Attorneys Jeff D. DeFrancisco and Charles L. Falgiatano
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Emergency room doctors encounter a plethora of conditions that vary in severity throughout the course of their day. Regardless of what type of issues they are presented with, however, they have an obligation to offer treatment that complies with the standard of care. If the care they render falls outside of what is considered the accepted and good practice of medicine and causes a patient harm, it may be grounds for pursuing malpractice claims. Recently, a New York court analyzed whether a doctor’s behavior constituted malpractice in a case in which the plaintiff suffered brain injuries due to a missed diagnosis. If you were harmed by incompetent medical care, you should meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate your potential claims.

Factual Background

It is reported that the plaintiff went to the defendant’s hospital after she was experiencing difficulty speaking or thinking and seeing flashing lights for most of the day. She was assessed as a 0 on the stroke scale. The defendant emergency room doctor ordered a brain MRI regardless but discharged her before it was reviewed. The defendant radiologist, who reviewed the MRI, found no evidence of stroke upon his first review, but upon a second review found a stroke.

Allegedly, the plaintiff returned to the hospital the following morning with additional symptoms. She subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants. The defendants moved for summary judgment at the close of discovery. The court denied the defendant radiologist’s motion but granted the defendant hospital’s and defendant doctor’s motion. The plaintiff and the defendant radiologist appealed. Continue reading

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When administering tests or treatment, doctors must take care not only not to injure their patients but also not to worsen any existing injury. Doctors that fail to uphold this duty may be liable for medical malpractice. Proving a doctor exacerbated an existing injury may be difficult, as demonstrated in a recent New York medical malpractice case. If you suffered losses due to the negligent acts of your doctor, you have the right to pursue damages, and you should meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff instituted a medical malpractice lawsuit against his general practitioner, a radiologist, an MRI provider, and a hospital based on the assertion that they were collectively responsible for the delayed diagnosis of tumors on his spine that ultimately caused his paraplegia. The defendants moved for summary judgment while the plaintiff moved to amend his bill of particulars. The court denied the defendants’ motion and granted the plaintiff’s motion. The defendants then appealed.

Proving Liability for Worsening an Existing Injury

On appeal, the court reversed the trial court’s ruling as to the general practitioner but otherwise affirmed. The court found that the general practitioner showed, prima facie, that he did not deviate from the good and accepted practice of medicine via an expert affidavit. The expert also noted that as soon as the general practitioner noted abnormalities on the plaintiff’s CT scan, he referred him to a specialist. Continue reading

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Generally, parties in medical malpractice cases will ask a jury, rather than a judge, to determine issues like liability and damages. Even if a jury is tasked with resolving factual disputes, a judge will preside over the case and determine what evidence and questions are permitted. If a judge rules incorrectly, it may adversely impact the case and may be grounds for overturning the jury’s verdict. This was demonstrated recently in a New York medical malpractice case in which the verdict against the defendant was vacated. If you sustained injuries because of negligent medical care, it is advisable to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your options for seeking justice.

Procedural Background of the Case

Reportedly, the decedent underwent surgery in 2009, during which her lung was removed. She was diagnosed with lymphoma after the surgery and died approximately a year later from the illness. The plaintiff, the administrator of the decedent’s estate, filed a wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, who was the decedent’s doctor, due to his delay in diagnosing the decedent with lymphoma.

It is alleged that the case proceeded to trial, and the jury found in favor of the plaintiff, awarding her over $2.7 million in damages. The defendant filed multiple post-trial motions, including a motion to set aside the jury verdict and for a new trial in the interest of justice. The trial court denied his motions, and he appealed. Continue reading

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Patients typically rely on doctors to not only manage and treat existing medical conditions but also to prevent new conditions from arising. Unfortunately, doctors do not always take the measures necessary to prevent their patients from developing critical illnesses, which can lead to irreparable harm. It may also constitute grounds for pursuing a medical malpractice claim. Recently, a New York court discussed whether a doctor’s failure to notice a patient was at risk of suffering a stroke was grounds for imposing liability in a case in which the defendant sought dismissal of the claims against him. If you suffered preventable harm due to your doctor’s negligence, you should speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your right to seek compensation.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was brought to the defendant hospital’s emergency department due to symptoms that indicated she could be suffering a stroke, such as weakness, a headache, and dizziness. The defendant doctor ordered a CT scan of the brain, which a second doctor interpreted as normal. The defendant doctor examined the plaintiff and did not observe any signs that she was suffering from a stroke.

Allegedly, the defendant doctor ultimately diagnosed the plaintiff with a urinary tract infection and discharged her. The following day, the plaintiff was unable to move and was taken to a different hospital, where she was diagnosed as having suffered a stroke. She filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, who in turn moved for summary judgment. The court denied their motion, and they appealed. Continue reading

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Many people suffer from chronic conditions that they manage through medication. While many drugs have side effects, they are often outweighed by their benefits. If a patient cannot withstand the side effects of a medication, though, their physician may choose another course of care. There are risks associated with stopping a drug as well, and if a doctor does not follow the proper procedure, it can lead to irreparable harm. This was illustrated recently in a New York case in which the court discussed whether the discontinuance of a drug could constitute medical malpractice. If you were harmed by the negligence of a physician, it is prudent to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to discuss your possible causes of action.

The Decedent’s Harm

It is reported that the decedent suffered from high cholesterol. As such, he was prescribed a statin medication that helps prevent the risk of myocardial infarctions. One year later, a doctor employed by the defendant discontinued the prescription due to negative side effects. A year after that, the defendant died. The cause of his death was a myocardial infarction. The plaintiff instituted a wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that the doctor’s discontinuance of the statin departed from the accepted practice of medicine and caused the decedent’s death. The plaintiff then moved for summary judgment.

Proving a Doctor Departed from the Standard of Care

Under federal law, a court may only grant a motion for summary judgment if there are no genuine issues of material fact that require a trial, and judgment is warranted as a matter of law on the facts as to which there is no dispute. In assessing a motion for summary judgment, the court cannot try factual issues; instead, it can only evaluate whether there are issues that need to be tried. Continue reading

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It is not uncommon for driving to be part of a person’s job description. People operating vehicles for their employers must abide by the same rules as all other motorists, which, among other things, means they must drive in a safe manner. If they drive recklessly and cause a collision while on the job, both they and their employers may be held accountable. Recently, in an opinion issued in a New York car accident case, a court discussed when an employer could be held liable on a theory of respondeat superior following a collision involving their employee. If you were involved in a crash, it is important to talk to a Syracuse personal injury attorney regarding what you must prove to recover damages.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered critical injuries after he was struck by a van operated by a driver on behalf of the defendant company. The plaintiff then filed a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages from the defendant. As to the defendant company, he alleged that they were liable under the theory of respondeat superior and for negligently hiring, training, and supervising the defendant driver.

Reportedly, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss, and the plaintiff filed a motion to join the defendant driver and remand the case to state court. The court denied the plaintiff’s motion and indicated it would grant the defendant’s motion unless the plaintiff filed an amended complaint addressing noted deficiencies. Continue reading

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While negligent driving is the root cause of most car accidents, more than one driver may be held accountable. As such, a plaintiff seeking damages for the harm caused by a collision may name more than one person as a defendant. Additionally, as demonstrated in a recent New York case, a defendant can join other parties as defendants if they believe they contributed to the crash. If you were hurt in a collision, you might be able to recover damages from multiple sources, and you should consult a Syracuse personal injury attorney about your rights.

The Procedural and Factual Background

Allegedly, the plaintiff and three other drivers were involved in a collision. The facts of the accident are convoluted; in any event, the first vehicle, which was operated by the male defendant and owned by the defendant town, was traveling south on a highway behind the second car, which was owned by a female and driven by her husband. In front of that vehicle was the third vehicle, a truck owned by a delivery service and operated by one of its employees. The delivery vehicle pulled over, after which the second car struck it. The first vehicle then struck the second before veering into traffic and striking the plaintiff.

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendants, after which the defendants joined the drivers and owners of the second and third vehicles as third-party defendants. The third-party defendants filed motions for summary judgment, which the court granted, and the defendants appealed. Continue reading

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Generally, people who suffer harm in the workplace cannot pursue personal injury claims against their employers and instead are limited to recovering workers’ compensation benefits. They can seek damages from other parties that may be responsible for their harm, however. Further, in some instances, the law allows for the absolute imposition of liability for harm suffered while working. This was illustrated in a recent New York case in which the court granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff due to the defendant’s violation of New York’s scaffold law. If you were injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, you might be owed damages, and it is smart to meet with a Syracuse personal injury attorney to assess your rights.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, who worked for a plumbing company, suffered injuries when he fell while installing a shower curtain rod in a bathroom. He did not have adequate room to use an A-frame ladder and instead stood on the rim of the bathtub. The bathroom did not have artificial lighting and was dim. The plaintiff struck his head on the rod and fell to the floor.

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the general contractor and lessee, asserting, among other things, that there were liable under New york’s scaffold law. The court granted the motion with regard to the scaffold law claim, and the defendants appealed. Continue reading

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In New York car accident cases, a plaintiff must do more than just show that the defendant’s negligence caused the collision in order to recover damages. Specifically, they must also show that they suffered actual losses due to the collision. Generally, the issue of causation is within the purview of the jury, though. This was demonstrated recently in a New York opinion issued in a car accident case, in which the court reversed a trial court ruling dismissing the plaintiff’s claims. If you were hurt in a collision, it is important to understand what evidence you must produce to recover compensation, and you should contact a Syracuse car accident attorney to discuss your potential claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant struck the plaintiff’s car from behind. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, setting forth a negligence claim. After the completion of discovery, the defendant moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to prove her alleged injuries were the result of the collision. The court agreed and granted the defendant’s motion. The plaintiff then appealed.

Establishing Damage and Causation in Car Accident Cases

On appeal, the court reversed the trial court ruling. In doing so, it explained the issue of causation is typically one that should be resolved by the fact-finder. Summary judgment may be appropriate, however, even if there is objective medical proof of serious harm, if there are additional factors that interrupt the chain of causation between the claimed injury and the accident. Such factors may include a gap in treatment, a preexisting condition, or an intervening medical issue. Continue reading

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People aggrieved by medical malpractice generally have the right to pursue claims in the forum of their choosing. There are limits to that right, though. Among other things, they can only present their claims to a court if they are within the court’s jurisdiction. If the court finds that a plaintiff’s case is not properly before them, it may dismiss it, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued by a New York court in a medical malpractice case. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to the negligence of a medical professional, it is wise to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to determine your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is alleged that the plaintiff, as the administrator of the decedent’s estate, filed a pro se medical malpractice claim against the defendant, a county medical examiner. The impetus of the plaintiff’s claim was not provided, and she did not provide any facts regarding the defendant’s alleged medical negligence. She filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis as well. The magistrate judge assigned to the case denied the plaintiff’s application and recommended that her complaint be dismissed without prejudice due to lack of jurisdiction.

Federal Jurisdiction over Medical Malpractice Claims

The court explained that when a plaintiff requests to proceed in forma pauperis, the court must dismiss their case if at any time they assess that the action is malicious or frivolous, neglects to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or pursues monetary damages from a party that is immune from such relief. Continue reading

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