Attorneys Jeff D. DeFrancisco and Charles L. Falgiatano
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People harmed by reckless health care providers have the right to seek compensation for their losses. They must do so in a timely manner, however, or their claims may be barred by the statute of limitations. While the statutory period may be tolled in some situations, a plaintiff bears the burden of proving such tolling is proper. If they cannot, their claims may be dismissed, as shown in a recent ruling issued in a New York medical malpractice case. If you were hurt due to negligently rendered medical care, you might be owed damages, and you should confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to avoid waiving your right to recover compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

Allegedly, in 2013, the plaintiff suffered injuries in a fall at a restaurant. She was then transported by ambulance to the defendant hospital, where she was treated by the defendant nurse and other parties. She presumably suffered harm due to the care she received from the defendant’s employees, as in 2015, she filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants. She ultimately discontinued her claims via stipulation with a reservation of her rights under CPLR 205(a).

It is reported that in 2017, she then commenced a lawsuit against the defendants, apparently pursuant to the six month extension of the statute of limitations under CPLR 205(a). The defendants moved to dismiss the claims against them as time barred. The court ultimately granted the defendant’s motion. Continue reading

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A motion for summary judgment is a procedural tool that defendants in medical malpractice cases often use in an effort to persuade the courts to dismiss the claims against them rather than allowing them to proceed to trial. The courts will only grant a summary judgment in cases in which the plaintiff fails to establish the existence of a material factual dispute, however. As such, if the plaintiff offers any evidence that would support the assertion that the defendant may be liable for the plaintiff’s damages, summary judgment is improper. This was demonstrated recently in a ruling issued in a New York medical malpractice matter in which the court declined to adopt the defendant hospital’s assertion that it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. If you suffered harm due to incompetent care that you received in a hospital, you might be owed damages, and you should meet with a Syracuse hospital malpractice lawyer to assess your options for seeking compensation.

The Decedent’s Harm

It is reported that the decedent, who suffered from multiple sclerosis, was admitted to the defendant hospital with complaints of abdominal pain and distention. He underwent a test and was diagnosed with a pseudo-obstruction of the bowel and prescribed medication. He was evaluated numerous times during his admission due to worsening symptoms, but his treatment largely remained unchanged. Nine days after he was admitted, he died due to an internal hemorrhage and a tear of the iliac artery.

Allegedly, the decedent’s estate filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant hospital and the doctors who treated the decedent. The defendants moved for summary judgment, and the court granted their motion. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue reading

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It is an unfortunate reality that a patient can visit a cardiologist, receive a clean bill of health, and subsequently suffer a fatal heart attack a few days later. In such instances, the inclination is most likely to believe that the cardiologist negligently performed its duties, and therefore should be liable for malpractice. As demonstrated in a recent New York ruling issued in a cardiology malpractice matter, however, that is not always the case. If you or your loved one sustained losses due to negligent treatment of a heart issue, you should speak to a  Syracuse cardiology malpractice lawyer regarding your potential claims.

The Decedent’s Care

Reportedly, the decedent presented to the hospital with complaints of chest pain in July 2012. He underwent a heart catheterization that showed he suffered from a 75% narrowing of a coronary artery, which he was advised could be treated with medication. A week later, he visited the defendant’s cardiologist for a second opinion. The defendant recommended that the decedent continue to treat his heart issues with medication instead of an angioplasty.

It is alleged that in October 2012, the decedent underwent a stress test that was interpreted by a second cardiologist named as a defendant, who determined the decedent did not require emergent care. One month later, however, the decedent suffered a fatal heart attack. The plaintiff, his wife,  commenced a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, alleging they failed to properly diagnose and treat a blockage in the decedent’s heart, The defendants ultimately moved for summary judgment, and the court granted their motion. The plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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Car accidents are generally caused, at least in part, by negligent driving. Other factors may cause or contribute to bringing about collisions as well, though. For example, if a road suffers from an unsafe design, it may increase the likelihood of crashes or increase the severity of injuries suffered in a crash. Whether the party that designed a road can be held accountable for harm suffered in an accident depends on numerous factors, as discussed in a recent New York opinion issued in a case arising out of a fatal accident. If you lost a loved one in a car crash, it is advisable to confer with a trusted Syracuse car accident lawyer to assess what claims you may be able to assert in pursuit of damages.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the decedent suffered fatal injuries when he was riding as a passenger in the defendant driver’s vehicle. The police report indicated that the deadly accident occurred when the defendant driver, who was intoxicated, struck the curb on an exit ramp, which caused him to lose control of the vehicle, hit a guard rail, and then crash into numerous storefronts. The plaintiff, who was the administrator of the decedent’s estate, commenced claims against the driver and the municipal entities that designed the ramp where the accident occurred. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged the municipal parties negligently planned and designed the ramp, which created a dangerous condition. The municipal entities moved for summary judgment, and the court granted the motion. The plaintiff appealed.

Liability for Negligently  Designed Roadways

Under New York law, municipalities owe a duty to the public to keep their streets in a relatively safe condition. In evaluating whether a municipality upholds this duty, the courts respect the planning and decision-making functions of a municipality. As such, the municipalities are granted qualified immunity from liability arising out of a highway planning decision. Continue reading

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New York is a no-fault insurance state. This means, in part, that a person hurt in a collision generally cannot recover damages from the party that caused the collision unless they demonstrate they suffered serious harm. In a recent New York ruling issued in a matter arising out of a collision, the court discussed what constitutes a serious injury and what evidence a plaintiff must offer to prove that such injury occurred. If you were hurt in a collision, it is in your best interest to speak to a skilled Syracuse car accident lawyer to discuss your rights.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff and defendant were involved in a collision in May 2018. The plaintiff suffered injuries to his left knee and shoulder, and spine due to the accident. He underwent surgery on his left should in February 2019 and on his left knee in August 2019. He subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, seeking compensation for his injuries. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to show that he suffered a serious injury as required to proceed to trial pursuant to New York’s no-fault insurance law. The court ultimately denied the motion.

Serious Injuries in Car Accident Cases

The court explained that the New York no-fault insurance law provides, in relevant part, that in any action in which one covered party seeks compensation from another covered party for personal injuries arising out the negligent operation of a motor vehicle, there is no right of recovery for non-economic losses except in cases involving serious injuries. In turn, a serious injury is defined as one that causes a permanent consequential limitation of the use of a body part or organ, a substantial limitation of a bodily system or function, or a medically determined impairment or injury that prevents a person from performing the acts of daily life for at least ninety days during the six months following a collision. Continue reading

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Typically, parties in a medical malpractice case will settle their disputes prior to going to trial. If a matter is tried, however, issues of liability and damages will likely be assessed by a jury rather than a judge. While juries are tasked with assessing the evidence presented and making a determination based on that evidence, they do not always issue verdicts in accordance with the evidence. Fortunately, though, the law allows parties to ask the courts to set aside verdicts in medical malpractice matters in which they believe the jury’s verdict is improper. The grounds for vacating a medical malpractice verdict were the topic of a recent New York ruling issued in an allergist malpractice case. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of your allergy doctor, it is smart to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to assess your options for seeking compensation.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the decedent contacted the defendant allergist regarding an allergic reaction. The defendant concluded the decedent’s reaction was caused by a blood pressure medication that he had been taking for the last three years and advised him to stop taking the medication. The defendant saw the decedent on two additional occasions and again confirmed he was no longer taking the drug that caused the reaction.

Allegedly, the defendant failed to confer with the decedent’s primary care physician to inform him the decedent should no longer be taking the medication. The decedent collapsed and died a few weeks later. The cause of death was determined to be anaphylactic shock caused by the drug pressure medication. The decedent’s estate filed a medical malpractice case against the defendant. The cause proceeded to trial, and the jury found in favor of the plaintiff. The defendant then filed a motion to set aside the verdict. Continue reading

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Children are, sadly, not immune from the consequences of incompetent medical care. Thus, if they suffer harm because of a medical mistake, their parents will often pursue medical malpractice claims on their behalf. While medical malpractice cases involving children differ from those involving adults in some key aspects, the burdens of proof and standards of review are the same in both types of matters. This was demonstrated recently when a New York court evaluated an appeal from an order granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment in a dermatology malpractice case involving the treatment of a child. If you or your child suffered harm due to careless treatment from a dermatologist, it is in your best interest to meet with a Syracuse dermatology malpractice lawyer to discuss your options.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant dermatologist removed a mole from the knee of the nine year old minor plaintiff. He then covered the area with skin grants taken from her buttocks. The plaintiff’s father then commenced a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant on behalf of the plaintiff, arguing that the defendant performed his professional duties improperly, thereby causing the plaintiff harm.

Allegedly, the defendant asked for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims via a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that he breached the standard of care. The trial court agreed and granted the motion, dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue reading

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Medical malpractice trials can be costly and emotionally exhausting, and litigants run the risk that the judge or jury determining liability will rule against them regardless of how persuasive their evidence is. Thus, in many cases, it is prudent for a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case to settle their claims prior to trial. Settling a case is not always as straightforward as merely accepting a defendant’s offer, though, as demonstrated in a recent New York ruling. If you were injured by inadequate medical care, it is smart to speak to Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the decedent went to an urgent care facility funded by the federal government, with complaints of shortness of breath and chest pain lasting a week. He underwent an EKG which was reviewed by the attending physician’s assistant, who assessed it as “OK” but noted a “few PVCs.” She diagnosed the decedent with gastroesophageal reflux disease and sent him home. The following morning, the decedent was found deceased. An autopsy revealed the cause of his death to be a cardiac arrhythmia which was caused by arteriosclerotic heart disease.

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (the Act). The plaintiff’s expert subsequently opined that if the physician’s assistant had complied with the standard of care, the decedent’s condition would have been properly treated, and he would still be alive. The parties proceeded to mediation and were able to reach a settlement agreement. The plaintiff then filed a motion for approval of the settlement. Continue reading

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Collisions frequently cause back and neck injuries and people hurt in crashes have the right to seek compensation for their harm from the parties that caused the accident via civil claims. A plaintiff must respect a defendant’s right to conduct discovery, though, which may include submitting to a medical examination. If they do not, it may adversely impact their right to recover damages, as illustrated in a recent opinion issued in a car accident case in which a New York court sanctioned the plaintiff for refusing to undergo an examination with the defendant’s expert. If you were injured in a car crash, it is smart to speak to a Syracuse car accident lawyer about your options for pursuing a just outcome.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff sustained injuries to his cervical and lumbar spine and right shoulder in a collision involving a car driven by the plaintiff. He subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, who then removed the matter to federal court. During discovery, the defendant obtained information indicating that the plaintiff suffered similar injuries in a previous accident and directed the plaintiff to appear for a medical examination prior to undergoing surgical repair of his injuries.

Allegedly, the plaintiff underwent a discectomy without notifying the defendant or appearing for an examination. The defendant moved for sanctions arguing that the plaintiff engaged in spoliation by undergoing surgery prior to a medical exam. The plaintiff opposed the motion, but the magistrate judge issued a report and recommendation in favor of granting the motion. The court ultimately adopted the magistrate’s report and recommendation and imposed sanctions on the plaintiff. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue reading

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Many people have jobs that require them to operate motor vehicles. When people cause collisions while they are working, their employers may be deemed vicariously liable for any damages sustained. A plaintiff in a car crash case must prove liability to recover compensation, however, and if they cannot, their claims may be dismissed, as discussed in a recent New York ruling. If you suffered injuries in a collision, you might be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to meet with a Syracuse car accident lawyer to discuss your possible causes of action.

The Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s vehicle collided with a postal van that was parked on the side of a one-way street. The crash occurred when the plaintiff was attempting to navigate a turn. The plaintiff sustained damages due to the crash and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the federal government pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (the Act). The case proceeded to trial, and following an evidentiary hearing, the judge found that the plaintiff had not met her burden of proof with regards to the elements of her negligence claim and ruled that the government was not liable for the accident.

Proving Liability in a Car Accident Case

The Act allows parties to pursue personal injury claims against the United States for the negligence of a government employee acting within the scope of their employment. Pursuant to the Act, the courts must examine state law to determine whether the government is liable for harm caused by its employees. Continue reading

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