractice, are complex, however, and parties that attempt to seek compensation for medical negligence without legal counsel may not be able to set forth pleadings sufficient to demonstrate they are entitled to damages. This was demonstrated in a recent opinion issued by a New York Court in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s anesthesia malpractice claims due to lack of jurisdiction. If you suffered harm due to negligently administered anesthesia, it is smart to retain a skilled Syracuse anesthesia malpractice lawyer to assist you in pursuing claims against the parties that caused your injuries.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered an injury to his right hand that required a surgical repair. He was admitted to the defendant hospital, which is located in New York, to undergo the procedure, but alleged that he was not provided anesthesia. As such, he suffered intense pain. He further asserted he developed depression and a sleep disorder after the surgery. He filed a complaint against the defendant in federal court, asserting a medical negligence claim. He was not represented by a lawyer when he filed the complaint. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims on the grounds the court lacked jurisdiction over the matter. The court agreed and dismissed the complaint.

Diversity Jurisdiction in Medical Malpractice Cases Filed in Federal Court

The court explained that the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim against the defendant failed because the court lacked jurisdiction over the claim as it arose under state law. In New York, a claim sounds in medical malpractice when the conduct in question constitutes medical treatment or bears a significant relationship to the rendering of medical care by a licensed professional. In the subject case, the plaintiff’s claims related to treatment he was provided at the defendant hospital, and therefore, were considered claims for medical malpractice.

The court stated that medical malpractice claims arise under state law, and federal courts generally will not exercise original jurisdiction over such matters unless there is complete diversity between the parties. No plaintiff and no defendant can be citizens of the same state for complete diversity to be present. In the subject case, the court pointed out that the plaintiff and the defendant hospital were both citizens of New York. Thus, complete diversity did not exist, and the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims. Continue reading

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Plane crashes are rare, but when they occur, they often cause catastrophic injuries. While many plane collisions are caused by defective design or maintenance of the planes themselves, they can also be caused by other factors, like the negligent operation of the plane or the performance of air traffic control services. Proving liability in plane crash cases is often a complicated endeavor, as demonstrated recently in a ruling issued in a New York case. If you lost a loved one in a catastrophic accident, it is in your best interest to confer with a Syracuse personal injury lawyer skilled at handling cases arising out of devastating losses.

The Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant provided air traffic control services to an airport in Afghanistan. Other parties were primarily responsible for operations during the day, while the defendant performed services during the night. The defendant was not responsible for training anyone. The air traffic control tower in the airport lacked the equipment that was needed to alert the controller of a plane’s proximity to terrain.

Allegedly, in October 2010, a chartered civilian cargo plane left the airport. Shortly after it took off, it contracted air traffic control, which at that time was operated by the defendant, to obtain coordinates. Tragically, they subsequently crashed into mountain terrain, and the eight people aboard died. The estates of the people who passed away filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging its negligence caused the crash. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the court granted its motion, after which the plaintiffs appealed. Continue reading

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Generally, in medical malpractice cases, plaintiffs will present evidence of the harm suffered and ask the jury to issue a verdict in their favor but will not request a specific damages amount. As such, what constitutes an appropriate amount of compensation is typically within the purview of the jury. If a defendant feels that a verdict is unjust, it may move for a judgment to be modified, however. Recently, a New York court discussed what a court considers when determining whether a judgment in a medical malpractice case is excessive, in a matter in which the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s decedent’s death. If you lost a loved one because of a careless physician, it is in your best interest to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to assess your possible claims.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant gynecologist treated the plaintiff’s decedent. During the course of her care, she complained of symptoms indicating ovarian issues, but no testing was performed. She was ultimately diagnosed with ovarian cancer after it had progressed and spread to other parts of her body. She died from the disease a short time later.

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging his negligent failure to diagnose the decedent’s ovarian cancer caused her death. The case was tried in front of a jury who awarded over $3 million in damages to the plaintiff. The defendant moved to set aside the jury’s verdict as excessive, and the court denied the motion, after which the defendant appealed. Continue reading

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It is not uncommon for patients to suffer complications after surgical procedures, and in many instances, such complications are preventable and only arise due to the careless acts of one of the doctors involved in the surgery. The mere occurrence of an adverse event, however, does not necessarily indicate a doctor committed medical malpractice. This was demonstrated in a recent case in which the court rejected the plaintiff’s assertions that anesthesia errors caused his harm and ruled in favor of the defendant. If you sustained losses because of a careless anesthesiologist, it is prudent to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer regarding your options for seeking damages.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff underwent a surgical repair of a tear of a tendon of his left elbow. The defendant administered the plaintiff anesthesia prior to the surgery. Specifically, he administered a nerve block. After the anesthesia wore off, however, the plaintiff began to feel extreme pain in his left hand, and his fingers were swollen. He was also unable to flex two of his fingers. He was subsequently diagnosed with a brachial plexus nerve injury.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging his negligent performance of his professional duties caused the plaintiff’s harm. During the trial, the plaintiff asked the court to instruct the jury on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor, but the court declined. The jury ruled in favor of the defendant, and the plaintiff filed a motion to set aside the verdict as against the weight of the evidence and to argue that the court failed to instruct the jury as requested. Continue reading

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The outcome of medical malpractice cases rests squarely on how the judge and jury view the evidence presented by the parties. Thus, while a plaintiff may believe her evidence to be compelling and sufficient to obtain a verdict in her favor, the outcome of the case may indicate otherwise. While there are measures a plaintiff can take to attempt to overturn a seemingly unjust verdict, they are often unsuccessful. Recently, a New York court discussed the evaluation of evidence in a medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff filed an appeal on numerous evidentiary grounds. If you were injured by incompetent medical care, it is smart to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what evidence you will need to recover compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent laparoscopic surgery at the defendant hospital to address a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. During the surgery, she suffered nerve damage, and she subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant hospital and the surgeon who performed the procedure.

Allegedly, after discovery was complete, the plaintiff moved for summary judgment, but the court denied her motion. The case went to trial, and the jury issued a verdict in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff then filed a motion to set aside the verdict as against the weight of the evidence, but her motion was denied. She then appealed the denial of both motions. Continue reading

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In many lawsuits that arise out of car accidents, the defendants’ liability appears to be clear. Even in cases in which it is evident that a defendant’s negligence caused a car accident, however, he or she is generally not precluded from arguing that the plaintiff is partially at fault as well. This was demonstrated in a recent New York ruling, in which an appellate court affirmed the denial of the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of the defendant’s affirmative defense of comparative negligence. If you were harmed in a collision, it is smart to speak to a skillful Syracuse car accident lawyer regarding your potential claims.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered injuries when his car was struck by the defendant’s car. The accident occurred at an intersection that was controlled by a traffic light. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit seeking compensation for his injuries in which he alleged the defendant was negligent.

Allegedly, in response, the defendant set forth an answer in which he asserted the affirmative defense of comparative negligence. The plaintiff moved for summary judgment, asking the court to dismiss the affirmative defense. The trial court denied the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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In lawsuits arising out of car accidents, plaintiffs typically have to demonstrate not only that the defendant caused the collision but also that they suffered damages as a result of the crash. In some cases, though, defendants will not dispute liability but will argue that the plaintiffs did not suffer damages as a result of the accident. The evidence needed to establish that a plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury in a car accident was the topic of a recent New York appellate opinion. If you were hurt in a collision, it is wise to confer with a knowledgeable Syracuse car accident lawyer about your possible causes of action.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was driving her car when she was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by the defendant. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, asserting a negligence claim and arguing that she suffered serious injuries as defined by New York insurance law. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the trial court to dismiss the complaint. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Evidence Needed to Establish the Lack of a Serious Injury

On appeal, the appellate court reversed the trial court ruling. The court explained that the defendant argued that the plaintiff did not suffer a serious injury as a result of the accident and that any injuries the plaintiff had were pre-existing and were not causally related to the accident. In support of her motion, the defendant provided a report from a medical expert who opined that the plaintiff’s harm was degenerative in nature. Continue reading

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