Articles Posted in Hospital Negligence

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In a Syracuse medical malpractice case, the plaintiff has the burden of proving his or case by a preponderance of the evidence. Often, a defendant (doctor, hospital, or other medical provider) will attempt to circumvent the usual trial practice by filing what is known as a summary judgment motion. Such a motion is granted when the court finds that there is no triable issue of fact.

When a court grants such a motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff’s case may be dismissed in part or even in its entirety. Thus, it is important that the plaintiff be able to offer sufficient proof of his or her claim in opposition to the motion. Consulting an experienced medical malpractice attorney early on in the process is essential to securing the necessary evidence of negligence to survive a motion for summary judgment and, ultimately, the prevail at trial.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiffs filed suit against the defendants, a medical center, a doctor, and others, asserting claims for medical malpractice, lack of informed consent, and the wrongful death of their decedent, a man who allegedly died from complications of gallbladder removal surgery. One of the doctors filed a motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court for Kings County denied the motion, and the defendant doctor appealed.

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A Syracuse medical malpractice case may involve allegations against multiple defendants – a hospital, one or more doctors, and possibly other healthcare providers, as well. Generally speaking, the more defendants there are in a case, the more expensive and time-consuming the litigation is likely to be. For this reason, a plaintiff may opt to dismiss his or her claims against one or more defendants and proceed against those remaining.

In some cases, the defendants themselves may oppose such a measure and may file a cross claim aimed at keeping a co-defendant actively engaged in the lawsuit so as to have the option of shifting – or at least sharing – liability and blame if the case proceeds to trial.

Facts of the Case

A recent appellate case originating in the Supreme Court of Westchester County, the plaintiffs sought to assert a medical malpractice claim against a doctor and medical center following the death of their decedent from a stroke. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, the doctor (who was an emergency room attending physician at the medical center) negligently failed to recognize the symptoms of a stroke, thereby contributing to the decedent’s death. Four years after filing their suit, the plaintiffs signed a stipulation to discontinue their cause of action against the defendant doctor. However, the medical center did not agree to the stipulation and sought to amend its answer to add a cross claim against the doctor for indemnification and contribution. The doctor, in turn, amended his answer to assert similar cross claims against the medical center.

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In any Syracuse medical malpractice case, time is of the essence. When a claim is not filed within the time allowed by law, it is very difficult – and often impossible – to proceed with what might otherwise have been a good case. This is unfortunate, as the plaintiff’s suffering goes uncompensated and the defendant gets away with poor treatment of a patient.

The exact time during which a claim can be made can vary significantly from case to case, with some situations calling for action to be taken within a very short time (especially if a governmental entity may be liable or if a defective product caused harm to a user).

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff in a recent case was the guardian ad litem for a paranoid schizophrenic adult male patient who claimed that an employee of the defendant hospital had “beat [him] up” when he was an in-patient there in 2009, causing him to lose consciousness and sustain injuries to his eye that required surgery and resulted in loss of vision. Somewhat in contrast to the patient’s testimony, the plaintiff’s complaint asserted that the patient had been “physically taken down, restrained, and controlled… in a negligent manner,” thereby causing his injuries; according to the plaintiff, the defendant was liable for the actions of its employees under a theory of respondeat superior.

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A Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuit can take a long time to resolve. For starters, an investigation must be conducted, an expert must be retained, and suit must be filed – and that’s just to get the case started.

As matters progress, the parties usually exchange discovery requests in order to learn more about the evidence that will likely be presented at trial. This process takes at least a few months, and often much longer. In some cases, there can be additional complications that create unexpected delays, such as the filing of a bankruptcy petition by a party or its insurance company.

Facts of the Case

In a recent appellate case arising in the Supreme Court, Erie County, the plaintiff was a man who filed suit in 2011, seeking compensation for injuries that he allegedly suffered due to the negligence of the defendant health care center’s agents and employees. The parties exchanged discovery requests the following year, but then the action was dormant for several years as the plaintiff pursued relief from the defendant’s insurer in out-of-state bankruptcy proceedings. In late 2016, the plaintiff revived the action by resubmitting the discovery demands that he had originally made in 2012.

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Losing a loved one is one of the most painful experiences in life. When the loved one’s death was preventable, the situation is even more difficult. If you have recently lost a family member and have reason to believe that a doctor, nurse, or hospital’s negligence was to blame, you should talk to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about the possibility of filing a claim in court.

Medical negligence cases are usually met with great resistance from the medical professional(s) who is accused of neglect, so it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible so that the case can be properly investigated, and evidence can be gathered to support the plaintiff’s case.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman seeking compensation for the death of a man (presumably a family member) whom she alleged died due to the medical negligence of the defendants, a hospital, a doctor, and others. According to the plaintiff, the decedent presented to the defendant hospital for emergency care, went into cardiac arrest, and died three days later. Unbeknownst to the decedent, he was apparently suffering from a bacterial staph infection known as Methicillin Sensitive Staphylococcus Aureus (MSSA) and had been for several days. (A laboratory facility had failed to inform the defendant of his infection.) In response to the plaintiff’s allegations that the decedent’s death was caused by their failure to properly treat and diagnose him during the emergency visit, the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court, Bronx County, granted the defendants’  motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

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Those who have been hurt by a doctor, nurse, or hospital have a limited time in which to file a medical malpractice claim. Usually, claims not filed within this time period are dismissed by the court as untimely.

However, there are a limited number of circumstances in which a late-filed claim may be allowed. One such exception is referred to as the “relation-back” doctrine. A recent appellate case explored the applicability of the doctrine to a case in which additional defendants were added to an ongoing lawsuit after the expiration of the usual limitations period. If you or a loved one has been injured and you wonder if it is too late to file a claim, it is important that you speak with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

In a recent appellate case originating in the Supreme Court of Kings County, the plaintiff filed a wrongful death claim against a medical center and others following the death of the decedent in May 2009. Prior to her death, the decedent had been treated for abdominal pain in the defendant medical center on multiple occasions over a period of about one month. The plaintiff’s suit, which was filed in 2011, named the medical center and several individual healthcare providers as defendants. In 2014, the defendant medical center filed a third-party action against another provider who had become affiliated with a different facility, along with three other third-party defendants.

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Hopefully, everyone knows by now that there is a statute of limitations that places an outer limit on the time during which a Syracuse medical malpractice claim can be filed. While there are a few, very limited exceptions to this rule, most cases that are filed outside of this time period are dismissed by the court – no matter how egregious the conduct or how severe the injuries.

It is also important to note that there are many other deadlines that may apply in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, including the time for filing an answer if you happen to be the person or business against whom a claim is made. Again, while there are a few exceptions to the general rule regarding timeliness (of filing both a complaint and an answer thereto), but these are few and far between.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was the administrator of the estate of a man who allegedly suffered personal injuries while a resident at nursing home allegedly operated by the defendants. The plaintiff filed suit against the defendants, seeking to recover money damages. The defendants failed to answer the plaintiff’s complaint within the time allowed by law, so the plaintiff filed a motion for a default judgment pursuant to New York Consolidated Laws, Civil Practice Law and Rules § 3215. The defendants opposed the motion filed by the plaintiff and filed their own motion, cross-moving for an extension of time to file their answer.
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In a Syracuse medical malpractice case, there may be a single defendant, or there may be multiple defendants. It all depends upon the circumstances surrounding the alleged act of medical negligence.

For example, in a case in which an individual was injured or died in (or after having been in) a hospital or medical center, there may be allegations of negligence against the hospital, one or more doctors, several nurses, etc. It is not unusual for such a case to get “narrowed down” to only one or two defendants prior to trial – or at least prior to the case being submitted for the jury’s consideration.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was executor of the estate of a woman who died a few days after having hip replacement surgery. The plaintiff filed suit against the defendants, a medical center, a physician group, a nurse practitioner, and others, asserting a cause of action for medical malpractice and seeking monetary compensation for losses caused by the defendants’ alleged failure to provide proper medical treatment to the deceased in accordance with accepted standards of medical care.
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Those who have suffered personal injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death have only a limited time in which to file a Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuit. This includes situations in which the victim of the alleged medical negligence is a minor child. If your family has been hurt by a doctor or hospital, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you get started on your case, but you must take the first step by setting up a consultation.

Facts of the Case

In a recent appeals court case, the plaintiffs were the parents of a minor child who allegedly suffered injuries during her birth at a city hospital owned and operated by the defendant. The plaintiffs sought to file suit in the Supreme Court, Bronx County, to seek for the child’s injuries via a motion for leave to file a late notice of claim. The defendant resisted the plaintiffs’ motion, urging the trial court to deny the relief sought by the plaintiffs. The trial granted the motion for leave, and the defendant appealed.

The Appeals Court’s Decision

The New York Supreme Court Appellate Division for First Department affirmed the lower court’s ruling. According to the appellate court, the lower tribunal’s decision to grant the plaintiffs leave to file a late notice of claim within the discretion of the trial court. Although the defendant pointed out that the plaintiffs have failed to set forth a “reasonable excuse” for their delay in filing a timely claim, the appellate court found that this was not fatal to the plaintiffs’ case under the circumstances. According to the court, the plaintiffs had met their burden by showing that the defendant was aware – and had actual knowledge – of the “essential facts constituting the claim” within the time period set forth under New York statutory law for the filing of claims such as the one at bar. Because the defendant had knowledge of these facts within the requisite time, it would not be prejudiced in defending the case on its merits.
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About two out of five Americans take at least one prescription medication these days. While most of these medications are at least somewhat beneficial to the patient taking them, each comes with a list of possible side effects.

When a patient is admitted to a hospital, personnel should be careful to note all medications taken by the patient, including the dosage of these prescription drugs. Follow up with the patient’s family and/or pharmacy should also be made in many cases.

If this is not done and personal injury or wrongful death befalls the patient as a proximate result, the patient or his family may have a Syracuse medical malpractice or hospital malpractice claim.

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